Inclusive Kinders Welcome Kids Of All Abilities

Even more Victorian kinders will get new equipment to be more inclusive for children with extra needs, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos today visited Gowrie Victoria’s kindergarten in Carlton North to launch the second round of the $2.4 million equipment stream of the Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program.

Local governments, not-for-profit service providers and schools are encouraged to apply for grants that will make their early years facilities more accessible for children of all abilities.

Up to $10,000 is available to buy inclusive education equipment, such as moveable wheelchair-access ramps or adjustable tables and chairs.

Gowrie Carlton North is doing great work promoting inclusiveness, having introduced Braille lessons to support five-year-old Henry, who is blind.

Using a Perkins Brailler typewriter loaned from Vision Australia, this year he and his classmates are all learning the tactile writing system.

A braille typewriter is an example of equipment that could be funded under the Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program’s equipment stream.

Grants of up to $200,000 are also available to upgrade buildings and playgrounds to make them more inclusive through the program’s $4 million buildings and playgrounds stream, which is currently open.

The Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program is part of the Labor Government’s $19 million investment in initiatives to make early childhood services more inclusive for all children. Victorian families are benefiting from the Labor Government’s $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, announced in the 2017/18 Victorian Budget.

The plan recognises the importance of providing strong support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

Applications for the Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program can be made online at schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“We want every child in every community to be able to attend a great local kinder – and part of this is making sure more kinders are accessible.”

“It’s inspiring to see the great work Gowrie is doing to make an inclusive kinder for all its kids, which is what these grants are all about.”

Quotes attributable to Gowrie Victoria CEO Andrew Hume

“Every child has the right to an education. We all benefit when our kindergartens reflect the diversity of our communities.”