This means that:
- from 2023, Free Kinder will be available for all Victorian three and four year old children at participating services
- over the next decade, Four-Year-Old Kindergarten will transition to ‘Pre-Prep’ – a universal 30-hour a week program of play-based learning
- starting from 2025, 50 Victorian Government-owned and affordable childcare centres will be established in areas that have unmet demand.
This is in addition to the $5 billion roll-out of 15 hours per week of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten across the state.
Estimated economic benefits
Analysis prepared for the Department of Treasury and Finance by Deloitte Access Economics shows that:
- By 2032-33, the Best Start, Best Life extension is expected to support an additional 9,800 children enrolling in early childhood (EC) services, boost Victoria’s workforce by up to 24,800 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs, and increase the state’s real GSP by between $1.9 billion - $2.8 billion.
- By 2061-62, the program is expected to support around 12,800 children enrolling in EC services, create up to an additional 72,500 FTE, and increase the state’s real GSP by between $4.8 billion - $7.9 billion.
- The impact of the Best Start, Best Life extension on Victoria is expected to almost double when combined with the Commonwealth Government’s proposed increases to the Child Care Subsidy (to start from 1 July 2023). This is expected to support an additional 17,400 children enrolling in EC services, create up to an additional 131,500 FTE, and increase the state’s real GSP by between $6.3 billion - $13.5 billion by 2061-62.
More information on the Best Start, Best Life program can be found on the Victorian Government’s Give your child the best start website.