Friday, 29 June 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is leading the way to ensure all Victorian children – including kids in Wonthaggi – are ready for school, with new funding to revolutionise early learning and development.

In an Australian first, young Victorians will get extra support to make sure they get the most out of their early education, with more resources flowing to kindergartens to enrich their programs and boost children’s learning and development outcomes.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos today visited White Road Kindergarten to discuss the funding and what it will mean for children at White Road Kindergarten – as well as their future young students.

The $58.1 million school readiness funding will provide Victorian kindergartens with funding to access a range of supports, resources and experts including speech therapists and language and literacy experts.

Kindergarten services in 25 local government areas will be eligible for funding next year – including Bass Coast Shire – 20 of them in rural or regional areas. Kindergartens operated by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation in Victoria will also be able to access the funding from 2019.

One in five Victorian children starts school developmentally vulnerable and research shows early learning can improve children’s chances of succeeding at school. Children who have been to kindergarten score between 10 to 20 points higher on NAPLAN tests than children who have not.

It’s the first time school readiness funding has been made available to kindergartens, making sure children get the most out of kindergarten and start school on track.

It will become a permanent part of the Victorian kindergarten system and will boost kinder funding by 10 per cent when fully rolled out. All kindergartens will receive the new funding by 2021.

The innovative program forms part of the Labor Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, which is focused on getting the most out of early learning, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“We want every child reaching their full potential – this funding is about ensuring they get that chance.”

“We know the powerful effect that a quality early learning program can have on a child’s future life. We want more Victorian children to experience all the benefits kindergarten offers.”

“I’m delighted to visit White Road Kindergarten and to have the chance to discuss the ways school readiness funding will help Wonthaggi kids get even more out of their kinder experience.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This funding means schools in Wonthaggi will have the support they need to make sure students get the best start in life and in their education.”