The Victorian Government Early Childhood Reform Agenda is proceeding as planned, which means three-year-old kindergarten will be rolled out in the next 15 LGAs during 2021. Providers will deliver three-year-old programs of between five and 15 hours. Regional staff are supporting the 15 LGAs with service planning, rosters, supply of staff and a model delivery. Support is also being provided for teachers and educators in these services. Professional learning will continue to be provided by DET to all teachers and educators delivering three-year-old kinder next year.
This year, we’ve seen an incredible 80% participation rate in the three-year-old programs offered, and every family who enrolled saw their child given a place. Out of the 36 programs, 26 are offering 15 hours, with the rest offering between five and 15 hours. That uptake saw 20 new teachers and 20 new educators employed. In 2021, 80 new teachers and40 new educators will be required. While 58 LGAs are currently only delivering five hours of three-year-old kinder, it was recently announced that they will be able to offer 15 hours as of 2023. This additional funding will include SRF and all other funding attached to the delivery of funded kinder programs.
The state government campaign Three-Year-Old Kinder. Best Start. Best Life. has continued and is currently being promoted in the LGAs that will offer programs next year. Additionally, this campaign will go state-wide in the next six months, targeting all families across Victoria.
Recruitment from the campaign is going reasonably well. They have been targeting Year 12 students, career changers and up-skillers. The recruitment page has had 120,000 hits and most traction is occurring on the teachers page, with 1000 scholarships awarded.
The roll-out of three-year-old kinder will contribute to the economic recovery through jobs and infrastructure, but most importantly will provide early years education to more and more Victorian children.