Minister James Merlino kicked off the Education State Forum using one of his favourite Joe Biden quotes: “Don’t show me your values, show me your budget and I will tell you your values.” With almost $5 billion being invested in the sector, it’s clear that the Victorian government truly values high-quality early years education.
As we begin the implementation of universal access to three-year-old kindergarten, there is a real interest from the department (DET) to listen to, consult with and work alongside teachers and educators to ensure this reform delivers high-quality education for both three and four-year-old children.
By contributing to the consultation process, our members can help shape, inform and influence this significant and exciting reform agenda that the profession campaigned so long and hard for.
Early Childhood Reform
• $5 billion dollar investment in early years education over 10 years.
• Permanent School Readiness Funding – equity funding to support children in three priority areas; communication, wellbeing and access and inclusion.
• Languages Program – 15 languages being taught in 100 kindergarten services in 2019, including Auslan and Aboriginal Languages, increasing to 160 services in 2020.
• Mentoring and professional development.
• Two new Free Early Childhood TAFE courses.
• Early Childhood Scholarships, including Aboriginal pathway scholarships.
• Early Childhood Incentives of up to $9000 for teachers to relocate and teach in a location where kindergarten programs are rolling out in 2020.
• Improvements to buildings and playgrounds and equipment that is more inclusive for children with additional needs.
• Infrastructure – upgrading and expanding kindergartens. 1000 new up upgraded kindergartens and facilities. Every new school opening from 2020 will have a kindergarten co-located.
• Promotion of early childhood careers.