VIC goes one step further than NSW, offers free kinder in 2021 regardless of setting

VIC goes one step further than NSW, offers free kinder in 2021 regardless of setting

by Jason Roberts

November 10, 2020

The Victorian State Government have confirmed that they will extend free kindergarten for a further 12 months to not only community kindergartens, as is the case in NSW, but also for children attending kinder programs in long day care services. 


The commitment, which will be announced as part of the Victorian Budget 2020/21 will see $169.6 million allocated to make kindergarten free in 2021 with anticipated savings for families in the region of $2,000 per child attending. 


Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt said “This is a smart investment. Not only will free kinder save families thousands of dollars – it’ll get more kids into kinder, back early childhood services and workers, and help support more parents, especially women, into the workforce.”


The announcement comes in the wake of New South Wales committing $120 million of funding provided to support three to five-year-olds attending community and mobile preschools only, and not those attending preschool programs in long day care settings. 


In addition to the Victorian commitment to funding kindergarten, the State Government has also committed to invest $81.6 million to increase the availability of before and after school care across the state. 


The funding will be made available through grants of up to $75,000 to start new outside school hours care programs at up to 400 government schools and will provide support for costs including equipment, setup and administration, facility upgrades and transport.


Minister for Education James Merlino said “More schools will be able to establish before and after school care programs for students, giving parents greater flexibility when it comes to work, study, training or finding new opportunities.”


To read the Victorian Government’s media release please click here