The Andrews Labor Government is making it easier for families to secure a kindergarten place for three and four-year-old children by supporting councils to develop central enrolment schemes and simplify kindergarten enrolment processes.
Minister for Education James Merlino today announced eight councils in the areas rolling out Three-Year-Old Kinder first have been awarded grants to develop and strengthen central enrolment schemes.
“Enrolling a child in kindergarten is an exciting step for Victorian families – that’s why we’re supporting a move towards one-stop-shop central enrolment systems to simplify this process”, Minister for Education, James Merlino said.
“We know that two years are better than one when it comes to kindergarten, which is why we’re investing nearly $5 billion to roll out funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten across Victoria”, Minister added.
Central enrolment allows parents to register their interest in more than one kindergarten service in one place, without having to work through the different processes used by individual service providers.
The councils, where funded Three-Year-Old Kinder will start in 2020 and 2021, will share in $410,000 worth of grants to help them introduce a central enrolment scheme or expand and enhance an existing one that will cover as many services as possible in their local area.
This is part of the Labor Government’s $5.5 million investment to support central enrolment systems, helping to simplify the kinder enrolment process for families.
In an Australian first, the Labor Government has committed almost $5 billion to deliver 15 hours of funded three-year-old kindergarten programs to children in Victoria over the current decade.
Three-Year-Old Kindergarten is starting in 2020 in six regional local government areas – South Gippsland, Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack.
The roll-out will continue progressively across the state, with families in a further 15 regional LGAs to benefit in 2021. This will be expanded in 2022 to give three-year-olds across the rest of the state access to five hours of funded kindergarten, before being scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029.
Central enrolment allows funded kindergarten places to be allocated fairly to eligible children and has been shown to have a positive effect in engaging vulnerable children in kindergarten.