Early Childhood Education – Member’s Statement
Ms ADDISON (Wendouree) (09:56): The Andrews Labor government is committed to supporting families in ensuring our littlest Victorians have the best start in life, with kinder to be free from 2023.
Every Victorian child will have access to free three- and four-year-old kinder. This will provide families with a saving of up to $2500 per child, making a real difference for household budgets.
This is the Education State, and this Labor government believes that every child deserves access to high-quality education and care, regardless of where they live or their household income. This is why we are transforming Victoria’s early education system.
From 2025 we are introducing 30 hours per week of fully funded universal pre-prep for all Victorian children. Not only will this change have profound impacts on our children’s development and school readiness but this early childhood reform will fundamentally change opportunities for parents to work, especially mums. It would certainly have helped me when I was juggling with working part time, paying for child care and managing kinder drop-offs and pick-ups.
This is a very significant reform for gender equality in homes and workplaces, as well as creating opportunities for women to advance their careers, increase their incomes and build their superannuation balances as they return to work sooner.
The Andrews Labor government has also committed to opening 50 government-run childcare centres in areas that currently have limited places. This will be a huge relief to thousands of working families.