Ingrid Stitt at tarneit Central Bilingual - English-Punjabi Kinder

On the last day of campaigning, Labor has upped the ante with a new announcement which will catch Victoria’s CALD communities. If re-elected tomorrow, the Andrews government will invest $3.7 Million in 10 bilingual kinders across the state to allow CALD community children to attend kinder and keep their connection to their language spoken at home.

The VIC Labor media release says:

“With 90 per cent of a child’s brain developing before the age of five, early education has a profound effect on the way our kids develop. That’s why we promised to deliver Three-Year-Old Kinder – making sure Victorian kids are ready for school and set for life, while also saving families thousands of dollars in standalone kinder fees”, says a VIC Labor media release.

We’re also making three and four-year-old kinder free – saving families up to $2500 per child, per year – and opening 50 new government-owned and operated childcare centres, providing a low-cost, high-quality option for parents.

Labor’s plan makes it easier, and cheaper, to give our kids the very best start. But we know there’s more to do to help every child be their best.

That’s why a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will support every kinder in our state as part of a $24 million investment.

That includes almost $15 million to deliver a one-off $5,000 grant to every kinder in Victoria, helping them purchase new toys and equipment for play-based learning.

We’ll also make sure young Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can maintain a strong connection to their culture, with $3.7 million to create 10 new bilingual kinders across the state.

A further $3.6 million will help establish an extra 150 Bush Kinder programs each year. These $6,000 grants will see more kinders set up nature programs, giving our kids more opportunity to get outdoors, climb trees and get grubby.

“We know families are struggling with the cost of living. Free Kinder and 50 new government-owned and operated childcare centres will help make sure no child misses out, – at the same time saving families thousands of dollars,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“From Bush Kinder to bilingual kinder, toy upgrades to toy libraries – we’re delivering comprehensive play-based learning to every kid and upgrading every kinder in Victoria.

“Labor is doing what matters, giving more opportunities for our youngest Victorians to play, make friends and learn skills for life” the Premier added.

Also read: Labor tipped to return, bruised and much thinner

And because every parent knows how important play is, Labor will create eight new toy libraries and support existing toy libraries with grants of up to $10,000, helping them purchase new toys with an investment of $1.9 million.

But we can deliver work and play – with Labor’s Best Start, Best Life investment supporting almost 8,000 construction jobs.

It builds on our already massive reforms – delivering Free Kinder for three and four-year-olds, creating 50 government-owned and operated childcare centres and establishing Pre-Prep, an extra year of play-based learning that will also save families money and help more women back into work.

“Early education has the most profound impact on a child’s development – that’s why we’re delivering Free Kinder for three and four-year-olds, establishing Pre-Prep, and upgrading or providing new equipment to every kinder to make sure kids have everything they need to get the best start,” minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep Ingrid Stitt said.

“You can’t trust Matthew Guy’s Liberals with our little ones’ future – they callously cut $1 billion from education, ending vital early childhood initiatives including the Young Readers Program” Ms Stitt added.

Bilingual kinders will help CALD community children in their early years away from home where they will be communicating in languages other than English.

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