Victorian landmark funding commitment
The Andrews Labor Government has guaranteed every Victorian child has access to a great kinder, and that early childhood teachers will have the training and support they need as they include $1 billion in the 2019/20 Victorian Budget for early childhood education, as part of a $4 billion investment in education – from kindergartens and schools through to higher education and TAFE.
The budget kickstarts the rollout of universal access to kindergarten programs for all three and four year old’s. Due to finish rolling out by 2029, it will guarantee 15 hours of subsidised early childhood education for all three year old children, starting in regional Victoria.
State Minister for Education, James Merlino, says “the rollout of three year old kinder will start next year, and there will be more investment in teacher training so our kids continue to get first class support.”
The budget builds on an earlier $135.9 million investment in early childhood education in 2018/19, which includes $17.9 million for teachers to deliver language classes in about 160 kindergartens across the state.
The commitment, which is an Australian first, has been welcomed by industry figures and peak bodies, with Early Childhood Management Services Chief Executive Officer, Kim Bertino, saying “We commend the Andrews Labor Government for this evidence informed policy reform and commitment to a long term, insightful investment to support the roll out of three year old subsidised kindergarten.”
“Ninety percent of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years of life. The Victorian Government’s investment in early education will provide children and their families access to two years of quality, inclusive, age appropriate, play based learning to ensure all children get the early education they need to flourish and set them up for life.”