Helping Gippsland Children To Thrive At Kindergarten

Gippsland children are set to enjoy new and upgraded kindergarten facilities, while local families will soon benefit from the roll-out of funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education, Sonya Kilkenny, today visited East Gippsland to announce more than $1.1 million worth of upgrades to two local kindergarten services, with support from the Children’s Facilities Capital Program (CFCP) Major Grants Program.

Ms Kilkenny also visited Mirboo North Early Learning Centre to speak with families, children and educators about the roll-out of funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten to the South Gippsland area in 2020.

Gippsland Lakes Community Health Children’s Centre in Lakes Entrance will install a $448,000 relocatable building, enabling it to offer Three-Year-Old Kindergarten for the first time and creating 22 new kindergarten places for East Gippsland children. The Labor Government is providing a $378,000 grant for the project.

In Bairnsdale, Westdale Kindergarten will build a second room, bathroom and kitchen upgrades, staff room and shared playground, thanks to a $732,000 project expected to increase capacity by more than 20 additional places. The Labor Government is contributing $500,000 through a CFCP grant.

Gippsland Lakes Community Health Children’s Centre and Westdale Kindergarten are among Victorian organisations receiving funding to deliver new or upgraded services.

In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing nearly $5 billion over the next ten years to deliver two years of funded kindergarten for all Victorian children.

The Labor Government is also upgrading infrastructure through a $1.68 billion co-investment with the early childhood sector to build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state in preparation for the roll-out.

South Gippsland is one of six regional local government areas – which also include Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack – where Three-Year-Old Kindergarten will start in 2020.

East Gippsland families will enjoy the benefits of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten in 2021, when it is part of 15 further regional LGAs included in the progressive roll-out across Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education Sonya Kilkenny

“We are so proud to be rolling out funded three-year-old kinder in regional Victoria first, giving kids the best start in life. I look forward to seeing the impact this investment has in these local communities.”

“Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, which is why we’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services, including upgrading facilities and rolling out Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett

“This is about ensuring Gippsland families have access to stronger support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.”