Thursday 27th September, 2018

Latrobe Valley kids of all abilities will find learning and playing easier while at kinder, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos and Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing, have announced 42 kinders will benefit from the latest round of the Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program.

The program helps kinders become more accessible and inclusive for kids of all abilities by upgrading their buildings or playgrounds or to buy things like adjustable desks and chairs, moveable wheelchair ramps and soft padding for outdoor areas.

So far, a total 258 grants worth $6.4 million have been distributed to dozens of Victorian kinders.

Carinya Early Learning Centre in Morwell is one of the lucky kinders who receive $200,000 to redesign the Centre’s playground to meet the needs of all children attending the Preschool. The playground will include both large active spaces, smaller detailed spaces for respite with rich sensory experiences, and be accessible to all children.

Elizabeth Wilmot Kindergarten in Morwell will receive $200,000 to upgrade their outdoor play space to encourage social inclusion in outdoor play.

The Labor Government has invested a record $123.6 million to build, expand and improve early years infrastructure across Victoria to ensure local families can continue to access great local kindergartens.

It has led to an additional 8,250 kindergarten places for 3- and 4-year-olds, as well as hundreds of new and revamped early learning facilities and playgroups since 2014.

It builds on the Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, which recognises the importance of giving families support in early childhood so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“No child should be left behind – we’re making kinders and playgrounds more accessible for kids of all abilities.”

“We’re improving kindergarten infrastructure across the state so that children of all abilities can make the most out of their time at kinder.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“Building the Education State starts with the early years – and families right across Victoria and here in the Latrobe Valley will get to reap the benefits of this funding.”

“We want our littlest Victorians to get the support they need and enjoy world-class and welcoming environments, no matter where they go to kinder.”