Victoria will provide all three-year-old children access to subsidised kinder which acknowledges the importance of early childhood education and helps with the cost of bringing up children.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 invests $881.6 million in the rollout, which will give children access to two years of subsidised kinder programs delivered by a teacher before starting school.
The program will transform early childhood education and help families struggling with the cost of living, saving some of Victoria's most disadvantaged families around $5000 a year.
The Budget includes $473.2 million for early childhood infrastructure, which will support the sector to invest in new and expanded kindergarten facilities.
And it invests $92.4 million to support early childhood teachers and educators through more professional development, mentoring and scholarships, so children continue have access to highly-trained teachers.
To ensure there are enough kinder teachers, the government has added the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, and Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care to the Free TAFE list.
As the state-wide roll out is planned, every kinder and long day care facility will be surveyed about their existing infrastructure and workforce capacity. The government will work with local councils and the sector to co-invest in the infrastructure needed.
The roll-out of three-year-old kindergarten prioritises regional Victoria, starting next year in six local government areas – Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, South Gippsland, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack – before expanding to a further 15 regional LGAs in 2021.
The roll-out will continue across the state progressively. From 2022, all Victorian three-year-olds will have access to five hours of kindergarten. This will be scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029.
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