The Andrews Labor Government is making things fair for hundreds of additional families through extra support for access to vital kindergarten places outside of enrolment periods.
Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos today visited Bridge Road Kindergarten in Strathtulloh to announce the permanent extension of the successful pre-purchased places pilot.
Pre-purchased kindergarten places are created for vulnerable families and children known to child protection, refugees and Koorie children, and concession card holders so that they can still attend a local service at no cost to families and carers, even if they miss the enrolment dates.
More than 650 pre-purchased places will be available for families at about 230 services across Victoria next year – up from the 450 places this year.
The Labor Government is taking action by investing $2.3 million to make the Pre-purchased Places program permanent.
Research shows that children who have a stimulating, supportive and healthy start to life are more likely to do well later in life and children who attend kinder score between 10 and 20 points higher on NAPLAN tests.
One in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children miss out on kindergarten in the year before school, while recently arrived migrants and refugees without stable employment and housing also face challenges in accessing kindergarten.
The Pre-purchased Places program changes lives by helping families overcome barriers to participating in kindergarten such as enrolling late, moving into new areas, or being cared for out of home.
The program is part of the Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan.
This ground-breaking plan recognises the importance of providing families with strong 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
“We’re ensuring kindergarten is fair by making pre-purchased places permanent across Victoria because we know the huge difference kindergarten has on a child’s life.”
“We’re making sure more Victorian families needing extra help in accessing kinder don’t miss out on the enormous benefits early childhood services can have for their child.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020