Panic as kindy waiting lists stretch for years

THE transient nature of Gladstone's workforce has led to a "kindy panic" where parents are signing up their children to multiple kindergartens to avoid missing out.

Many of the region's children have been on waiting lists since birth.

Families pay on average $40 a day to send their kids to attend one of the 12 kindergartens in the region.

Many of the area's kindergarten's waiting lists are always open.

C&K Kin Kora Community Kindergarten director Marguerite Van Blerk said parents were going into stress mode as they try to ensure their children snag a spot at a kindergarten.

"It's very difficult to gauge the true demand because of the 'Gladstone panic'," she said. "At the moment we have a waiting list until 2018.

"There's a perception that kindergartens are full so parents are putting their children's name's down across the board until they get a spot. My message for parents is to call and find out," she said.

C&K Gladstone director Sue Moran said demand in Gladstone fluctuated because of the transient nature of the town.

"People move because their working situation changes," she said. They may get transferred or leave when their jobs finish."

She said that could impact on demand.

C&K Kin Kora will start the enrolment process for next year in August.

Gladstone Kooyangarra Kindergarten and Preschool director Debbie Hancock said waiting lists were open all the time.

"We have no vacancies at this time and five people who are waiting," she said.

Birallee Kindergarten and Community Preschool director Sue La Burniy said the kindy was full.

"Enrolments for next year will open in August and 44 spaces will be available," she said.

"Demand is not as high as it has been, but there is generally a lot of demand."

C&K Gladstone director Sue Moran said the waiting list for 2015 is open.

"We have two spaces which have already been offered to students," she said.

C&K Biloela director Michelle Carsburg said the kindy is not full this year.

"Demand has been high in Biloela, but that has dropped off since the local Catholic school put in a kindy which has increased the number of places on offer," she said.

Enrolments will start in July.

A double unit kindergarten in Kin Kora was one of 126 kindergarten services that have been established in Queensland since 2010.

A new kindergarten service will be established in 2015 in Calliope, with the service provider to be confirmed.

WAITING GAME: Jolene Napper hopes to get Phoenix, 3, into C&K; Kin Kora Community Kindergarten. She is one of many parents desperate to secure a place.
WAITING GAME: Jolene Napper hopes to get Phoenix, 3, into C&K; Kin Kora Community Kindergarten. She is one of many parents desperate to secure a place. Luka Kauzlaric

Parent takes the risk of punting on just one kindergarten

KIN Kora woman Jolene Napper is one of those taking "the risk" of signing her son Phoenix up for only one kindy - C&K Kin Kora.

"Friends of mine have told me to put Phoenix's down at a few because that way I'm safe and I can always say no to the others," she said.

"Phoenix is already at Port City Kids so I have that as a backup," she said.

"I want Phoenix at Kin Kora because there's a school there and I'm hoping that he can make friends and then continue on to school with them.

"It's also very close to our house. I went there to check out the place and to make sure that it's safe.

"Because it's near a busy road I wanted to make sure there is no chance Phoenix could get out. I'm very happy with safety at the kindy."

Mrs Napper signed up at the start of the year via the online waiting list and won't find out until September if Phoenix will be accepted.



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