Inclusive Kindergartens on the cards for Victoria with new funding round now open
Kindergarten programs across Victoria are set to benefit from $6 million in funding under the Inclusive Kindergarten Facilities Program, designed to support more kindergartens to upgrade their playgrounds and buildings and buy new equipment to support children with additional needs.
Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino, joined the Member for Northcote, Kat Theophanous, yesterday at Annie Dennis Children’s Centre in Northcote to launch the new funding round which will allow services to create and update safe and inclusive environments for children with additional needs.
Applications are open for Victorian kindergartens to apply for up to $200,000 to upgrade their buildings or playgrounds to become more inclusive for children of all abilities. Grants of up to $10,000 are also available to buy equipment such as adjustable desks and chairs, moveable wheelchair ramps and soft padding for outdoor areas.
Annie Denis Children’s Centre has received more than $68,000 to redevelop their playground space, which will have a nature play focus and provide accessible learning spaces to support the needs of the centre’s children.
More than 260 Kindergarten programs have already received funding to upgrade their buildings and playgrounds or purchase inclusive equipment though the first rounds of the Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program.
The $6 million investment forms part of the record $473.2 million investment in early childhood infrastructure, over five years, committed by the Victorian Government, and designed to support the sector’s inclusion objectives..
Mr Merlino said investing in inclusive spaces was not just about accessibility for all children, but also about ensuring the grounds and spaces where children learn and play encourage learning, curiosity and imagination.
“Every child deserves a great kinder in their local community. That’s why we are working with the sector and making significant investments, so kinders meet the needs of all children.” he said.