Wednesday, 18 December 2019

The Andrews Labor Government is building new and upgrading early learning facilities across the state, as it gets on with delivering universal three-year-old kinder.

Premier Daniel Andrews visited Bridgewood Integrated Child and Family Centre in Officer today to announce $21.1 million in capital grant funding as part of the Labor Government’s Children’s Facilities Capital Program.

Local government organisations and not-for-profit early childhood service providers will receive major grant funding of up to $2 million for 26 projects that will deliver new and upgraded services right across the state.

Projects receiving funding include a new Integrated Children’s Centre for Cardinia Shire Council in Officer which will include at least 66 kindergarten places, integrated into long day care, maternal child health services, allied health services for early years, family services, and a range of other community centre offerings.

A further 33 kindergarten services will get to undertake minor infrastructure projects with grants of up to $50,000, while nearly 400 services will receive information technology grants of up to $1,500 to buy items such as desktops, laptops and tablets.

This builds on $3.8 million in grants that was recently announced for the areas that will be the first to roll-out three-year-old kindergarten in 2020 and 2021.

In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing nearly $5 billion over the next ten years to deliver two years of funded kindergarten for all Victorian children – ensuring our kids get the best start in life, while also helping the cost of living for Victorian families.

Three-year-old kinder will roll out progressively across the state, with families in 21 regional LGAs to benefit in 2020 and 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 Labor Government will invest more than $1.6 billion over the next decade to build approximately 785 new kinders and expand 170 existing services.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews 

“Kinder is so important for a child’s education and their opportunities in life – but to get the most out of it, they need good facilities. That’s what these grants are all about.” 

“Universal three-year-old kinder will save families money and help ensure every child is ready for school and ready for life.” 

Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services as part of our historic $5 billion investment in delivering funded three-year-old kinder.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“We are investing in kindergarten infrastructure which will help provide more spaces for children in communities like Officer.”