Funds ensure kinders inclusive
Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp MP last week announced Yarrawonga Early Childhood Centre, Goodstart Early Learning Yarrawonga and Tungamah Kindergarten along with a number of other kinders in the Goulburn Valley will share in over $28K of Building Blocks funding grants through the Inclusion and Improvement streams.
Locally, Yarrawonga Early Childhood Centre will receive $1,500 for a desktop computer, Goodstart Early Learning Yarrawonga will receive $1,500 to purchase a Dell Latitude 5420 14.0” Laptop and accessories and Tungamah Kindergarten will receive $1,322 to purchase a Smart TV.
Others in the region include in Kialla, Katamatite, Eilleen Taylor, Cobram, Lulla’s Children and Family Centre Aboriginal Corporation, Barmah, Strathmerton, Shepparton, Nathalia and Numurkah.
“We are excited to improve kindergarten infrastructure and make sure they are inclusive for all children - this will also be critical to ensuring the success of the state-wide roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten next year,” Mr Gepp said.
The latest round of Building Blocks Inclusion Grants is worth almost $2.4 million statewide - supporting 242 kindergartens upgrade their facilities or purchase equipment to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for children of all needs and abilities.
Upgrades include infrastructure in playgrounds to make kinder activities more accessible as well as moveable inclusive education equipment like mobility stools and sensory equipment to support learning programs.
Almost 570 kindergarten services operating a funded kindergarten program have received IT grants of up to $1,500 from the latest round of the Building Blocks Improvement Grants funding, sharing more than $796,000 in total for state-of-the-art technology support to help deliver their funded kinder programs.
These IT grants will help pay for new equipment such as computers, iPads and interactive TV aids that can be used for administration or to help deliver learning programs.
Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt said the government is “delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services so our children right across the state can get the most out of their great local kindergartens giving them the best start to life.
“We want to ensure that all children can participate fully at kindergarten so it is crucial
that we upgrade facilities and buy the specialist equipment needed to create safe and inclusive learning environments,” Ms Stitt said.
Building Blocks Grants is a streamlined overarching funding scheme that supports early childhood providers with new and existing infrastructure and facilities for eligible three and four-year-old kindergarten services.
To find out more about Building Blocks Inclusion Grants and to apply for the next round, visit schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/Pages/BuildingBlocks.
In an Australian-first, the Government is investing almost $5 billion this decade to provide three-year-old children with access to an additional year of funded kindergarten programs.
From 2022, three-year-old children across the state will have access to at least five hours of kindergarten. Services will then scale up their hours to reach the full 15-hour program by 2029.
As part of the Three-Year-Old Kindergarten roll-out, the Victorian Budget 2021/22 has invested $1.68 billion to build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state over this decade.
A number of kindergartens across the region will ensure they are inclusive for children of all abilities by upgrading their early childhood education centres and buying specialist equipment to help support learning outcomes.