Establishing a State Delivered Kindergarten procedure

Version number 1.1 | Version effective 02 February 2023


Establishing a State Delivered Kindergarten procedure




This procedure outlines the responsibilities and processes for the establishment of State Delivered Kindergarten (SDK) at a state school.


The Department of Education (the department) is the provider of kindergarten where there is market failure, unique challenges experienced by families in accessing kindergarten or non-viability in geographically isolated communities.

This procedure sets out the mandatory administrative and operational processes required to support the approval and establishment of SDK at a school. The decision points and practical steps vary depending on two key SDK eligibility criteria. State Delivered Kindergarten is offered in schools located at least 40 kilometres by road from the nearest approved kindergarten (distance criterion), in a selected, discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community or other selected communities where there have been barriers to accessing kindergarten (access criterion).

The Queensland Government (acting through the department) is the Approved Provider of SDKs regulated by the Education and Care Services National Law 2010 (National Law). The department is also the Provider for the purposes of SDK delivered under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (Qld) (ECS Act).

This procedure should be read in conjunction with the:


Deputy Director-General, Early Childhood Division

  • delegates Executive Directors and Directors to co-lead community and sector consultation to determine need for SDK
  • endorses brief seeking Ministerial approval to establish SDKs in state schools
  • approves funding to assist regions to provide support to principals to meet legislative obligations and deliver SDK.

Regional Directors

  • with regional Early Childhood, Education Services and SDK teams, facilitate internal and community consultation to determine need for SDK
  • provide advice on suitability of school environment for the younger kindergarten cohort
  • direct regional resources required to support principals and school staff to deliver a kindergarten program
  • take leadership and supervisory responsibility for all schools delivering SDK under the National Law in their region as the representative of the approved provider.

Executive Director Early Childhood Division

  • liaise with regional directors to support monitoring and collection of kindergarten participation data and identify unique issues for children accessing kindergarten in a local community
  • support the regions to co-lead community and sector consultation.

Directors ECEC or Education Services

  • assist Regional Senior Advisors, SDK, to provide support to all SDKs in their region

Regional Senior Advisors SDK

  • report to RDs any local issues and emergent trends pertaining to SDK compliance with the National Law
  • provide operational support to the RD and principals delivering SDK in their region
  • deliver induction and ongoing training to new principals and new regional leaders to build their capability in the context of SDK


  • participate in community consultation to determine need for kindergarten and hours of program delivery
  • liaise with Regional Senior Advisor SDK to meet legislative obligations
  • liaise with Regional Senior Advisor SDK and Infrastructure Services Division representatives to determine any required changes to school facilities to support children's safety when establishing an SDK
  • make local decisions that support the leadership, supervision, teaching and learning in their school, including the delivery of SDK.


Step 1 – Kindergarten access issues identified

The eligibility for schools to deliver SDK is first assessed on criteria of distance or barriers to access.

Distance criterion

  • Regional regulatory team receives written notification from a service provider of their intention to cease delivery of an approved kindergarten program, and notifies Director ECEC and Education Services.
  • EC staff assess nearby schools to decide on a school's eligibility for SDK delivery under distance criterion of being located at least 40 kilometres by road from the nearest approved kindergarten program.

Community access criterion

  • ED EC liaises with regional offices on an ongoing basis to collect and monitor kindergarten participation data and identify unique issues for children accessing kindergarten in a local community.
  • Regions and EC undertake an analysis of a range of school and community data including:
    • enrolment numbers
    • Socio-Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA) rating
    • participation data
    • Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data
    • percentage of children and families identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
    • history of local early childhood services
    • distance from the school to the nearest kindergarten program provider
    • predicted impact to viability of existing services and community, and
    • opportunities for implementing bespoke delivery models to improve access to kindergarten.
  • Regional Director makes a formal submission to EC identifying unique community access issues and data considerations.
  • The Deputy Director-General, Early Childhood (DDG EC) decides whether to enter the consultation phase based on:
    • the outcome of data analysis
    • review of the submission, and
    • discussions with regional leadership teams.
  • The DDG EC delegates appropriate staff to manage the consultation phase and documentation.

Step 2 – Information sharing or consultation

Distance criterion – information sharing

  • EC liaises with regional RD to delegate communication of the prescription process to the Principal.

