Mark Gepp, Labor Member for Northern Victoria welcomed news that the Andrews Labor Government is providing grants for state-of-the-art kindergarten facilities across Victoria ahead of the three-year-old kindergarten roll-out next year.
Applications are now open to local councils and other kindergarten services for grants to build, expand and improve early learning facilities.
Major grants of up to $2 million are available for new facilities or significant upgrades, while grants of up to $50,000 are available for expansions and refurbishments of existing facilities. Applications will close at midnight on 9 August 2019.
It is part of the record $473.2 million investment from the Victorian Budget 2019/20 to work with the sector, building and expanding the facilities needed for the state-wide roll-out of 3-year-old kinder.
The rollout of three-year-old kindergarten will start next year in six local government areas – Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, South Gippsland, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack. In 2021, three-year-olds in an additional 15 local government areas will be able to access two years of subsidised kindergarten programs.
From 2022, children across the rest of the state will have access to five hours of three-year old kindergarten programs each week. This will be progressively scaled up to reach the full 15-hour program by 2029.
Quotes attributable to Labor Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp
“I encourage local councils and early learning centres to apply for the Children’s Facilities Capital Program. This is a great opportunity to expand and refurbish existing facilities, and create brand new Early Learning Centres and Integrated Children’s Centres.”
“With new families making their homes in Northern Victoria every day, this is just another way we’re making sure they and their children can access the facilities they need.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“The Children’s Facilities Capital Program has already provided more than 10,000 additional kindergarten places for children in early learning facilities across Victoria.”
“We are getting ready for the roll-out of three-year-old kindergarten with this significant grants program, as well as making sure our four-year-old kindergarten facilities are up to scratch.”