Evaluating the Queensland KindyLinQ Pilot Program

23 Jun 2021

Research shows that engaging parents in the education of their children at home and at school has a direct impact on student outcomes. As a result, the Queensland Department of Education has designed the KindyLinQ program to encourage parents to participate in play-based learning sessions with their child to improve wellbeing and learning outcomes.

Adapted from a similar program in Western Australia, KindyLinQ is free and provides six hours of facilitated playgroup per week for each family. It has been designed for 3-year-old children and their families to develop skills in socialising and managing emotions, as well as developing language to ensure children can effectively communicate their ideas and needs, both now and into the future.

KindyLinQ is currently active in 40 schools across Queensland and involves a registered teacher and an Early Years Support Coordinator to help the children develop essential skills needed to transition to kindergarten.

Through Social Ventures Australia’s Evidence for Learning (E4L) Program, and the Queensland Department of Education, Professor Karen Thorpe and her team have been engaged to assess the feasibility of the KindyLinQ program, as well as enablers and barriers of engagement of children and families from within the community.

The evaluation is utilising a mixed-methods approach which includes:

  • baseline and end-of-year survey data from Principals, Deputy Principals, KindyLinQ Teachers, and Early Years Support Coordinators in the participating schools;
  • survey data from parents and a play-based activity with children attending the KindyLinQ program; and
  • in-depth interviews with randomly selected schools and Queensland Department of Education’s Regional staff.

The evaluation is focused on short-term outcomes, with medium and long-term outcomes being outside the scope of this current phase. Future studies will be required to assess child and family outcomes.

TERM: October 2020 – May 2022

TEAM: ISSR: Professor Karen Thorpe, Dr Cassandra Pattinson, Dr Sally Staton, Dr Azhar Potia, Dr Laetitia Coles, Dr Sandy Houen, Ryan Menner, Emma Cooke, Zhaoxi Zheng