Thursday, 23 June 2022

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: early childhood education

Ministers statements: early childhood education

Ms STITT (Western Metropolitan—Minister for Workplace Safety, Minister for Early Childhood) (12:26): It has been wonderful to officially open a number of new and upgraded kindergartens across our state recently and see the benefits of the Andrews Labor government’s record investment in kinders for Victorian children and their families. To support the rollout of three-year-old kinder and meet growing demand for four-year-old kinder across Victoria, this government has allocated $880 million since 2015 to build, expand and improve early years infrastructure. Today I would like to update the house on the progress of these very important investments in the early learning environment of our youngest learners.

Since 2015 the Andrews Labor government has allocated funding for the delivery of 171 new kinders, and it pleases me to update the house that to date more than 100 of those projects have now been completed. This government has also funded a further 1178 kindergartens across Victoria since 2015 to upgrade, and I can report that more than 862 of those projects have now been completed. These upgrades range from renovation and expansion of kinder facilities all the way through to new playgrounds and inclusive education equipment to provide safe and accessible environments for children of all needs and abilities.

This month I was pleased to announce the opening of a new round of the Building Blocks inclusion grants, giving kinders a further opportunity to upgrade their buildings and equipment. As the Andrews Labor government embarks on the biggest investment in early childhood education in our state’s history through the $9 billion Best Start, Best Life set of reforms, it is more important than ever that we put quality kinder infrastructure in place where it is needed, giving our children the very best start in life.