Bellarine gets a Bush Kinder boost
The Sector > Provider > General News > Bellarine kinder programs benefit from Victoria’s Bush Kinder grants

Bellarine kinder programs benefit from Victoria’s Bush Kinder grants

by Freya Lucas

February 27, 2024

Three kindergartens on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula have benefited from one off grants which are designed to encourage outdoor play and become more familiar with local bush areas. 


Headstart Early Learning Ocean Grove, Woodlands House Child Care – also in Ocean Grove – and Lonsdale House Childcare in Point Lonsdale each received $6,000 to run bush kinder programs. 


Bellarine MP Alison Marchant explained that the grants would be used by successful services to assist services to purchase equipment to run bush kinder programs, allowing them to get outside and engage in nature based learning through activities such as climbing trees and watching wildlife. 


“We’re supporting kindergartens in the Bellarine each year to start bush kinder programs, providing more children with opportunities to get outdoors and learn in a natural environment,” Ms Marchant said.


Research has shown that bush kinder programs can have a significant positive impact on a child’s development regardless of whether this play takes place in parks, bushland or beach settings. 


For Headstart Ocean Grove early childhood teacher (ECT) Lorie Lillingston there are a raft of benefits to outdoor play, saying she loves the idea that learning can be recognised in a bush setting. 


“I get we’re not deep down in the bush, but we have enough for our kids to take risks and bring natural stuff back to the service such as native flowers and sticks, and look at some of our local wildlife,” she shared with local news source Bellarine Times


“I love that this grant has enabled that a little bit more.”


For those kinder services that don’t have access to a suitable off-site bushland space to conduct bush kinder programs the grants can be used to enhance the biodiversity of their on-site outdoor environment.


Bush kinder program funding will commence at the beginning of Term 3, 2024. Applications for 2025 bush kinder grants will open in the second half of 2024.


More information about the bush kinder grants is available here. For the original coverage of this story please see here

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