Media Release - What's in it for Early Childhood?
“Victoria is on the cusp of making some profound differences, to the lives of thousands of Victoria’s most vulnerable children” says Dr Anne Kennedy, Chairperson of Community Child Care Association (CCC).
CCC is pleased to see some initiatives in this year’s State Budget targeted directly at early childhood education services, and also welcomes a raft of innovative initiatives across several portfolios that will make a huge difference to communities and thousands of families and children across Victoria.
As part of the Education State agenda, the Victorian Government has consulted widely with the early childhood sector about priority areas for reform. The ‘Stakeholder and community engagement key findings report: The Education State, Early Childhood’ released in March 2016, reiterates the Victorian Government’s commitment to strengthening early childhood services and making improvements in:
• Earlier engagement in learning
• A boost to educational quality
• More support for parents
• More support for vulnerable and disadvantaged children
• Better connection between services.
The direct investment in early childhood education and care services in this Victorian State Budget includes:
• $10 million over 2 years to build kindergartens and children’s centres in fast growing areas
• $4.4 million over 4 years for a new initiative offering financial viability support to new small rural kindergartens
• Ongoing rollout of the National Occasional Care Programme
• Investment in Healthy Relationships Programs across schools and early years services aimed at preventing family violence.
Dr Kennedy said “This Victorian Budget addresses several core priorities for early childhood reform and sets the scene for strong communities. Moving towards universal access to early childhood education for all children 2 years and above is the next challenge.”
Read the full release here