The biggest reform of early childhood education is ever closer, as the Andrews Labor Government gets on with upgrading kinders and supporting new teachers as part of the landmark roll-out of funded Three-Year-Old Kinder.
Premier Daniel Andrews today joined kids, teachers, educators and staff at Charlton and District Kindergarten to announce a $9.2 million package to support early childhood teachers at the beginning of their careers, as we continue rolling out our historic $5 billion decade-long reform to deliver a full 15 hours of Three-Year-Old Kinder.
Three-Year-Old Kinder is expected to create around 6,000 jobs. More than 4,000 additional kinder teachers and more than 2,000 additional early childhood educators are needed as the program expands state-wide.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 invested $92.4 million towards supporting, training and recruiting the teachers and educators we need, including scholarships of up to $34,000 for those studying an early childhood teaching qualification and incentive payments of up to $9,000 for those who choose to teach in roll-out areas.
And to ensure our early childhood services have the educators of the future, the Labor Government has added the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Certificate III in Early Childhood Education to the Free TAFE list.
The Labor Government’s $9.2 million New Workforce Package will give new early childhood teaching graduates the professional development and mentoring support they need to thrive and stay in the sector.
The new package will include grants of up to $2,872 to support Provisionally Registered Teachers progress to full registration, which can be challenging for those in standalone kinders and in more rural locations where they are often some distance from experienced mentors to support them through the process.
The Labor Government will boost professional development and networking opportunities with funds to support conferences for our newest teachers. And to ensure the very best placement opportunities in our kinders, this package includes $2.8 million for new partnerships between our universities and the early childhood sector.
While at the kindergarten, the Premier also announced a grant worth almost $1.2 million as part of the Children’s Facilities and Capital Program. The project will redevelop the centre with two extra rooms that will provide an integrated kindergarten program and Maternal and Child Health facilities.
Three-Year-Old Kindergarten is starting in 2020 in six regional local government areas – South Gippsland, Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack, with 15 more LGAs set to join in 2021.
As noted by Premier Daniel Andrews
“We said we’d deliver three-year-old kinder, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. This will give kids the very best start in life and save families money on the cost of early childhood education.”
“The upgrade at Charlton and District Kinder will give educators the best facilities to help kids learn and grow.”
As noted by Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education Sonya Kilkenny
“It is wonderful to be back here in Charlton where next year local families will be among the first in the state to benefit from funded three-year-old kindergarten and to announce the upgraded facilities they need.”