Community kindergartens in Mount Helena and Coolbellup have finally been given the tick of approval by the McGowan Labor Government to operate next year on the same day questions regarding the status of their exemption requests were raised in State Parliament.
Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Learning Donna Faragher said the decision to approve the kindergartens’ exemption requests was very welcome but it should have come earlier.
“Despite appropriately seeking an exemption through the Department of Education well before the end of Term Three and other community kindergartens receiving early approval notifications, Mount Helena Community Kindergarten and Pineview Community Kindergarten were left in limbo until now,” Mrs Faragher said.
“This was totally unfair and created unnecessary concern for parent management committees, staff and families.”
Along with the Community Kindergartens’ Association who repeatedly sought a response from the Department, Mrs Faragher called for an immediate decision on the exemption requests to be made over two weeks ago but this was ignored by the Government until this week when she lodged parliamentary questions to Education Minister Sue Ellery on Tuesday, 12 October 2021.
“It is simply not good enough that these community kindergartens were kept in the dark for so long and miraculously only approved on the day when questions were directly raised in Parliament.
“Minister Ellery’s answers to my questions show the decision to grant exemptions to both kindergartens were made on the same day the questions were lodged and asked.
“Sadly it is just another example of the unnecessary hurdles that have been put in place by the government since late 2017.
“While the approvals are very late, I am delighted these community kindergartens can now move forward with confidence in 2022,” Mrs Faragher said.
“With a focus on play-based learning, community kindergartens have long been recognised as an acceptable alternative to school-based kindergarten programmes.”