Thousands of little Victorians will benefit from new equipment, toys, learning kits and more to ensure they get the most of their early years’ education – regardless of ability.
Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos today announced 219 kinders across Victoria have been successful in securing grants for new equipment, such as wheelchair ramps, moveable change tables, sensory playkits, adjustable chairs and Braille books.
The Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program provides up to $10,000 per kinder for one or more items that promote inclusiveness and diversity.
The 219 kinders – from Mildura to Horsham, Shepparton and Gippsland – will share in more than $1.2 million worth of funding, with regional kinders receiving 45 per cent of grants.
Miners Rest Kindergarten in Ballarat will be able to buy a selection of resources – such as sensory stepping stones, a motor skills kit and other teaching aids – to provide a more inclusive environment for the children with disabilities and additional needs who attend their service.
Other recipients include Benalla District Pre-school Partnership, which will be able to purchase height adjustable and wheelchair accessible tables, and Clunes and District Preschool, which has won funds for sensory equipment and a support chair.
These grants are the first to be provided through the new $6.4 million Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program, which helps kinders upgrade their buildings and playgrounds or buy equipment to provide more accessible and inclusive environments.
The program will also provide kinders with up to $200,000 to upgrade buildings and playgrounds to make them more inclusive through the buildings and playgrounds stream.
The Labor Government has invested a record $123.6 million to build, expand and improve early years infrastructure across Victoria to ensure local families can continue to access great local kindergartens.
It builds on the Labor Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, which recognises the importance of giving families support in early childhood so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos
“Building the Education State begins with the early years – and all kids deserve the very best start to their education, regardless of their ability.”
“These grants are about ensuring our littlest Victorians get the support they need to thrive.”
“Whether it’s wheelchair access ramps or adjustable change tables – we’re helping deliver world-class and welcoming environments for all Victorian children.”