Making Northern Victoria’s Kindergartens Better

The Andrews Labor Government is helping Northern Victoria’s kindergartens upgrade their buildings and playgrounds and buy equipment to provide a more inclusive environment for children with disabilities and additional needs.

Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, today announced $6.4 million for the new Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program to improve classrooms and playgrounds.

Local governments, not-for-profit service providers and pre-schools in Northern Victoria are encouraged to apply for infrastructure upgrades – including playgrounds – of up to $200,000 or for grants up to $10,000 to buy inclusive education equipment such as moveable wheelchair-access ramps or adjustable tables and chairs.

The funding is part of a $19 million suite of initiatives to make early childhood services more inclusive for children with disabilities and additional needs.

Ms Symes has already secured and delivered significant funding for upgrades to kindergartens and preschools throughout Northern Victoria.

“As a working mother who has relied on childcare I am absolutely passionate about the provision of quality childcare options in country Victoria,” Ms Symes said.

“We know that high-quality early years education and care are vital to giving our children the best start in life, which is why Labor is investing in first-rate early learning facilities.

“No child should be left behind – Labor is making kinders and playgrounds more accessible for kids of all abilities.

“I encourage service providers, councils and schools in Northern Victoria to apply to upgrade their kinders.”

The Labor Government is delivering a record $76.4 million to build, upgrade and improve kinders across Victoria – to ensure local families continue to have access to first rate local facilities.

Families will also benefit from the Government’s $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, announced in the 2017-18 Victorian Budget.

The 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.

Applications for the Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program can be made online at http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/Pages/Inclusive-Kindergartens-Facilities-Program.aspx.