BUILDING AND IMPROVING KINDERS IN MELBOURNE’S SOUTH EAST

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will undertake our state’s biggest early education build as part of its massive investment in three-year-old kinder, with almost 1000 new and upgraded kinders on the cards.

Making sure families have peace of mind and our kids are ready for school, Labor will invest more than $1.68 billion over the next decade, which will see around 785 new kinders built and 170 existing services expanded.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos was today joined by Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos while visiting Bruthen Street Kindergarten in Moorabbin to herald this ambitious reform.

Under Labor’s plan, every Victorian child will have access to at least five hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder by 2022, progressively scaled up to 15 hours per week over the next decade.

It represents good news for families struggling with the cost of living.

Right now, many are forced to scrimp and save to cover the costs of three-year-old kinder – around $5000 a year for 15 hours – while the vast majority see their kids miss out.

But under Labor’s almost $5 billion plan, around a quarter of Victorian families will pay nothing at all.

For families with a higher income, the Labor Government will cover 65 per cent of their child’s kindergarten costs, consistent with the current subsidy for four-year-old kinder. This represents a saving of at least $3500 for families whose children attend a standalone kinder.

This will be the largest social, economic and educational reform ever undertaken in early childhood learning in Victoria’s history.

It continues the Labor Government’s investment in the state’s early learning facilities, with Bruthen Street Kindergarten already benefitting from an almost $1,500 IT grant for a new desktop computer and software.

Ms Mikakos also visited the Windsor Community Children’s Centre today to announce it had received $10,000 to create a therapeutic wellbeing playspace, as part of the 2018-19 Children Facilities Capital Program.

It is one of more than 50 early years infrastructure projects funded through this year’s round and is part of a record $43 million for facilities – the biggest single funding round in Victoria’s history.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“Universal access to three-year-old kinder is an Australian-first and make no mistake, this will change lives.”

“We’ve promised to roll out three-year-old kinder and we’re backing it up, undertaking the biggest early education build our state has ever seen. Only Labor will make sure local kids get the opportunities they deserve.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos

“Three-year-old kinder is the smartest investment we can make and it is something that will have real impact on families right across Victoria, including here in Bentleigh.”