The Andrews Labor Government will make it easier for families in Colac and Warrnambool to secure a kindergarten place for three and four-year-old children by supporting local councils to develop a central enrolment scheme to simplify enrolment processes.
Labor Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney announced Warrnambool City Council and Colac Otway Shire Council were two of eight councils in the local government areas rolling out Three-Year-Old Kinder first to be awarded grants to develop central enrolment schemes.
Colac Otway Shire Council will receive $75,000 to introduce a new central enrolment scheme.
Warrnambool City Council will receive $50,000 for the development of an online system and to improve their existing central enrolment scheme.
Central enrolment allows parents to register their interest in more than one kindergarten service in one place, without having to work through the different processes used by individual service providers.
The councils, where funded Three-Year-Old Kinder will start in 2020 and 2021, will share in $410,000 worth of grants to help them introduce a central enrolment scheme or expand and enhance an existing one that will cover as many services as possible in their local area.
This is part of the Labor Government’s $5.5 million investment to support central enrolment systems, helping to simplify the kinder enrolment process for families.
In an Australian first, the Labor Government has committed almost $5 billion to deliver 15 hours of funded three-year-old kindergarten programs to children in Victoria over the next decade.
Three-Year-Old Kindergarten has started in six regional local government areas in 2020 – 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 LGAs 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.
Central enrolment allows funded kindergarten places to be allocated fairly to eligible children and has been shown to have a positive effect in engaging vulnerable children in kindergarten.
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney
“Enrolling a child in kindergarten is an exciting step for families – that’s why we’re supporting a move towards one-stop-shop central enrolment systems to simplify this process.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“We know that two years are better than one when it comes to kindergarten, which is why we’re investing nearly $5 billion to roll out funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten across Victoria.”