Kindy kids keen for solar power

Teacher Julie Kavanagh, along with students, is excited for the centre to be fitted with solar panels.
Teacher Julie Kavanagh, along with students, is excited for the centre to be fitted with solar panels.

KINDERGARTENS around Queensland are turning green with the State Government’s $5.76 million Solar Kindergarten Installation Program.

Education Minister Cameron Dick announced 166 Creche and Kindergarten Association community kindergartens will be retro-fitted with solar power units from April.

Emerald Preschool and Community Kindergarten and Borilla Community Kindergarten, along with C&K kindergartens in Blackwater, Capella, Springsure and Tieri, were among those chosen for the solar panels.

The staff at the Emerald Preschool and Community Kindergarten welcomed the news and were excited to be chosen.

“It’s very exciting,” Emerald Preschool and Community Kindergarten teacher Julie Kavanagh said.

“The solar panels work in beautifully with our sustainable environment theme with our veggie patch and chooks.”

Julie said the theme at the centre was to be sustainable to teach the children of the future to go green.

“Kindergartens play an important role in a child’s development and this program will help make them more sustainable over time, both financially and environmentally,” Education Minister Cameron Dick said.

“I am pleased that these C&K services throughout Queensland will receive solar power units to help create sustainable learning and play environments for our children.

“As well as reducing the amount of greenhouse gases produced by each kindergarten, these solar panels will help reduce the service’s annual electricity bills by up to $400.

“This is good news for parents and kindergarten operators, who will be able to use the savings for more resources for children.”

Mr Dick said the program was a collaborative effort between the Queensland Government and C&K.

As well as providing solar power to the C&K sites, the State Government will also install 1.5kW solar panels at up to 240 new kindergarten services.

“These new services will be provided on top of the existing C&K services, meaning that within four years, almost 400 kindergartens in Queensland could be powered by the sun,” Mr Dick said.

“These solar installations will generate enough energy to power 125 Queensland homes and save 877 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to taking almost 200 cars off the road.

“This program builds on the government’s Solar Schools program, which has resulted in solar panels being installed in 1164, or more than 94%, of all state schools in the past three years. The remainder should be completed by June 30 this year.”

C&K chief executive officer Barrie Elvish enthusiastically welcomed the Queensland Government’s initiative.

“C&K kindies are operated on a not-for-profit basis and the solar scheme will not only reduce the ongoing electricity costs but also sets a good, environmentally sustainable example for the children who attend,” he said.

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