Early Childhood Infrastructure

Minister’s Statement

Ms MIKAKOS (Minister for Early Childhood Education) (10:10:51) — I rise to update the house on how the Andrews Labor government is supporting Victorian families and children in the City of Casey but also across Victoria. Recently I was pleased to join my retiring colleague in the other place, the member for Cranbourne, Mr Jude Perera, and the Labor candidate for Cranbourne, Pauline Richards, to officially open the Livingston Family and Community Centre in Cranbourne East, and I take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Perera on his strong advocacy for this project. Our government contributed $1.6 million to build this key intergenerational hub for the local community, bringing together three kindergarten rooms, two maternal and child health consulting rooms, spaces for playgroups and other child and family services, as well as community spaces.

This is one of more than 100 new major grants to date delivered by our government through the children’s facilities capital program over the last four years, and I will soon be announcing the successful recipients of this year’s funding round. We are also supporting children in the growing community of the City of Casey with a new kindergarten that will be built at Botanic Ridge Primary School. This was part of a $9 million investment in this year’s budget for co-located kinders at government school sites.

Our government has invested $123.6 million into kindergarten infrastructure in this state over the past four years, more than triple what those opposite managed to appropriate. We have funded an additional 8250 three and four-year-old kindergarten places, and there is more to come. So when the shadow minister comes in here and defends her federal Liberal mates for ripping millions out of Victoria’s kindergartens, I can assure the community that our government will continue to stand by our early childhood sector with this unprecedented investment that speaks for itself.