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SOUTHERN MORETON BAY ISLAND CHILDREN GET HUGE EARLY LEARNING START BOOST THANKS TO GAP INTERVENTION A new form of free early learning education is now available to Southern Moreton Bay Island children thanks to a major intervention. The bonus for island children follows in the wake of previous disappointing news that some island children were going to miss out on the State Government Kindy Uplift program. Petrae McLean of Macleay Island based Bay Island Early Learning and Care (BIELAC) said whilst conditions do apply to the program, she believes, every eligible SMBI child attending BIELAC and their family will benefit from the receipt of this extra funding. The privately negotiated fee gap funding will also enable BIELAC to fund a scholarship program for a limited number of kindergarten places for families that are not eligible for the Australian government Childcare Subsidy e.g. residency or immunisation issues etc. “We will be utilising the assistance of the Bay islands Community Centre’s Macleay Island Centrelink agency to assist SMBI families with CCS and Kindergarten aged CCS attendance hour exemptions etc” Petrae added. As a result, parent/carers of children residing on any of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands are now invited to enrol in the Free* Kindergarten and Free* Pre-Kindergarten programs now available through the Macleay Island based Early Learning Centre (ELC). Through persistent advocacy the Macleay island family operated ELC provider has successfully secured 3rd party out-of-pocket government gap fee support to trial the 2022 provision of 2 new FREE* SMBI early childhood learning programs: • Up to 18 hours per week of *fully funded “CCS Gap FREE*” Kindergarten for children turning 4 years of age on or before the 30th June, 2022 AND • Up to 12 hours per week of *fully funded “CCS Gap FREE*” Pre-Kindergarten for children turning 3 years of age before the 30th June, 2022 The program comes with the Early Learning Centre’s considerable care inclusions from transport to meals etc. It should be noted that both the usual Before and After care programs operational from 6:15am to 5:45pm will continue to be available – refer to the enrolment form for options. *Conditions apply – while all program attendees will benefit through significantly reduced gap fees.

• Petrae McLean

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