Kinder­garten sup­port welcome

The Tatura Guardian - - News -

The Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion of Vic­to­ria has wel­comed the State Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to boost kinder­garten fund­ing by $83.7 mil­lion, so lo­cal coun­cils and providers can im­ple­ment new staff-tochild ra­tios be­ing in­tro­duced in 2016.

MAV pres­i­dent Bill McArthur said coun­cils and the MAV had been ad­vo­cat­ing for ad­di­tional fund­ing since the new ra­tios were in­cluded in the Na­tional Qual­ity Frame­work which came into ef­fect in Jan­uary 2012.

Un­der the new ra­tio for 2016, kinder­gartens will pro­vide one ed­u­ca­tor per 11 chil­dren.

‘‘This fund­ing will help kinder­gartens re­main fi­nan­cially vi­able when of­fer­ing ses­sional pro­grams for groups with more than 22 chil­dren, a move which in turn will mean bet­ter learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for those chil­dren,’’ Cr McArthur said.

‘‘The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment has worked closely with the MAV and coun­cils re­gard­ing the new child-care ra­tios to en­sure the con­cerns and sug­ges­tions of providers have been heard and ad­dressed.

‘‘It’s re­as­sur­ing that the State Gov­ern­ment has un­der­taken ex­ten­sive anal­y­sis and work to ex­tend its per capita fund­ing to sup­port the ad­di­tional costs as­so­ci­ated with the new ra­tios early so coun­cils and providers can plan for 2016.’’

Cr McArthur said the $83.7 mil­lion in­crease is over four years and tied to ser- vices of­fer­ing group sizes of 23 and above.

‘‘The ex­act im­pli­ca­tions of these changes for some coun­cil and com­mu­nity-run ser­vices will be­come ap­par­ent when they are able to pre­pare de­tailed bud­gets,’’ he said.

‘‘The sec­tor hopes the State Gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to pro­vide this ad­di­tional sup­port to kinder­gartens so they in turn can con­tinue to sup­port Vic­to­rian chil­dren and fam­i­lies.’’

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