Minister for Families and Children media release 5 May 2015.
Families with preschool-aged children are the big beneficiaries of a $59 million investment in early childhood education and development in the Andrews Labor Government’s first Budget.
So children get the best head start, the 2015-16 Victorian Budget invests $50 million in kinders across the state and $9 million in funding to assist children with a disability or developmental delay.
The boost is part of the biggest education Budget in Victoria’s history which also includes $730 million to build, upgrade and maintain schools.
These funds will maintain 150 Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) and 150 Flexible Support Packages. The services and packages provide specialist, tailored support for children with disabilities or developmental delays before they start school.
By acting early and targeting support to each child’s individual needs, Victoria’s ECIS program intervenes early to provide support and sets kids up to move smoothly into school.
As part of the $59 million investment, large-scale and smaller building projects will commence across the state. Integrated children’s hubs will be built in Victoria’s fastest growing areas, including Doreen, Altona, Sebastapol in Ballarat and Highton in Geelong.
Grants will be available for the construction of new early learning centres for three and four-year old kinder programs and the renovation of existing centres. Priority will be given to communities with areas with rapid population growth and those with high levels of disadvantage.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos
“Young families and their kids deserve access to high-quality early childhood services close to where they live.”
“Every child deserves every chance to reach their potential, and that’s why the Andrews Labor Government is investing in children well before they start school.”
“We are serious about supporting the learning and development of children with disabilities well before they start school.”