Funding to support Victorian children get the most out of Kindergarten
The De Garis Kindergarten in Mildura has received $230,000 in school readiness funding through the Victorian Government, which will be implemented alongside the construction of a new $189,400 inclusive playgroup underway.
The existing playground is being upgraded to be more engaging, interactive, and meet the needs of all the children in the centre. The sensory garden will include a mud kitchen, play equipment, water play features, yarning circle, landscaping and new ramps and paths.
The school readiness funding will be used to hire additional teaching staff, enrich children’s language development, and social and emotional wellbeing, and to run a breakfast club to provide free and healthy meals to children.
Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “This school readiness funding will provide extra support for local families and their kids at a crucial time in their lives.”
Families in the centre will be supported by the establishment of a book lending library, and through training of staff to better support children who have experienced trauma.
Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino, said “We know that quality early childhood services give children a better start in life and that’s why we’re making unprecedented investments in the early years.”
Pakenham Kindergarten has also benefited from the funding pool, with the centre recently undergoing a refurbishment worth more than $650,000. The redevelopment has made way from a revamped entrance, extension to the outdoor undercover area, improved bathroom facilities, and access for children of all abilities while maintaining the original heritage facade of the building.
Also in the Pakenham area, Henry Family Children’s Centre and Lakeside Children’s Centre both received around $80,000 in needs-based school readiness funding. They are among 580 kindergarten services across 25 local government areas in Victoria to receive school readiness funding in 2019.
By 2021, around 2,400 kindergartens in Victoria will benefit from the funding.
The kindergartens receiving the funding can also use it to engage professionals such as speech pathologists and literacy experts to work in partnership with educators and families to support language development.
More information about the funding streams can be found on the Victorian Department of Education website.