The Victorian Government is continuing to build and upgrade early learning facilities across the state as it “gets on with delivering universal three-year-old kinder”, one of the core election promises of 2018.
Premier Daniel Andrews visited Bridgewood Integrated Child and Family Centre in Officer earlier this week to announce $21.1 million in capital grant funding as part of the Labor Government’s Children’s Facilities Capital Program.
Local government organisations and not-for-profit early childhood service providers will receive major grant funding of up to $2 million for 26 projects that will deliver new and upgraded services right across the state, the Premier said.
Projects receiving funding include a new Integrated Children’s Centre for Cardinia Shire Council in Officer which will include at least 66 kindergarten places, integrated into long day care, maternal child health services, allied health services for early years, family services, and a range of other community centre offerings.
A further 33 kindergarten services will get to undertake minor infrastructure projects with grants of up to $50,000, while nearly 400 services will receive information technology grants of up to $1,500 to buy items such as desktops, laptops and tablets.
This builds on $3.8 million in grants that was recently announced for the areas that will be the first to roll-out three-year-old kindergarten in 2020 and 2021.
Three-year-old kinder will roll out progressively across the state, with families in 21 regional local government areas to benefit in 2020 and 2021. This will be expanded in 2022 to give three-year-olds across the rest of the state access to five hours of funded kindergarten, before being scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029.
The Labor Government will invest more than $1.6 billion in total over the next decade to build approximately 785 new kinders and expand 170 existing services.
Premier Andrews said “Kinder is so important for a child’s education and their opportunities in life – but to get the most out of it, they need good facilities. That’s what these grants are all about.”
For more information about the commitments made by the Victorian Government, please see here.