Milestones for Victoria’s three-year-old kindergarten children
Thousands of Victorian children have started three-year-old kindergarten this week, with many attending the funded universal three-year-old kindergarten programs for the first time.
More than 130 services in 15 local government areas including Alpine, Ararat, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, ColacOtway, Corangamite, East Gippsland, Glenelg, Hepburn, Indigo, Loddon, Murrindindi, Southern Grampians, Towong and West Wimmera will deliver up to 15 hours each week of teacher-led programs for three-year-olds in 2021 as part of the Victorian Government’s almost $5 billion investment over the next decade to deliver two years of funded kindergarten programs for all Victorian children.
Up to 15 hours of funded kindergarten will be provided each week for Victorian three-year-olds by 2029, with approximately 2,000 children benefiting from the initiative in the new roll out areas in 2021, the second year of the reforms.
From 2022, three-year-olds across the rest of the state will have access to five hours of a teacher-led kindergarten program, which will increase to a 15-hour program by 2029, at both standalone kindergartens and long day care centres, with places funded in the same way as four-year-old kindergarten programs.
At full roll-out, an estimated 90,000 children each year will benefit from the program. In 2021, these services are offered free of charge, backed by a Victorian government investment of up to $169 million, saving families around $2,000 for every child enrolled in a participating funded kindergarten program.
“This is such an exciting time for families and the young learners who are able to attend funded universal three-year-old kinder for the first time,” Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt said.
“This is a nation leading reform. It will transform early childhood education for our kids and give them the best possible start in life.”