Three-year-old Kindergarten is just around the corner for children living in Hindmarsh, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s landmark early childhood education reform.
Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education Sonya Kilkenny today joined children, educators and teachers at Dimboola Kindergarten to mark the first enrolments for funded three-year-old kinder programs.
In an Australian first, the Labor Government has committed almost $5 billion to deliver 15 hours of funded kindergarten programs to three-year-old children in Victoria over the next decade.
Hindmarsh is among six regional local government areas – including Buloke, Northern Grampians, South Gippsland, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack – that will be the first in the state to offer up to 15 hours a week of funded three-year-old kindergarten programs in 2020.
Early childhood services such as Dimboola Kindergarten are gearing up to introduce this historic reform, with enrolments already open across dozens of providers.
The roll-out will continue progressively across the state, with families in a further 15 regional LGAs to benefit in 2021. This will be expanded in 2022 to give three-year-olds across the rest of the state access to five hours of funded kindergarten, before being scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 invested $881.6 million in the three-year-old kinder roll-out, as part of a sweeping $4.1 billion investment in education – from kinders and schools through to higher education and TAFE.
This includes $92.4 million to support early childhood teachers and educators through more professional development, mentoring and financial assistance, so children continue to have access to highly trained teachers.
As part of these initiatives, financial incentives of up to $9,000 are available to attract early childhood teachers to the initial six roll-out areas, with applications now open online at www.education.vic.gov.au/ecscholarships
Our investment in three-year-old kinder also includes $473.2 million for early childhood infrastructure, which will support the sector to co-invest in new and expanded kindergarten facilities, when and where they are needed most.
The reforms will also help families struggling with the cost of living, saving low income families in Victoria around $5,000 a year for a 15-hour-a-week kindergarten sessional place.
As stated by Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education Sonya Kilkenny
“It’s such an exciting time for families in Hindmarsh, who are able to enrol their children in funded universal three-year-old kindergarten programs for the first time.”
“I encourage parents to contact their local services, enrol their children and be part of this important initiative.”
As stated by Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford
“It’s wonderful to see Wimmera communities at the forefront of this historic reform.”