Early Childhood Management Services (ECMS) warmly welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement on Monday to invest $882 million to ensure all children in Australia have access to two years of high-quality, play-based early education and care.
In an Australian first, Victoria made a commitment to ensure every three-year-old has access to at least five hours per week of subsidised kindergarten by 2022.
ECMS Chief Executive Officer Kim Bertino says, “We commend the Andrews Labor Government for this evidence-informed policy reform and commitment to a long-term, insightful investment to support the roll-out of three-year-old subsidised kindergarten.”
“Ninety per cent of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years of life. The Victorian Government’s investment in early education will provide children and their families access to two years of quality, inclusive, age-appropriate, play-based learning to ensure all children get the early education they need to flourish and set them up for life.”
ECMS also endorses the investment of $92.4 million to support early childhood teachers and educators through more professional development, mentoring and scholarships, so that as three-year-old kinder rolls out across Victoria, children continue to have access to highly-trained professionals. “This is a critical commitment to the ongoing challenges in the early childhood sector and our current workforce” said Ms Bertino.
“Our state government has taken notice of the what the research tells us to deliver evidence informed policy reform that support service providers like ECMS to deliver high-quality early learning and care to children in Australia.”
ECMS believes the announcement is a huge step in the right direction with an additional $316.5 million for early childhood infrastructure, for the sector to invest in new and expanded kindergarten facilities in areas where they are most needed.
This is a long-awaited transformation change in policy direction and strong commitment from the Victorian Government that will enable us to make the best social and economic long-term investment that will benefit all of Australia.
We look forward to working closely with the Victorian Government to continue our work with certainty and continue to provide high-quality early learning and care for all Victorian children and families.