The Victorian and Commonwealth governments have signed a preschool funding agreement that will benefit around 330,000 Victorian children in Four-Year-Old Kindergarten over the next four years.
The Preschool Reform Agreement confirms up to $514 million of Commonwealth funding for Four-Year-Old Kindergarten in Victoria from 2022 to 2025.
Acting Minister for Education and Youth Stuart Robert said the agreement will ensure Victorian children have access to high-quality preschool options and are better prepared for their first year of school.
‘This agreement will mean every child in Victoria has the opportunity to attend at least 15 hours of preschool a week in the year before they start school,’ Minister Robert said.
‘Importantly, this funding is linked to new reforms, including improving preschool participation and developing an outcomes measure, and will benefit all children, regardless of the type of preschool they attend.
Victorian Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt said the Commonwealth’s contribution would provide funding certainty to parents, educators and the sector.
This agreement builds on Victoria’s strong record of investing in two years of kindergarten for children.
With the Commonwealth’s $514 million contribution, Victoria will spend a total of $2.3 billion on Four-Year-Old Kindergarten over the life of the agreement.
‘The evidence is clear – the more we invest in early childhood education, the better start in life Victorian kids get. We’re proud to support their wellbeing, learning and development,’ Ms Stitt said.
‘Victoria has already delivered an extensive kindergarten education agenda – including the statewide roll-out of universal Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, the introduction of equity funding, and more support for quality early education programs.’
‘This agreement maintains Commonwealth funding to the sector and, importantly, will ensure all Victorian children and their families are supported during these significant years.’
This four-year agreement provides long term certainty to around 300,000 Australian children and their families each year, along with the early childhood education sector.
New South Wales signed the Preschool Reform Agreement on Monday (6 December).
The Commonwealth is continuing to work with the remaining states and territories to ensure they can have an agreement in place, and funding certainty, ahead of the 2022 preschool year.
The Commonwealth’s historic investment in early childhood education also includes around $10 billion a year through the child care system to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for families using child care and to improve workforce participation.