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Thursday, 17 October 1985
Page: 1490

(Question No. 451)

Senator Macklin asked the Minister for Community Services, upon notice, on 20 August 1985:

(1) When the decision was made to discontinue funding of Kindergarten and Pre-school education after December 1985, was the Commonwealth Government under the misapprehension that all Pre-school education in Queensland was provided by the State Government.

(2) Are in excess of 18,000 children in Queensland enrolled in community-run Kindergartens which are supported by Government funding but not directly controlled by the Government.

(3) Does the Minister agree in view of the fact tht these community-run Pre-schools have relied on 25 per cent of their funding coming from the Pre-School Block Grants Scheme that the withdrawal of the Commonwealth Government from this scheme will mean that these Pre-schools will have to impose major increases in fees.

(4) What effect will the Commonwealth Government's decision have on families of low income and single parent families in Queensland.

Senator Grimes —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) No.

(2) Pre-school education is a responsibility of the State Government, from which the requested information may be obtained.

(3) and (4) The Commonwealth's decision to terminate the pre-school block grant was conveyed to States early, to enable them to review the assistance given to pre-school education well in advance of the 1986 school year. I understand that the Queensland Government's Budget for 1985-86 includes adequate provision to offset the termination of Commonwealth funding for pre-schools.