Families will soon be able to access a new one-stop-shop bringing together kinder, school and family services at a single location, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing visited Morwell Central Primary School to announce a further $1.6 million of funding to build an integrated children’s centre at the school.
The Labor Government is contributing a total of $4.9 million towards the new facility which will deliver early childhood services such as three and four-year-old kindergarten, long day care, Maternal and Child Health services and multipurpose rooms for playgroups and other community activities.
In partnering with the Colman Foundation and Goodstart, this additional funding will create a fully integrated and comprehensive service for local families. Having an early learning centre at the school means drop-off times will be easier for parents of young children, while also providing greater support for children in their transition from kindergarten to school.
The project is one of more than 50 projects to be funded through the 2018-19 Children’s Facilities Capital Program, delivering top class early facilities so children can make the most out of their early years education.
It comes as Labor announces its plan to build 785 new kinders and upgrade 170 more if re-elected, as part of its almost $5 billion three-year-old kinder reform. Under a re-elected Andrews Labor Government, every Victorian child will have access to at least five hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder by 2022, progressively scaled up to 15 hours per week over the next decade.
It represents good news for families struggling with the cost of living. Right now, many are forced to scrimp and save to cover the costs of three-year-old kinder – around $5000 a year for 15 hours – while the vast majority see their kids miss out.
But under Labor’s plan, around a quarter of Victorian families will pay nothing at all.
This will be the largest social, economic and educational reform ever undertaken in early childhood learning in Victoria’s history.
As stated by Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos
“Universal access to three-year-old kinder is an Australian-first and make no mistake, this will change lives.”
“We’ve promised to rollout three-year-old kinder if re-elected and we’re backing it up, undertaking the biggest early education build our state has ever seen. Only Labor will make sure kids get the opportunities they deserve.”
As noted by Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“This is another really important step forward for local families – this new hub will provide more kinder places, easier access to Maternal and Child Health services and also improve access to playgroups and parent groups to help our littlest Gippslanders to thrive.”