Kindergarten support welcome
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.’’