Constituency Question: Kindergartens
Ros SPENCE (Yuroke) (12:54:39) — (14 468) My constituency question is to the Minister for Early Childhood Education. How is the Andrews Labor government supporting kindergartens in the Yuroke electorate? As the minister knows, the Yuroke electorate is a community of choice for many young families, and our local kinders do an excellent job ensuring that every child gets the best possible start in life. In particular, I would like to thank our early childhood educators for the excellent work that they do. There has been a substantial investment in early childhood services in my community under this government, and I would welcome any information that the minister can provide on opportunities to ensure that local kinders in my community continue in the future to go from strength to strength.
The Andrews Labor Government recognises the importance of early childhood education in giving our children the best start in life. This is why we’ve invested a record $123.6 million to build, upgrade and improve early years infrastructure across the State, funding an additional 8,250 three and four year old kindergarten places since November 2014. This funding includes $43 million as part of the 2018-19 State Budget, representing the single largest state investment in early years infrastructure in Victoria’s history.
As part of the Children’s Facilities Capital Program (CFCP), an upgrade to increase capacity at Westmeadows Preschool has recently been completed.
Investment through the CFCP has seen a number of kindergartens in your area receive funding in recent years. These include:
$1.6 million in 2015-16 for the new Aitken Hill Community Centre, currently under construction. This Centre is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019 and will provide two preschool rooms, two maternal child health consulting rooms, three specialist rooms for other allied child health and wellbeing service provision, as well as flexible multipurpose community meeting, functions rooms and a playground.
$1.6 million in 2017-18 for the new Greenvale West Integrated Children’s Centre, to build a flexible, multipurpose space for children, families and the local community. This Centre is scheduled for completion at the end of 2019.
These projects respond to growing demand for places, raise the quality of learning environments and improve access to services for children from vulnerable and/or disadvantaged families.
The Andrews Labor Government also provided two relocatable kindergartens in Craigieburn and Roxburgh Park in 2018. This temporary and innovative initiative is providing high quality learning environments and addressing immediate demand for kindergarten places in your electorate.
I also recently announced the successful grant recipients of the 2018-19 CFCP Minor Grants and I am pleased to advise you that the following kindergartens were successful in your electorate:
Goodstart Early Learning Craigieburn Central – $1500 for an IT grant
Attwood Child Care Centre and Kindergarten – $1500 for an IT grant
I thank you for your continued advocacy for your local early childhood services.
Jenny Mikakos MP
Minister for Families and Children
Minister for Early Childhood Education
Minister for Youth Affairs