You told us you wanted education prioritised and we agree, writes Premier Campbell Newman.
Recently we undertook unprecedented consultation to create the Queensland Plan with more than 80,000 Queenslanders having their say on the future of our great state.
One of the biggest themes that came through from the Queensland Plan was the need for a world class education for our children.
Queenslanders told us they wanted education prioritised from pre-school to post school and we agree, a great education leads to more secure jobs.
That is why from January next year, we are rolling out the Best Start initiative, a new early literacy program coming to public libraries across the state.
Research shows that learning to read is the single most important factor in school success. Learning language is the foundation, but currently almost one in four Queensland children does not know enough words on starting school and sadly many never catch up.
Busy working mums and dads are also time poor with only 48 per cent reading regularly to their three to eight year olds, but just 10 minutes a day can make all the difference.
This four year, $20 million program will give families the information, skills and tools they need to support their children in the development of early language and literacy at home.
- Boosting funding to public programs in libraries, including baby bounce, rhyme time and storytelling sessions
- A literacy toolkit for parents and caregivers of young children
- A statewide awareness campaign
- Enabling library staff to partner with local early childhood sector workers
- Central coordination, support and evaluation from the State Library of Queensland
This initiative expands on the programs that we have already introduced into schools to improve the learning environment and boost outcomes for students, including Great Results Guarantee and Great Teachers = Great Results.
There are about 68,000 children born in Queensland every year and we are committed to providing them with the best start in life possible.
Details about the Best Start program can be found at slq.qld.gov.au/best-start-qld.