Community Kindy concern
KINDERGARTEN programs to be rolled out across two local primary schools within the next two years could spell the end of the Warwick Community Kindergarten, 50 years after it was established.
The State Government Flying Start kindergarten program initiative aims to provide every child in Queensland access to kindergarten and will roll out an extra 240 kindergarten services by 2014, including new centres at Glennie Heights State School and St Mary's primary.
Southern Downs Mayor Ron Bellingham yesterday said he was greatly concerned changes could affect the viability of the kindergarten, to which he has a special connection having watched his children and grandchildren attend the centre.
Cr Bellingham said he was sceptical the program would be of any benefit to the parents and children of Warwick and he was concerned the initiative could have a detrimental effect on the viability of the community kindy.
“I am very concerned because we have had an extremely good kindy servicing the Warwick region for very many years,” he said.
“We have a responsibility to our community to have good quality care and good-quality teaching but I'm concerned it could fragment the effort that is being put in by those dedicated people,” he said.
Warwick Community Kindy president Kerri Walters said just a few weeks ago she thought the move could spell the end of the kindy, but government advertising had led parents to the door.
Presented with the possibility the move could see the end of the community she has grown to love, Mrs Walters said the image was one she was unable to fathom.
“I know things have to happen but I just hope this place can continue to grow, thrive and keep operating,” she said.
“We have qualified, consistent staff and it's a wonderful place, in a beautiful, natural setting.”
Mrs Walters said she would like to see the government offer more funding to the community kindy to help it thrive and compete with the schools.
Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg said he had been concerned for a long time over the impact the Flying Start initiative would have community kindies such as the one on Dragon Street in Warwick.
“This is a fantastic kindergarten and it has been part of the community for generations,” Mr Springborg said.
“It delivers a fantastic service and a quality program for those kids and they deserve better from the government.”