Victorian Budget makes provision for new resources for ECEC and kinder
The Sector > Policy > Victorian Budget makes provision for new resources for ECEC and kinder

Victorian Budget makes provision for new resources for ECEC and kinder

by Freya Lucas

June 05, 2023

The latest Victorian Budget has allocated $1.8 billion in total for early childhood education. While the bulk of the funding will be used to continue the Government’s investment in Best Start, Best Life reforms, there were surprise announcements, such as a one-off  $5,000 grant to every kinder in Victoria.


The investment will lock in Free Kinder, continue the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and start the transition of Four-Year-Old Kindergarten to Pre-Prep from 2025. It will also support Aboriginal community organisations and Traditional Owners to improve cultural safety and inclusion in early childhood services.


Expanding access to early education will mean that services need more educational toys and equipment. To support this need, $14.7 million has been budgeted to deliver a one-off $5,000 grant to every kinder in Victoria, helping them purchase new equipment for play-based learning.


“This funding means each kinder will see new, inclusive and age-appropriate materials including construction blocks, musical instruments, puzzles, chalk, gardening tools and sensory toys – encouraging children of all abilities to use their imagination and creativity, while learning through play,” the Government noted.


With wear and tear inevitable, services will be encouraged to purchase toys made of natural and sustainable materials – extending their durability and keeping them out of landfill.


Pre-Prep will start in 2025 in the local government areas of Ararat, Gannawarra, Hindmarsh, Murrindindi, Northern Grampians and Yarriambiack – with other LGAs progressively joining the roll-out in following years.


Funding in this year’s Budget will also support the continued transformation of early childhood education in Victoria and includes $1.2 billion for infrastructure projects critical to the delivery of 15 hours of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten each week by 2029, and 30 hours of Pre-Prep each week by 2032.

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