Historic Three-Year-Old Kinder Underway In Hindmarsh

The Andrews Labor Government’s landmark reform to early childhood education has arrived in Hindmarsh, with children attending funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.

Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Sonya Kilkenny today joined early childhood staff, children and families at Dimboola Early Learning Centre and Nhill Early Learning Centre to celebrate the start of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.

It is part of the Labor Government’s almost $5 billion decade-long reform to make two years of universal funded kindergarten programs available for all children across the state – in an Australian-first.

The Government is also providing Hindmarsh Shire Council with more than $43,000 for an upgrade at Dimboola Early Learning Centre and more than $42,000 for an upgrade at Nhill Early Learning Centre – both services are provided by Horsham and District Kindergarten Association.

The project at Dimboola Early Learning Centre, which is currently in the planning phase, will double the amount of kindergarten floorspace, improve its bathroom and storage facilities and allow space for a sleep room for children attending long day care.

The Nhill Early Learning Centre upgrade, which is also in the planning phase, will increase floor space to meet community need for kindergarten and long day care, and enable the provision of a range of early childhood programs.

More than 600 children, including those at Dimboola and Nhill, are enrolled in funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten programs.

Thirty-six kindergarten services across the six local government areas of South Gippsland, Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack are delivering up to 15 hours each week of programs for three-year-olds led by a teacher in 2020.

Three-Year-Old Kindergarten will roll out progressively, with families in a further 15 regional LGAs to benefit in 2021. This will be expanded in 2022 to give three-year-olds across the rest of the state access to five hours of funded kindergarten, before being scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029.

At full roll-out, an estimated 90,000 children each year will be receiving this important educational boost.

Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Sonya Kilkenny

“Providing universal access to Three-Year-Old Kinder is one of the most important and significant reforms we can make to education and will ensure our littlest Victorians get the best start possible, including here in Hindmarsh Shire.”

 Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford

“This is an exciting time for Hindmarsh families, with children at Dimboola Early Learning Centre and Nhill Early Learning Centre among the first in Australia to benefit from universal funded Three-Year-Old Kinder.”