Victoria commits to free sessional kindergarten with $45m funding boost
The Victorian State Government has committed to funding community-based, local government and school providers of sessional kindergarten for the duration of Term Two so parents can send their children for free.
The $45 million funding boost will be well received by sessional kindergarten providers in Victoria who have been impacted by parent withdrawals due to COVID-19 concerns and were also not included in the Federal Government’s early childhood education and care (ECEC) relief package announced last week.
Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino said “This funding will mean sessional kindergarten providers stay financially viable, even if enrolments drop as parents decide to keep their children at home because of coronavirus.”
The funding will provide approximately $485 per child enrolled in a funded kindergarten program and providers will be eligible if they remain open and allow children to attend for at least 15 hours a week for free.
Victoria thus far is the first state or territory that has committed to free sessional kindergarten that wasn’t already free.