SECURING THE FUTURE OF VICTORIA’S RURAL KINDERS

The Andrews Labor Government is securing the future of kinders across regional Victoria with a $4.4 million funding boost as part of the Victorian Budget 2016/17.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today visited the Waubra Children’s Service in Waubra – one of approximately 100 Victorian kinders set to benefit from the investment

Until now, many kinders across regional Victoria have struggled to cover basic operating costs due to low and fluctuating enrolments.

As a result of the Labor Government’s funding boost, eligible kinders in 2017 will be $5,000 to $50,000 better off when compared with 2015, depending on the number of enrolments.

Kindergartens perform a crucial service in supporting their local communities, yet their future is often uncertain from year to year. We want Victorian children to enjoy the lifelong benefits that quality early years education can provide and the new funding will ensure Victoria’s long-term early education and care needs are met.

This funding will give certainty to families in small rural communities, security to kindergarten providers and staff, and take the fundraising pressure off local communities.

With enrolment numbers fluctuating from year to year, and only 10 children currently in its four-year-old kindergarten program, Waubra Children’s Service’s program is secure, and now taking enrolments for 2017.

The investment of $4.4 million over four years will help Waubra Children’s Service and approximately 100 other kinders across the state, with a minimum base-level funding of $76,500 from 2017. 1000 children in rural communities across the state are set to benefit from this support for quality kinder programs close to home.

The funding comes on top of the Government’s $500,000 package to help small rural kinders announced in December 2016. The Labor Government is making Victoria the Education State – and this means giving all kids access to high-quality early years services no matter where they live.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“This is a huge win for Victoria’s rural communities. We’re getting on with making Education State and this means no child missing out on quality kindergarten.”

“We’ve listened to Victoria’s rural families, and acted to make sure all Victorian kids get the quality early years education they deserve, no matter where they live.”

“This funding will go a long way in assisting the tireless efforts of regional Victoria’s kinder volunteer committees.”

Quotes attributable to Eureka Community Kindergarten Association CEO Jo Guerts

“We’re delighted to be receiving this extremely valuable grant. This additional funding will be just so important for the Waubra community, making a real difference to our service and families.”

KEY FACTS ABOUT KINDER:

  • Preschool improves children’s learning and development
  • The positive effect of a preschool education in children from disadvantaged backgrounds can be seen in as they progress through primary and secondary school
  • A preschool education has been found to have a significant positive impact on NAPLAN results , particularly in numeracy, reading and spelling
  • 15-year-old students who attended at least one year of pre-primary education perform better on Programme for International Student Assessment than those who did not.