Families, children, students and teachers affected by the ongoing bushfires will get the additional support they need as they head back to school and kindergarten in 2020 thanks to the Victorian Government.
Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a $13.45 million package to support communities most impacted by the bushfires. This includes a focus on the Alpine, East Gippsland or Towong local government areas.
The package for government and non-government students includes:
- $5 million to extend the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund to all eligible primary and secondary school students
- $4 million to boost mental health support for government and non-government schools, including additional psychologists and social workers
- $3.8 million to establish a Trauma Recovery Team to provide the trauma response support to affected schools and kindergarten services
Additional supports will also be provided across the Ararat, Ballarat, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Indigo, Mansfield, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Southern Grampians, Wangaratta, Wellington and Wodonga local government areas based against eligibility criteria.
The package also includes $650,000 in kindergarten fee subsidies to help families access free or low-cost Four-Year-Old Kindergarten program. This will apply to families of children who are residents of or attending a funded kindergarten service in the Alpine, East Gippsland or Towong areas.
These initiatives build on a $2.5 million support package already announced to help school students from bushfire-affected areas with the cost of items such as uniforms, books and stationery.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“These bushfires have devastated many communities in Victoria and we’re doing everything we can to support students and staff as they get back to school, kindergarten and training.”
“We’re providing financial, health and wellbeing support Victorians impacted by this summer’s bushfires need.”
Quote attributable to Bushfire Recovery Victoria chair Ken Lay
“These bushfires have devastated these communities and with children heading back to school and kinder next week, these initiatives will ensure the right supports are in place to take pressure off families.”
Reviewed 29 June 2020