Vic Ed Minister confirms that kinder will be free for families in Term Three
All kinder programs in Victoria will be free for the duration of Term Three, the State’s Education Minister announced yesterday, with children also supported to learn from home thanks to a relief package to support early childhood services through the pandemic.
The extension to the free sessional kinder support and a further $1.6 million in grants will be available via the School Readiness Funding program for kindergartens to help deliver early childhood education to children learning at home.
Kinders can use the extra funding to access a range of online programs containing high-quality play-based learning activities for parents to do with their children at home.
This funding will be available to services that are not yet receiving funding through the $160 million School Readiness Funding initiative and already able to access these supports.
The measures come as various parts of the state operate either under Stage 4 restrictions, where permitted workers are able to access childcare and kinder if there is no one else in their household who is able to supervise their child, or Stage 3 restrictions, where movement is less controlled.
The Government will increase funding for sessional kinder services across regional and rural Victoria, meaning parents across the state will be able to send their children to kindergarten for free during Term Three in rural or regional areas. This is already the case for metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
Sessional kinders in regional and rural areas can also now access support for unfunded three-year-old kindergarten programs. The funding will be available for not-for-profit services, including community-based, local government and school providers that are offering sessional programs and are not already receiving JobKeeper payments.
The Government will also provide any funded kindergarten service directed to close due to a confirmed COVID-19 case with extra funding to undertake an infectious clean before re-opening. This is in addition to cleaning grants worth between $900 and $1,500 that have been offered to all services delivering a funded kinder program.
This additional funding is part of an up to $45 million support package for sessional kindergarten providers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Further information about the support measures may be found here.