Co-Locating Kinders With Schools In Casey And Wyndham

Families in Melbourne’s growing suburbs will get state-of-the-art early learning centres when new local schools open, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos today visited Selandra Family & Children’s Centre in Clyde North to announce that early learning facilities will be built at three new schools in Wyndham and Casey, as part of a $9 million initiative in Victorian Budget 2018/19.

The early years centres will be built at Botanic Ridge Primary School, Wyndham South (Riverwalk) Primary School and Davis Creek Primary School in Tarneit.

Being co-located will not only make pick-up and drop-off times more convenient for families, it will provide greater support children transitioning from kinder to school.

All three projects will provide much needed early years services for local families – including kinder programs – with the Labor Government to work with City of Casey to include additional community facilities for the Botanic Ridge project.

Builders will soon be appointed and the early years facilities will open in Term 1, 2020, alongside their schools.

It comes as Labor announces its plan to build 785 new kinders and upgrade 170 more if re-elected, as part of its almost $5 billion three-year-old kinder reform.

Under a re-elected Andrews Labor Government, 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 plan, around a quarter of Victorian families will pay nothing at all.

For families with a higher income, Labor 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.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“Looking after our littlest Victorians and giving them the best start in life is the smartest investment we can make.”

“We’re making it easier than ever for families in Melbourne’s booming suburbs – such as Tarneit, Wyndham and Botanic Ridge – to access the quality early years services their children deserve.”