The Andrews Labor Government is providing greater certainty for families and kindergarten staff in rural Victoria, with an additional $500,000 in funding for small rural kindergarten services.

Harriet Shing, Member for Eastern Victoria Region, today announced that a new base level of funding for very small rural services with eight or fewer children enrolled will be introduced from 2016.

For Victoria’s smallest kindergartens this will provide up to $33,000 to help keep their services strong and viable in the face of fluctuating enrolments.

The following kinders in Gippsland had 14 or fewer enrolments in 2015, and may benefit from these changes:

  • Erica Kindergarten
  • Willow Grove Kindergarten
  • Thorpdale Kindergarten
  • Buchan Early Childhood Development Centre
  • Cann Valley Community Kindergarten
  • Swifts Creek Kindergarten
  • Save the Children Kindergarten – Nowa Nowa
  • Omeo Kindergarten
  • Bruthen Kindergarten
  • Toora Kindergarten
  • Welshpool Kindergarten
  • Gormandale Kindergarten
  • Briagolong Kindergarten & Occasional Care Centre

In November, the Labor Government announced that further support will be targeted to families and kindergartens experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of the drought.

This funding boost will be on top of the higher funding rates already available to kindergarten services operating in rural areas.

The current rates are in recognition of the challenges faced by these communities, particularly relating to their smaller population base.

This support is part of the Labor Government’s commitment to make Victoria the Education State, ensuring families can access high quality early years education and care regardless of their postcode.

Quotes attributable to Harriet Shing, Member for Eastern Victoria Region

“Operating a kindergarten service in a rural or remote area can be challenging, particularly when enrolments shift from year to year.”

“We are helping families and staff at small rural kindergartens, throughout Gippsland, by providing certainty to shore up their services and plan for the future.”

“We are making Victoria the Education State – this means making sure Victorian families can access high quality early childhood education and care – no matter where they live.”