HUGE NEW KINDER BUILD AHEAD OF 3-YEAR-OLD KINDER ROLLOUT

As part of its massive investment in three-year-old kinder, a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will undertake our state’s biggest early education build, with almost 1000 new and upgraded kinders across the state.

Making sure families have peace of mind and our kids are ready for school, Labor will invest more than $1.68 billion over the next decade, which will see around 785 new kinders built and 170 existing services expanded.

Already home to around 2400 services providing kindergarten programs, this investment represents a nearly 40 per cent bump in services across our state and is expected to create around 5000 construction jobs.

In order to kickstart work as soon as possible, a re-elected Labor Government will begin working with councils and communities on their local kinder rollout from day one.

Announced today by Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing while visiting Goodstart Early Learning Centre in Morwell, the investment will help meet Labor’s commitment to deliver a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder for every Victorian child.

The reform, which gives kids an extra year of kinder before school, will create massive demand.

In Latrobe City, for example, around 450 extra kinder places will be created by 2029, equivalent to more than eight new early education services. In Baw Baw, more than 400 places will be created, equivalent to nine local services. In Wellington, about 244 new places will be created, equivalent to about six new centres.

This investment includes a massive injection of funds into our existing Children’s Facilities Capital Program, which provides financial support to councils and community organisations to fund their own builds and upgrades.

The introduction of three-year-old kinder will be the biggest early education reform in Victoria’s history.

As part of Labor’s almost $5 billion investment, every Victorian child will have access to at least five hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder by 2022, progressively scaled up to 15 hours per week over the next decade

It also represents good news for families struggling with the cost of living. Right now, many are forced to scrimp and save to cover the costs of three-year-old kinder – around $5000 a year for 15 hours – while the vast majority see their kids miss out. But under Labor’s plan, around a quarter of Victorian families will pay nothing at all.

For families with a higher income, the Labor Government will cover 65 per cent of their child’s kindergarten costs, consistent with the current subsidy for four-year-old kinder. This represents a saving of at least $3500 for families whose children attend a standalone kinder.

Quote attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

We’ve promised to rollout three-year-old kinder and we’re backing it up, undertaking the biggest early education build our state has ever seen. Only Labor will make sure local kids get the opportunities they deserve.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“The research is very clear – early learning sets kids up for the best possible start in life. We’re giving families the opportunity to ensure their kids are ready for school and ready for life.”