Funded three year old kinder now open to Victorian families for 2022
Member for Northcote, Kat Theophanous, and Victorian Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt visited Annie Dennis Children’s Centre in Northcote yesterday to mark the opening of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten enrolments for 2022.
Central enrolment programs are now open in 25 local government areas and soon to open in another 29, with 2,500 kindergarten services in Victoria involved.
Children in 21 local government areas in regional Victoria are already benefiting from access to Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, with Kinder services and providers across the remaining 58 councils getting ready to introduce the initiative with five hours of funded programs on offer in these areas from next year.
A new round of a major statewide advertising campaign will start this week to help families understand the benefits of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and know to contact their local services to enrol their children.
Parents are supported to find a service through the Kinder Tick program, which showcases options for Kinder at both long day care centres and standalone kindergartens.
To support the increased demand for educators to support the roll out, more than 2,000 people have been offered financial support packages through Victoria’s Early Childhood Scholarship Program since it was launched in October 2018.
The scholarships support the delivery of universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten for all Victorian children over a decade, with the roll-out to create 6,000 new early childhood jobs. A total government investment of $174.2 million over six years will be made to provide for support, training and recruitment of teachers and educators.
Scholarships up to $25,000 are offered to help people get a bachelor or postgraduate teaching qualification in early childhood education, and up to $34,000 for Aboriginal Pathway scholarships for vocational and teaching qualifications.
In addition, both the Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care have been added to the Free TAFE course list so they are tuition- free for eligible students.