Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt announced seven $7.8 million Building Blocks Capacity grants will be awarded to assist the expansion of kindergarten services.
Building Blocks is a grants program aimed at assisting early childhood providers with new and existing infrastructure and kindergarten facilities.
The current grant will target kindergarten services in the Bayside, Moreland, Whittlesea, Glen Eira, Maribyrnong and Stonnington areas.
The grant will fund the building of new centres and the renovation of buildings and rooms, as well as the improvement outdoor play areas and the upgrade of facilities.
This will create 239 extra funded kindergarten places for eligible three and four-year-olds.
Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt said this age range is a crucially important time.
“We know how important the early years are – that’s why we are delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services across Victoria to help our kids and their families access better quality programs and facilities,” Stitt said.
“By improving and expanding the learning environments of our kinders, we are making sure children right across the state can enjoy learning in modern, fit-for-purpose environments – giving them the best start to life.”
The funding is part of a nearly $5 billion investment that spans this decade and aims to provide three-year-old children with access to an extra year of funded kindergarten programs.
Three-year-old children throughout Victoria will have access to no less than five hours of kindergarten, starting in 2022.
Research has found that play-based learning is an effective and powerful way to assist in children’s development.
The benefits last into the school years and beyond, and include creative thinking, social and emotional skills, and early learning literacy and numeracy skills.
By 2029, services will then scale up their hours to reach the full 15-hour program.
For more information on the Building Blocks program, visit its website.
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