Three year old Kindergarten on the way for Buloke and Northern Grampians
Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education, Sonya Kilkenny, joined children, educators and teachers at Charlton and District Kindergarten and Sea Lake Kindergarten in Buloke and St Arnaud Early Learning Centre in Northern Grampians yesterday, to mark the first enrolments for funded three-year-old kinder programs.
The three year old Kindergarten openings are part of the $5 billion commitment made by the Victorian Government to deliver 15 hours of funded kindergarten programs to three-year-old children in Victoria over the next decade.
Buloke and Northern Grampians are among six regional local government areas – including Hindmarsh, South Gippsland, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack – that will be the first in the state to offer up to 15 hours a week of funded three-year-old kindergarten programs in 2020.
Early childhood services such as St Arnaud Early Learning Centre, Charlton and District Kindergarten and Sea Lake Kindergarten are gearing up to introduce this historic reform, with enrolments already open across the region.
The roll-out will continue progressively across the state, with families in a further 15 regional local government areas to benefit in 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.
In total, over $880 million has been invested by the Victorian Government in the 2019/20 Budget in support of the three-year-old kinder roll-out, as part of a broader $4.1 billion investment in education – from kindergarten to tertiary.
This investment includes $92.4 million to support early childhood educators through more professional development, mentoring and financial assistance. As part of these initiatives, financial incentives of up to $9,000 are available to attract early childhood teachers to the initial six roll-out areas, with applications now open online.
Ms Kilkenny said it was an exciting time for families in Buloke and Northern Grampians, who “can now enrol their children in funded universal three-year-old kindergarten programs for the very first time.”
More information about the investment by the Victorian Government in three year old kindergarten may be found here.