Victorian Government announces final stage of $160m School Readiness Funding
All services offering funded kinder programs in 2021 will receive School Readiness Funding, Victorian Minister for Early Childhood, Ingrid Stitt, announced on Friday, outlining the final stage of the $160 million Australian-first School Readiness Funding rolling out.
Services will receive up to $200,000 in funding depending on the number of children enrolled who face educational disadvantage, with this being the first time the funding will be made available to all funded kindergartens in Victoria, with the program now a permanent feature of Victoria’s early childhood education system.
The services that will receive first-time funding are from 47 local government areas, including the Alpine Shire, Greater Geelong, Port Phillip and the Yarra Ranges, with approximately 1,700 services to benefit for the first time.
Those services offering funded kindergarten programs for three-year-old children in 2021 will also receive funding, which has been implemented in part because of findings which show that one in five Victorian children start school developmentally vulnerable and once behind, they tend to stay behind.
The needs-based funding aims to reduce the impact of educational disadvantage on children’s learning and development and improve outcomes in communication, wellbeing, and access and participation.
Providers are able to use the funding to ‘tap in’ to the expertise of speech and occupational therapists, language and literacy professionals and child psychologists, who can then boost the capability of both parents and teachers.
Further information about the funding will be available on the Department’s website in coming days.