ELAA continues advocacy efforts as questions about Vic Kinder announcement remain
Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) members have raised a number of queries and proposed suggestions to support engagement with the Victorian Government’s proposed $9 billion early childhood education agenda.
In response, ELAA continues to meet with the Victorian Department of Education and Training to discuss the three key initiatives;
- Free Kindergarten from 2023;
- a scale up to 30 hours of four-year-old kindergarten (called pre-prep) by 2032; and,
- 50 new government-owned integrated early childhood education and care (ECEC) services.
“We have emphasised to the Department the importance of further details on free kindergarten being released as soon as possible, including funding rates and requirements for 2023,” an ELAA spokesperson said.
“As soon as this information is available we will schedule a member forum to discuss the details.”
In relation to the “scale up” to 30 hours of four-year-old kindergarten (“Pre-prep”) by 2032, ELAA “have been heartened” by recent discussions which acknowledge a commitment to two years of kindergarten for children, and a need to continue to scale up the workforce and build infrastructure to meet the additional demands posed by a doubling the hours of four-year-old kindergarten.
The department has emphasised the long time-frame for the rollout and a commitment to work across the sector to support all services to engage.
ELAA notes that government Victorian press releases refer to a 30-hour program by 2032, not a six-hour day, and is actively advocating to ensure services can provide flexible sessions to meet children and families needs, as well as support sector sustainability.
“We are continuing to seek further information on how the 50 new centres will be decided, including locations and models of operation, and believe the community sector would be well placed to support the running of these centres.”
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