Investing in our kids when it matters most

Victorian children will be given the best start in life, with the Andrews Labor Government delivering ground-breaking change to our kindergartens and early childhood services.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 will invest $202.1 million to deliver better early childhood services, as well as early intervention for kids who need extra support.

Research shows that children who have a stimulating, supportive and healthy start to life are more likely to do well later in life, while children who attend kinder score between 10 and 20 points higher on NAPLAN tests.

The funding includes $87.1 million to improve our kindergartens and make sure every child gets the start they need before they begin school.

Kindergarten staff will now be able to access intensive coaching, training and advice, so our kinder kids can be in even better hands.

And in an Australian first, our kinders will receive an extra $55 million to help children who are facing particular challenges, including speech therapy, and literacy and numeracy support.

The Labor Government will also invest $10 million to plan and build early childhood facilities co-located at new primary schools because we know doing the double drop off with young children just makes life difficult for parents.

Recognising the importance of a child’s earliest years, $81.1 million will extend Maternal and Child Health Services (MCH) and give new parents extra support, in addition to:

  • $7.2 million to support children with special needs to access early intervention services
  • $6.3 million to grow the Early Start Kindergarten program for vulnerable children aged 3 years old
  • $5.4 million to support Koorie parents and children
  • $5 million to help children with special needs access kindergarten

The Early Childhood Reform Plan is a key part of the Education State for early years and supports the Roadmap for Reform: Strong Families, Safe Children.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“We know the first few years can shape a child’s entire life. By investing earlier, we’re giving our youngest Victorians the very best start.”

“Under these changes, if a child is struggling, we’ll be able to get them the support they need sooner.”

“This is about more than just test scores, this is about making sure every child can make the most of their potential.”