Victoria outlines plans to support Kindergartens through bushfire recovery
Additional support will be provided for families, children, students and teachers affected by the ongoing bushfires as the 2020 school year commences,Victorian Minister for Education, James Merlino, announced this morning.
Communities most impacted by the bushfires, including the Alpine, East Gippsland or Towong local government areas will benefit from the $13.45 million package.
While the package makes provision for supporting school aged children through measures such as subsidised camps and excursions, and additional mental health support including psychologists and social workers, there are also measures which impact the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, such as $3.8 million to establish a Trauma Recovery Team to provide the trauma response support to affected schools and kindergarten services.
Specific to ECEC, the package also includes $650,000 in kindergarten fee subsidies to help families access free or low-cost Four-Year-Old Kindergarten program. This will apply to families of children who are residents of or attending a funded kindergarten service in the Alpine, East Gippsland or Towong areas.
Additional support will also be provided across the Ararat, Ballarat, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Indigo, Mansfield, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Southern Grampians, Wangaratta, Wellington and Wodonga local government areas based against eligibility criteria.
These initiatives build on a $2.5 million support package already announced to help school students from bushfire-affected areas with the cost of items such as uniforms, books and stationery.
For more information on these initiatives, visit education.vic.gov.au.