$160 million School Readiness Funding initiative announced in Victoria
Nearly 30,000 children will benefit from programs and additional resources in 2020, following an announcement late last week by the Victorian Government, who committed $160 million to the School Readiness Funding initiative.
The initiative, an Australian first, will be expanded to approximately 800 kindergartens in 32 local government areas in 2020 – with services in Hume, Greater Shepparton, Mitchell, Moira, Moreland, Murrindindi and Strathbogie to receive School Readiness Funding for the first time.
Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education Sonya Minister visited Gowrie Victoria Broadmeadows Valley Early Learning Centre to announce the funding, with children at the site to benefit from an additional $141,000 next year.
School Readiness Funding can be used in a variety of ways, such as on programs that will improve children’s language development, social and emotional resilience and support access and inclusion in kindergarten.
Kindergarten services will be able to tap into the expertise of speech and occupational therapists, language and literacy professionals and child psychologists.
The $160 million in funding will be delivered over the next four years, and is available to all funded kindergarten programs for three and four-year-old children, in both long day care and sessional kindergarten settings in Victoria.
School Readiness Funding will be made available in the first instance to Kindergartens in the six local government areas where funded three-year-old programs will be rolled out first in 2020. All kindergartens in the 25 local government areas that received School Readiness Funding this year will continue to benefit from the funding next year.
Member for Broadmedows, Frank McGuire, said “We want every child reaching their full potential. This funding is a wonderful investment in ensuring they get that chance.”
The funding is a permanent part of Victoria’s early education system, and will be available to all Victorian funded kindergarten services by 2021 to address educational disadvantage.
More information about School Readiness Funding in Victoria may be accessed here.