Supersized Early Learning Hub On The Way For Mickleham

The Andrews Labor Government is providing growing families in Mickleham with the early learning services they need to get their kids ready for school and ready for life.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos today announced the Labor Government will provide $1.6 million for the Merrifield West Northern Community Hub as part of the 2018-19 Children’s Facilities Capital Program.

The $12.9 million hub will boast a range of services for local families, including three preschool rooms to provide 198 kinder places and five maternal and child health service consulting rooms. Hume City Council will provide the additional funds. There will be multipurpose activity rooms to house playgroups, parent groups, planned activity groups as well as meetings and training sessions. The local community will also be able to take advantage of other flexible arts and cultural spaces where activities can be held.

The Merrifield West Northern Community Hub is one of more than 50 projects to be funded through this capital funding round across the state, delivering top class early facilities so children can make the most out of their early years education.

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, the Labor Government 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

“Universal access to three-year-old kinder is an Australian-first and make no mistake, this will change lives.”

“We’ve promised to rollout three-year-old kinder and we’re backing it up, undertaking the biggest early education build our state has ever seen. Only Labor will make sure local kids get the opportunities they deserve.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Yuroke Ros Spence

“This is a fantastic day for local families in Mickleham – this new hub will be a one-stop-shop providing not only more kinder places and Maternal and Child Health services, but also playgroups and parent groups.”