In 2003, funding of $4.9m was committed as a result of the Child First policy to deliver the Kindergarten IT Project. The project rolled out of Information Technology infrastructure and helpdesk support, systems maintenance and internet connectivity to eligible community based, not for profit kindergarten programs. In 2005, eligibility to access the project was extended to include kindergarten cluster management organisations. Participation in the project is optional.
Project Objectives and Scope
The Kindergarten IT Project objectives aims to:
- Establish IT infrastructure to assist teachers in the development and exchange of learning materials and recording;
- Contribute to the professional development of kindergarten teachers and assistants and enhance their access to research in relation to child development;
- Establish an IT infrastructure that will enhance the management of kindergartens and reduce the workload on management committees; and
- Contribute to the sustainability of kindergartens by providing for the better management of records including budget and finance.
The scope of the Kindergarten IT Project includes:
- Purchase and installation of information technology equipment at up to 1300 community based, not-for-profit kindergartens;
- Install and maintain internet connections at eligible kindergartens including broadband connections where possible and appropriate at the time of installation
- To provide introductory training in the use of computer software and the internet for kindergarten teachers, assistants and committees of management if required.
- To provide help desk and remote technology assistance to kindergarten teachers, assistants and nominated members of Committees of Management.
Current Stage of the Kindergarten IT Project
Funding of $4m over four years was allocated in the 2007/2008 State Budget to continue provision of IT services to kindergartens.
This funding commitment will continue to focus on the original objectives of the project, while also extending the provision of services as outlined in the original scope i.e., the provision of internet connectivity, systems maintenance, helpdesk support function, practical training in the use of computers and software. In addition to extending services provided in the first funding period, this stage of the project will also provide for the:
- Purchase and installation of information technology equipment at 40 new children’s centres
- Purchase and installation information technology equipment for 20 new cluster managers or kindergarten services
- Purchase of 40 new workstations to assist in maintaining the existing fleet.
The overall objective of the project is to reduce the isolation of kindergarten teachers and to promote the linking of kindergartens to other children’s services.