Children and families in Melbourne’s southeast are benefitting following a kindergarten building upgrade, and new funding from the Victorian Government, which is helping young children to get the most out of their early childhood education.
Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Childhood Education Sonya Kilkenny attended Pakenham Kindergarten to see first-hand how the new facilities are supporting learning, after the centre recently underwent a refurbishment worth more than $650,000.
To celebrate its historical significance, the redevelopment has made way for a revamped entrance, extension to the outdoor undercover area improved bathroom facilities and access for children of all abilities while maintaining the original heritage features of the structure.
The Victorian Government provided Cardinia Shire Council with $350,000 towards the project through a Children’s Facilities Capital Program grant, with the council funding the remainder.
Ms Kilkenny also visited two Pakenham kindergartens to see how new school readiness funding is helping young children to thrive, thanks to a $58.1 million investment from the Victorian Government. Children at Henry Family Children’s Centre and Lakeside Children’s Centre are among the first to benefit from a share in the funding.
Henry Family Children’s Centre and Lakeside Children’s Centre both received around $80,000 in needs-based school readiness funding. They are among 580 kindergarten services across 25 local government areas in Victoria to receive school readiness funding in 2019. By 2021, around 2,400 kindergartens in Victoria will benefit from the funding.
The kindergartens can use the funding to engage professionals such as speech pathologists and literacy experts to work in partnership with educators and families to support language development.
Australian research shows that one in five Victorian children start school developmentally vulnerable and once behind, children find it hard to catch up.
Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years – which is why the Labor Government is refurbishing and building kindergartens, making sure young children get a good start, while also investing almost $5 billion over a decade to scale up three-year-old kindergarten programs to 15 hours for all Victorian children.
Source: Vic Government