Victorian ECEC services impacted by bushfires to benefit from recovery payouts
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires will benefit from initiatives to help communities recover and receive trauma support, with the State’s former education minister, James Merlino, announcing the establishment of a special fund earlier this week.
The Early Childhood Bushfire Recovery Grants program will see a dedicated pool of relief for early childhood educators established, and support given for the Beyond Blue bushfire recovery program to assist kindergartens in impacted areas.
Grants up to $5,000 can be used to support educational incursions in services, buy program resources and complete projects previously led by kindergarten program volunteers.It is expected that up to 1,000 children and 50 teachers and educators will benefit from these support grants.
A dedicated team of relief staff will work across 25 services delivering a funded kindergarten program in bushfire impacted areas. This initiative will allow the existing hard-working early childhood staff to take time off for their own mental wellbeing and/or to attend professional development days.
Kindergarten services in Victoria’s Alpine bushfire impacted areas of Ovens Murray and East Gippsland can apply for the grants as part of the Victorian Government’s Bushfire Recovery package.
The Government will also provide funding towards the trauma support and recovery planning services in the local areas. Working together with Beyond Blue, these supports will ensure early childhood services and staff in the bushfire affected areas feel cared for in their recovery journey.
This funding is part of the $22.7 million Government support package announced since January for families, children, students and teachers affected by the bushfires. This package includes $3.65 million for early childhood education sector trauma support, recovery planning and rebuilding of facilities in the bushfire affected area.
For further information on the Grants available, please visit the website, here.