News and Views

Securing more kinder places to make things fair

The Victorian Government is making things fair for hundreds of additional families through extra support for access to vital kindergarten places outside of enrolment periods.

Victorian Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos visited Bridge Road Kindergarten in Strathtulloh to announce the permanent extension of the successful pre-purchased places pilot.

Pre-purchased kindergarten places are created for vulnerable families and children known to child protection, refugees and Koorie children, and concession card holders so that they can still attend a local service at no cost to families and carers, even if they miss the enrolment dates.

More than 650 pre-purchased places will be available for families at about 230 services across Victoria in 2018 – up from the 450 places in 2017.

The Government is taking action by investing $2.3 million to make the Pre-purchased Places program permanent.

Research shows that children who have a stimulating, supportive and healthy start to life are more likely to do well later in life and children who attend kinder score between 10 and 20 points higher on NAPLAN tests.

One in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children miss out on kindergarten in the year before school, while recently arrived migrants and refugees without stable employment and housing also face challenges in accessing kindergarten.

The Pre-purchased Places program changes lives by helping families overcome barriers to participating in kindergarten such as enrolling late, moving into new areas, or being cared for out of home.

The program is part of the Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan.

This ground-breaking plan recognises the importance of providing families with strong support in early childhood so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

Source: Vic Government

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