[singlepic id=421 w=320 h=240 float=left]The new kindergarten service at the White Rock State School was officially opened today.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the $1.3 million service was funded and built by the Bligh Government as part of a major initiative to improve access to kindergarten programs for Queenslanders.

“This is a significant investment in early childhood education in the White Rock area,” Mr Pitt said.

“This new service was originally scheduled to open in 2013 but was fast tracked to ensure more children in the southern corridor benefit earlier from a quality early childhood education.

“The service is operated by C&K and is part of our government’s commitment to provide extra kindergarten services in areas of need by 2014 to help give Queensland children a flying start to life.

Mr Pitt said the White Rock C&K Community Kindergarten caters for 44 children and has the capacity to offer two kindergarten programs delivered by an early childhood teacher for 15 hours each week.

“This service helps to meet the high demand for early childhood education services in this area.

“It offers parents and children the full range of educational facilities in one convenient location on the state school site.”

“This continues our commitment to deliver universal access to kindergarten programs for children in the year prior to Prep,” he said.

“A total of 108 extra services are planned to be established under this initiative by the end of 2012 with the locations for a further 13 services confirmed to open in 2013 on Catholic school sites.”

Mr Pitt said the Queensland and Australian governments had committed to increasing the percentage of four-year-olds participating in a kindergarten program to 95 per cent by mid-2013.

“Sixty nine per cent of kindy-aged children were enrolled in a kindergarten program in 2011 which exceeded our target of 65 per cent for the year, “he said.

C&K chief executive Barrie Elvish said kindergarten provided children with socialisation skills, early learning and numeracy skills which help to set their path for the ongoing learning journey through

“C&K is excited to be part of this significant project,” Mr Elvish said.