Victorian Government commits more funding to bushfire affected Kinders
Kindergartens in Eastern and Northern Victoria will receive extra support for ongoing bushfire recovery to ensure that children in bushfire-affected communities continue to get a great early education, Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt has said.
35 Kindergartens affected by the 2019/20 bushfires across East Gippsland, Towong and Alpine shires will receive an additional Early Childhood Bushfire Recovery Grant, sharing in a total of $250,000.
Each kindergarten will receive $7,350 to help deliver high-quality learning programs for their children and offset the costs of educational activities like music classes, kinder gym sessions, excursions and visits from special guests like reptile experts and artists. The grants can also be used towards buying educational resources or specialised equipment as well as helping complete small projects such as vegetable gardens, small playground upgrades, maintenance, and repairs.
The Early Childhood Bushfire Recovery Grants were initially available in 2021 as part of a $22.7 million package aimed at supporting families, children, students and teachers most impacted by the bushfires. Throughout 2021, kindergarten services used the grants to purchase children’s toys, arts and crafts supplies and to fund projects to upgrade play spaces and establish sensory gardens for children.
“Early childhood staff at these services have gone above and beyond to support children and their families to learn while juggling the challenges of bushfires and a pandemic during these last two years,” Minister Stitt said.
“Bushfire recovery is a long journey and we are supporting local communities to rebuild and recover by helping our kinders – and the families they serve – get back on their feet.”