Community access criterion – consultation

  • EC liaises with regional leadership team to determine consultation process.
  • Regional leadership teams liaise with the Principal to conduct community consultation.
  • Feedback from consultation is collated by the regional Early Childhood Director and progressed to EC.
  • The DDG EC reviews feedback and decides whether to progress a recommendation for SDK to the Minister.

Step 3 – Approvals and prescription

Ministerial approval is required for a school to deliver kindergarten.

  • EC:
    • seeks Ministerial approval for SDK to be established at the school; and
    • arranges for the school to be prescribed to deliver kindergarten under the Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2017.
  • Once prescribed, EC instructs region to notify the school of their approval to deliver kindergarten.
  • Principal advises the school community that the school is approved to deliver kindergarten.

Step 4 – Preparation for delivery

Following prescription, the Principal, supported by the Regional Senior Advisor SDK:

  • consults with the school community to determine the hours of kindergarten delivery in order to meet the requirement of providing 600 hours over the school year
  • commences accepting registrations for eligible kindergarten age children in the community using the approved kindergarten registration form
  • liaises with departmental representatives and regional support staff to conduct a review of school facilities and make recommendations for minor works projects, if required, to ensure suitability for younger cohort and enable access for children and families with disability
  • prepares to meet legislative obligations for all delivery models, assisted by regional support staff
  • completes, and supports staff to complete, the SDK induction program which includes the suite of nationally required documents to meet legislative requirements
  • engages with families and communicates the SDK operating hours, establishes and prepares a kindergarten learning space supported by regional staff.

Regional SDK staff:

  • deliver the SDK induction program which includes the suite of nationally required documents to meet legislative requirements
  • support the Principal to prepare to meet legislative obligations including submitting a service approval application (if required), preparing for site visits by the Regulatory Authority and/or departmental representatives
  • support the Principal to review all school facilities to ensure suitability for kindergarten aged children and ensure disability access for all children and families
  • provide guidance and advice to schools to create connections with local Early Childhood Development Programs and state-wide and regional multidisciplinary specialist supports to support school staff to provide equitable access to kindergarten and support children with disabilities or diverse learning needs
  • request access to the QLearn for school staff and support preparation of nationally required documentation
  • support the Principal to make reasonable adjustments to enable children with additional needs to meaningfully participate in kindergarten on the same basis as their peers
  • liaise with EC to support establishment of SDK at the school.




Approved provider

A person/entity who holds a provider approval (National Law). A provider approval authorises a person to apply for one or more service approvals and is valid in all jurisdictions.  The State of Queensland (Acting through the Department of Education) is the Approved Provider for SDK.

Composite class setting

Integrated delivery of kindergarten in a classroom where full‑time education is being delivered to school children.


A part-time early childhood educational program for children in the year before Prep.

Kindergarten child

A child who will be 4 years old by 30 June in the year proposed for the child’s participation in SDK.

Non-composite class setting

Delivery of a kindergarten program in a purpose-built kindergarten building/classroom established to accommodate kindergarten children only.

National Quality Framework

National system for regulating early learning and school age care. The framework consists of the National Law, National Regulations, National Quality Standard, approved learning frameworks and assessment and rating conducted by the Regulatory Authority.

National Quality Standard

The NQS sets a national benchmark for the quality of education and care services and includes seven quality areas that are important to positive outcomes for children.

Prescribed state school

As per section 419A of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (EGPA), a prescribed school is:

  • a state school that immediately before the commencement of section 419A in 2009 was providing a program:
    • focused on literacy and numeracy for preparing a child for education in the preparatory year; and
    • approved by the Minister for the school; or
  • a state school prescribed under a regulation.

The EGPA provides the Minister may approve a program focused on literacy and numeracy for preparing a child for education in the preparatory year, to be a kindergarten learning program for a prescribed state school. In order for a state school to commence delivery of a kindergarten learning program, it must be prescribed in a regulation.

State Delivered Kindergarten (SDK)

The program under which prescribed schools operate face-to-face kindergarten in either a composite or non-composite class setting.



  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

1.0 Establishing a State Delivered Kindergarten

Review date

23 January 2026
Attribution CC BY

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