More than 5,000 Victorian children will have an opportunity to learn another language while attending kindergarten this year, due to significant investment from the Andrews Labor Government.
State Labor Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp today welcomed the funding. This language program is part of the $17.9 million investment into the Early Childhood Language Program from the Andrews Labor Government.
Participating Kindergartens and Early Learning Centres in Northern Victoria include:
- Kathleen Kelly Kindergarten in Mildura,
- Mildura Central Early Learning Centre,
- Murray Valley Aboriginal Early Learning Centre in Robinvale,
- Berrimba Child Care in Echuca,
- Gunbower Pre-school Play Centre,
- Barmah Outreach Kindergarten,
- Guthrie Street Child Care Centre in Shepparton,
- Lulla’s Children and Family Centre in Shepparton,
- St Mel’s Kindergarten in Shepparton, and
- Wyndham Early Learning in Shepparton.
Weekly language sessions of up to three hours will be delivered in about 150 kindergarten services and a further 10 will be bilingual kindergartens, where children will benefit from half their program being offered in a language other than English.
These programs include in a range of languages including Mandarin, Punjabi, Arabic, Italian, Vietnamese, French, Spanish, Auslan and Aboriginal languages.
The Labor Government is providing funding for extra staff to deliver the language programs in partnership with existing staff – at no cost to parents or the early childhood services.
Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. That’s why, in an Australian first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver a full 15 hour per week kindergarten program for three-year-old children, to be progressively rolled out from 2020.
Quote attributable to Mark Gepp MP, State Labor Member for Northern Victoria
“It’s great to see the Kindergarten Language program being provided to bring the Education State vision to life throughout Northern Victoria.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“Our education system is giving the next generation of Victorians all the skills and opportunities they need, in order to be well developed individuals and prepared for their lives and jobs in a globalising world.”
“We want our children to have the best start in their education. Learning a language early on will give them a leg up with literacy and help them to understand the world around them.”