The Andrews Labor Government is securing enrolment spots in kindergartens to ensure vulnerable or disadvantaged children don’t miss out, as part of its plan to make Victoria the Education State.
Visiting the AG Leech Kindergarten in Maryborough today, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said the pilot program – being trialled across the State – would help more than 550 children access a kindergarten place at no cost.
One of 196 participating services across Victoria, the AG Leech Kindergarten currently has a licensed capacity of 29. This year it will have four fully funded places set aside for eligible children in the Maryborough area.
Evidence shows that children who attend preschool education have better job prospects and higher wages when they enter the workforce – the lasting benefits for vulnerable and disadvantaged children are even greater.
The pilot aims to help vulnerable families overcome the barriers that can lead to children missing out on kinder like enrolling late or relocating to a new area. It will be evaluated throughout the year.
The Labor Government is also investing $50 million in the early childhood sector through the building and upgrading of kindergartens and children’s centres, and up to $83.7 million over four years to support the implementation of improved educator-to-child ratios from 2016.
Families are benefitting from improved staff-to-child ratios which allow more one-on-one time for every child and boost the value they receive from time spent at kindergarten in preparation for school.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“In the Education State no child should miss out on kinder because they enrol late.”
“Children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage are underrepresented at kinder.”
“We are piloting fresh and creative ways to ensure that all Victorian children get a quality preschool education, which is critical to success in later life.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020