MEMBERS STATEMENTS – Northern Victoria Region kindergartens

Ms SYMES (Northern Victoria) (10:16:33) — My members statement today is about the kindergartens in my electorate. Of course we want every child in every community to be able to attend a great local kinder. Part of this is making sure that more kinders are accessible. Last week I was delighted that 28 kinders across northern Victoria learned that they had been successful in securing a grant under the Andrews government’s inclusive kindergarten facilities program. That included seven in Wodonga, two in Mansfield and five in Wangaratta, as well as in Glenrowan, Whorouly and lots of other communities in my electorate. This is a Victorian‑first initiative where kinders receive new equipment such as wheelchair ramps, movable change tables, sensory play kits, adjustable chairs and braille books.

Kinders often find it difficult to navigate funding options for their kids, especially those that are not directly run by councils, which are very used to applying for funding. It is often the parents who are the ones who seek out the opportunities. Benalla and District Preschool Partnership is run by a committee of 10 parents. Karly Duncombe from that organisation contacted me a few months ago about the needs of Benalla’s kinders. I encouraged her to apply for funding under this round, and I was very pleased to inform her last week that she had been successful in receiving new equipment and furniture for her kindergartens. I congratulate Karly and her team, and I thank them for their commitment to the little people of Benalla.