The Andrews Labor Government is making sure more families can access better local kindergartens and early childhood centres by building and upgrading early year’s facilities across Victoria.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today opened the 2017-18 Children’s Facilities Capital Program Major Grants, which provides grants of up to $1.6 million to build new facilities, integrate services and upgrade existing facilities.
Local councils and kindergarten operators can apply for grants to build and significantly refurbish their centres across three categories:
- Up to $1.6 million to build children’s hubs for early years and family services, co-locating kinder with Maternal and Child Health services, playgroups and parenting support
- Up to $650,000 to build new early learning facilities
- Up to $350,000 for significant upgrades to existing facilities
The Labor Government is investing a record $70 million to build, expand and upgrade early years infrastructure across Victoria, including $10 million targeting growth areas.
Research shows that children who have a stimulating, supportive and healthy start to life are more likely to do well later in life, and that children who attend kinder score between 10 and 20 points higher on NAPLAN tests.
Families will also benefit from the Government’s $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, announced in this year’s Victorian Budget 2017/18.
This ground-breaking plan recognises the importance of providing families with strong support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder and ready for school.
It will mean parents can access improved parenting support and Maternal and Child Health Services, as well as higher quality and more inclusive kindergartens.
In an Australian first, kinders will also receive an extra $55 million to help children who are facing particular challenges, including speech therapy, and literacy and numeracy support.
Applications for funding through the 2017-18 Children’s Facilities Capital Program’s Major Grants close on 15 September. For more information go to: schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“This is about investing in our children by giving families flexible, accessible and affordable local kindergarten and childcare services.”
“We are improving kindergartens to make sure our kids can enjoy the benefits that quality early years education and care provides.”