In an Australian first, every Victorian child born under a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will start kindergarten a year earlier.
Labor will invest almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder, with the rollout beginning in 2020.
This will be the largest social, economic and educational reform ever undertaken in early childhood learning in Victoria’s history.
Labor’s commitment is also good news for families struggling with the cost of living. Many families pay around $5000 a year for three-year-old kinder, while the vast majority miss out altogether.
Recent research conducted by community service provider Uniting shows that nearly one in five families do not have their children enrolled in early learning because of the cost.
Under Labor’s plan, around a quarter of Victorian families will pay nothing at all, while Labor will cover 65 per cent of the cost for families with a higher income, consistent with the current subsidy for four-year-old kinder.
Those with kids who go to long-day-care will also benefit, with these centres given funding to employ teachers in their three-year-old rooms.
- A saving of $3,500 compared to the current system for families who choose to enrol their three-year-old in kinder.
- Three-year-old kinder rolled out to six regional LGAs by 2020, and an extra 15 LGAs in 2021.
- Every child in Victoria will have access to a least five hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder by 2022, progressively scaled up to 15 hours per week over the next decade.