The Victorian government has announced (Thursday 16 June 2022) an extra year of funded, play-based learning as part of a commitment with the NSW government to transform early education.
This kindergarten policy commitment is based on research that demonstrates early education provides improved outcomes for children.
What do we know?
- 30 hours per week of funded 4 year-old kindergarten education is proposed.
- This new kindergarten program for 4-year-olds will be known as 'pre-prep'.
- This extra year of funded kindergarten education will be free, but not compulsory.
- The Victorian government is aiming for a 2025 start date.
What are the benefits for families?
- Improved life outcomes for children - research shows that children who accessed two years of kindergarten had better schooling and developmental outcomes.
- Improved flexibility and opportunity for parents and caregivers to balance work and care commitments.
- Improved financial savings for parents.
- Improved social outcomes for issues that arise from learning difficulties.
- Increased growth and focus on early education careers and job opportunities.
Additional early learning centres near you
The Victorian government has also committed to build 50 government-run and low-fee childcare centres in areas that currently have less facilities and high demand.
The 16 June 2022 announcement for 30 hours of funded ‘pre-prep’ won’t start in 2023, (the start date for this 'pre-prep' in Victoria is 2025) however new subsidies for kinder will start in 2023. There will be 15 hours of government subsidised ‘free kindergarten’ for both 3 and 4-year-olds in Victoria from 2023.
“From 2023, any family with a three or four-year-old will pay nothing for kinder – a saving of up to $2,500 per child every year,” the Premier said.
How will Y Victoria be involved in this change to kindergarten?
The new fully funded ‘pre-prep’ year will only be offered by government approved, early learning centres like those run by Y Victoria. We will work closely with the state government, councils across Victoria and other industry stakeholders to implement this new kindergarten program.
Y Victoria is also committed to providing you with the information and knowledge you need to make the best decisions about early childhood learning for your child. Follow our YMCA Early Learning Facebook and website to keep up to date, and contact our early learning customer care team for any questions about enrolling in kindergarten for 2022 and 2023.