Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: early childhood education

Ministers statements: early childhood education

Ingrid STITT (Western Metropolitan – Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep, Minister for Environment) (16:47): Thank you, President, and can I also congratulate you on your elevation to the presidency.

I am really honoured to be back in the chamber today to update the house on some of the commitments that the Andrews Labor government has made to ensure all Victorian children get the very best start in life. As part of our $9 billion Best Start, Best Life reforms we will deliver an additional investment of $24 million to create the best kinders for every child. Funding of almost $15 million will be provided for one-off $5000 grants so that kindergartens can purchase new toys and equipment to support play-based learning. We will spend $3.7 million to create 10 new bilingual kindergartens across the state, supporting children to continue learning in their home language or to learn a new language. These additional bilingual kindergartens will build on the successful early childhood language program.

To help children develop a love of learning in the great outdoors, we will provide $3.6 million to enable kinders to establish bush kinder and nature programs, combining my two great portfolios. 150 kinders each year over four years will be eligible for $6000 grants. We will support our wonderful toy libraries with $1.9 million to establish eight new toy libraries and support existing toy libraries with grants of up to $10,000 to purchase new toys. This is on top of free kinder for every three- and four-year-old and the continued expansion of kinder hours for three-year-old children. These investments are life changing and demonstrate our government’s commitment to early childhood education and care.