Brimbank City Council will write to the Federal Minister for Education and Training to call for continued funding.
Brimbank City Council will write to the Federal Minister for Education and Training to call for continued funding of 15 hours of kindergarten per week for four-year-olds in Brimbank, and across Victoria.
Mayor of Brimbank, Cr John Hedditch said Council is participating in an advocacy campaign led by the Municipal Association of Victoria, for continued funding for kindergarten programs under the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education (NPAECE).
“There are currently 74 kindergarten programs operating in Brimbank in stand-alone and child care settings, offering quality early education for more than 2700 children in our community.
“The Commonwealth Government’s current commitment to kindergarten funding ends in December and there has been no indication that funding will continue beyond this time.
“This uncertainty makes it very difficult for services and families to plan ahead.
“We call on the Commonwealth Government to commit to a more permanent funding model so that children in Brimbank – and across Victoria – can continue to access this vital early childhood service into the future.
“Any increase in fees that fall on to families will lead to reduced participation and learning outcomes for children. This is simply not acceptable,” Cr Hedditch said.
Under the NPAECE, the Commonwealth Government currently provides about one-third of the funding for 15 hours of kindergarten and the Victorian Government contributes two thirds.
In addition Victorian community-based kindergartens also rely on community and parent support (including fees and fundraising) to assist with the operating costs of kindergartens.
Victorian local government has invested significant funds and resources towards kindergarten provision with councils owning most facilities and being a major service planner and provider. Councils also offer subsidies and other assistance for kindergarten programs.
Without Commonwealth funding, kindergarten programs fees in Brimbank will need to significantly increase to cover the funding gap.