Early Start Kinder announcement will support refugee and asylum seeker children in Vic
Children of refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds in Victoria are now able to access two years of free or low-cost kindergarten, Victorian Minister for Early Childhood, Ingrid Stitt announced over the weekend.
The additional support has been made available through the Early Start Kindergarten grant, which forms part of a broader $2.5 million commitment by the Victorian Government which is designed to reduce the effects of disadvantage on children’s long term outcomes.
Early Start Kindergarten provides access to a program delivered by a qualified teacher which supports children’s language and social development, and is open to children who turn three-years-old before 30 April in the year they are enrolled to attend kindergarten.
From 2021, the grant has been expanded to include children of refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds, as well as children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, and families and children who have had contact with child protection.
Early Start Kindergarten Extension Grants are also available to refugee and asylum seeker children to attend four-year-old kindergarten, to ensure they can access two years of high-quality early learning before they start school.
Those parents and carers who are interested in accessing the program have been encouraged to contact their local kindergarten to ask for access to the grant.
“We know that a great early childhood education can set children up to be happy, healthy and resilient for life,” Ms Stitt said, “that’s why we’re providing high quality kindergarten programs for children from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds at little or no cost to families.”
More information about Early Start is available here.