The Andrews Labor Government has extended its kinder and schools drought-relief assistance to Ararat, recognising the hardship the community faces due to ongoing difficult dry conditions.
Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced that access to free kindergarten, help with uniforms and school items and financial assistance to help students attend camps, sports and excursions is now available to Ararat families.
The measures are part of the Labor Government’s drought-support package to ensure families experiencing emotional and financial stress as a result of the drought get the support they need.
Families living in the Ararat Rural City Council area will be automatically eligible for 15 hours per week of free kinder in the year before school so children don’t miss out on the benefits of a quality early years education. Families who have already paid fees this year will be reimbursed.
Community-based kindergartens will be able to apply for financial hardship grants of up to $10,000 to keep their services strong and viable.
The extra assistance will also help families and students with the costs of taking part in school camps and excursions with their friends to gain valuable social and practical learning experiences. Families will also be supported with uniforms, shoes and other school items via the State Schools Relief program.
Last November, the Labor Government announced a range of support measures to help ease the burden for drought-impacted families across western Victoria. The inclusion of Ararat takes the number of local government areas communities receiving drought assistance to eleven.
In making Victoria the Education State, the Labor Government is committed to giving every child the chance to succeed, no matter where they live.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“We’re helping kids in drought-affected regions take part in important activities such as school sports and trips because all children deserve the full range of educational experiences.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“We know the impact of drought in a community is far reaching. Making Victoria the Education State means supporting families doing it tough and making sure children don’t miss out on kinder because of drought.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“We stood with drought-affected communities doing it tough at the start of summer and we are standing by farmers and regional communities at the end of it.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020