New funding available in Victoria to support with cleaning and hygiene costs
Victorian-based kindergarten services will be further supported during the COVID-19 pandemic via new funding grants, which have been made available to support them to manage additional cleaning and hygiene costs for the remainder of Term Two.
The $2.6 million in grant funding was announced on Friday by the state’s Minister for Education James Merlino, who said the grants are available for all early childhood education and care (ECEC) services who deliver a funded kindergarten program.
Services with less than 50 enrolments will receive $900, while services with 50 or more enrolments will receive $1,500, to ensure they are able to meet the costs of high standards of cleaning and hygiene, consistent with the Australian Health Principal Practitioners Committee guidance.
“Early childhood staff are doing an outstanding job with their children and families, and these grants help kinder services ensure high standards of cleaning and hygiene,” Mr Merlino said.
As long as the funding is spent on meeting cleaning and hygiene requirements for their kindergarten program, service providers will have flexibility in how the funding is used, including paying for additional hours of cleaning, or the purchase of hygiene products such as hand sanitiser or soap.
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services who continue to operate in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Australian Health Protection Principal Committee including enhanced personal hygiene for children, staff and parents, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surface at least daily and regularly washing toys and equipment, will no doubt welcome the announcement.
The grants are available as part of Victoria’s broader $45 million in extra funding to support kindergartens during the coronavirus pandemic, and further guidance about the measures required to maintain the health and safety of children and staff can be found on the DHHS website.