Source: Government of Victoria 2
The Andrews Labor Government is helping build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state as it gets on with rolling out Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.
Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Lucknow Primary School to announce a new kindergarten would be built at the school, helping families ditch the dreaded double drop-off.
The Labor Government will fund a two-room kinder, creating 66 places for local three and four-year-old children, which is set to open in Bairnsdale in Term 1, 2022.
Minister Merlino today also launched the new Building Blocks grants program, which will streamline all pre-exisiting kindergarten grants into one process with applications for funding now open for local councils and not-for-profit organisations delivering kindergarten facilities. The program will allocate the $156.6 million over five years made available in the 2019-20 Budget as the first instalment of funding for Three Year Old Kindergarten.
Building Blocks, which will replace previous grants streams, will include significant increases to the maximum state funding contributions for projects and offer new delivery options such as purpose-built modular kinder facilities.
Funding applications are now open under the Building Blocks capacity stream for projects that create additional kindergarten places for three and four-year-olds.
Councils and non-profit organisations can apply for up to $1.5 million for a New Early Learning Facility, including under the new modular kindergarten facility option, up to $600,000 for an expansion, or up to $2 million for a new Integrated Children’s Centre.
The Labor Government is also investing $4.4 million to provide all local councils with grants, of up to $90,000, to support their long-term planning of early childhood infrastructure as Three-Year-Old Kindergarten is rolled out.
This is part of the Labor Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver two years of funded kinder for all Victorian children – in an Australian-first. The reform has started in six regional local government areas in 2020, with families in a further 15 regional LGAs – including East Gippsland – to benefit in 2021.
As part of this roll-out, the Government is upgrading infrastructure through a $1.68 billion co-investment with the early childhood sector to build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services as part of our historic $5 billion investment in delivering universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.”
“Through Building Blocks, the Victorian Government will be providing greater flexibility, greater certainty and greater investment for local councils and not-for-profit organisations on their early years infrastructure projects.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett
“It’s so exciting that we’re not only providing local children with a great new kindergarten but once completed, it will help make the transition to school that much easier for children who go on to Lucknow Primary School.”