Boosting Kindergarten Places for Ballarat Families
The Victorian Government is creating extra kinder places in Ballarat with a boost to early education infrastructure ─ making sure young children in the area can access and enjoy Three-Year-Old Kinder.
Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt today announced a $1.3 million Building Blocks capacity grant for Ballarat Specialist Kinder in Lake Gardens ─ one of 10 successful grant recipients to share in $13.3 million, creating 561 funded kindergarten places across nine local government areas.
Ballarat Specialist Kinder’s program caters for all children, but specialises in students with additional needs. The school has run both a four-year-old program and a limited three-year-old program for the past eight years. This funding will allow the kinder to increase the three-year-old program from 2.5 hours to 15 hours per week and will provide an immense benefit to the local community.
This Building Blocks funding is on top of the $10 million announced by the Andrews Labor Government in November last year to upgrade and modernise the Ballarat Specialist School, including providing additional permanent buildings.
The Building Blocks Grants program is a streamlined overarching funding scheme that supports early childhood providers with new and existing infrastructure and facilities for eligible three and four-year-old kindergarten services.
For more information about Building Blocks Grants, visit: https://schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/Pages/Building-Blocks.
In an Australian-first, the Victorian Government is investing almost $5 billion this decade to provide three-year-old children with access to an additional year of funded kindergarten programs.
From 2022, three-year-old children across the state will have access to at least five hours of kindergarten.
Services will then scale up their hours to reach the full 15-hour program by 2029
As part of the Three-Year-Old-Kinder roll-out, the Victorian Government is upgrading infrastructure through a $1.68 billion co-investment with the early childhood sector to build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison
“Congratulations to the Ballarat Specialist School who was one of only 10 successful grant recipients for this funding across the state. This $1.3 million Building Blocks grant is great news for our littlest learners who will now be able to access 15 hours of three-year-old kinder at the Ballarat Specialist School.”
“This further investment shows the Andrews Labor Government’s strong support for special needs education from the earliest age in the Ballarat community.”
Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle
“Expanding the three-year-old kinder program from 2.5 hours to 15 hours a week will make a huge difference to families and will see kids with additional needs getting much more support.”
Quotes attributable to Ballarat Specialist School Acting Principal Sam Sheppard
“Receiving this funding is fantastic for our local community. To be able to offer families additional spaces to access funded three-year-old kindergarten, and to subsequently enhance their child’s development and readiness for school is crucial.”
“The opportunity to access early education is important for all children, but particularly for children with additional needs. We are very proud of our current kindergarten program, and these funds mean we will be able to increase our funded enrolments by 150%. We look forward to further supporting the community with beginning their child’s educational journey.”