South Gippsland families will have access to improved kindergarten facilities with work set to begin on upgrading Fish Creek Kindergarten, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

The service will be among the first in Victoria to offer funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and local families are receiving offers to enrol their child next year.

Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett today visited Fish Creek Kindergarten to inspect the progress of works on the kindergarten’s $367,000 upgrade, which includes a bathroom upgrade, a new locker area, ramps for strollers and wheelchair access, a communal consulting room and a new sensory alcove to support children’s mental health and wellbeing.

The Labor Government provided South Gippsland Shire Council with $148,000 towards the upgrade through a Children’s Facilities Capital Program grant. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2020.

Close to 250 families across South Gippsland have expressed an interest in enrolling their child in funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten for the first time in 2020, and are receiving letters of offer for kindergarten places. The roll-out of this reform in South Gippsland is part of the Victorian Government’s almost $5 billion commitment to delivering a full 15 hours of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten to every Victorian child over the next decade.

The Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program is starting in 2020 in six regional local government areas – South Gippsland, Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack.

The roll-out will continue progressively across the state, with families in a further 15 regional local government areas to benefit in 2021. This will be expanded in 2022 to give three-year-olds across the rest of the state access to five hours of funded kindergarten, before being scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029.

The state’s biggest early education build will also continue over the coming years, with the Government committing more than $1.68 billion over the next decade to co-invest in building or upgrading kindergarten facilities across the state.

These investments are about ensuring South Gippsland families have access to stronger early childhood education services, ensuring every child has a great start in life.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, which is why we’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett

“This upgrade will give Fish Creek families access to a first-rate early learning facility, and it’s so exciting that South Gippsland families are receiving Three-Year-Old Kindergarten enrolment offers for their children.”