Regional Victoria Three-Year-Old Kindergarten Begins

Regional Victoria Three-Year-Old Kindergarten Begins

Victoria Minister for Education James Merlino

Universal Three-Year-Old Kinder Arrives In Victoria

Victor P Taffa

Andrews Government’s landmark reform to early childhood education has arrived, as hundreds of children in regional Victoria start Three-Year-Old Kindergarten from today.

Minister for Education James Merlino today joined early childhood staff, children and families at Leongatha Children’s Centre to mark its first day of funded universal Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for families across the first roll-out areas, whose children are among the first in Australia to benefit from funded universal Three-Year-Old Kinder.” Minister for Education James Merlino said.

It is part of the Government’s almost $5 Billion decade-long reform to make 2 years of funded universal kindergarten programs available for all children across the state in an Australian-first.

36 kindergarten services across the 6 local government areas (LGA’s) will deliver up to 15 hours each week of programs for 3-year-olds in 2020.

Around 560 children are enrolled in funded 3-Year-Old Kindergarten programs, which will start over the coming week in South Gippsland, Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack.

In addition, 80,000 children will attend four-year-old programs across Victoria.

3-Year-Old Kindergarten will roll out progressively, with families in a further 15 regional LGA’s to benefit in 2021. This will be expanded in 2022 to give 3-year-olds across the rest of the state access to 5 hours of funded kindergarten, before being scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029.

At full roll-out, an estimated 90,000 children each year will be receiving this important educational boost.

Victorian Budget 2019/20 invested $881.6 Million to start the roll out of 3-Year-Old Kindergarten, which has already created 20 new teacher and 20 new educator roles in the first 6 LGA’s.