EARLY CHILDHOOD EXPERTS HAVE THEIR SAY ABOUT THE EDUCATION STATE

Victoria’s leading authorities on early childhood health, learning and development have shared ideas about the future of the State’s early years services at a symposium at the State Library in Melbourne today, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Early Childhood Education State Consultation.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos met with the more than 130 representatives from local government, community service organisations, early childhood education services, health, universities, schools and peak bodies.

The symposium is the final in a series of community forums that have taken place across the State over the past two months, seeking fresh ideas on how to shape Victoria’s early childhood services for the future.

Professionals, parents and caregivers, academics, experts and the broader Victorian community have all participated in the forums.

Their responses will contribute to the Government’s significant reform agenda for early childhood services over the coming decade, and help build the Education State.

The Andrews Labor Government is investing $50 million in the early childhood sector through the building and upgrading of kindergartens and children’s centres across Victoria to ensure that all families have access to the best quality facilities.

It is also providing up to $83.7 million over four years in additional funding to support kindergartens to transition to new staff qualification and ratio requirements.

Families will benefit from improved staff-to-child ratios from 1 January 2016, which will allow more one-on-one time for every child and boost the value they receive from time spent at kindergarten in preparation for school.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“We are at the beginning of an exciting journey of reform and improvement, transforming our early childhood services so that all Victorian children have the best start in life.”

“To fully recognise the Education State vision, it’s vital that we continue to listen, share ideas and work together with the community and our early childhood workforce.”

“I thank everyone who has participated in an Education State conversation about our early years services, and I look forward to taking the next step together towards a brighter future for Victorian children.”