26 September 2023

Inclusive kindys on the drawing board

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The Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education has announced that Victorian kindergarten buildings and playgrounds will be upgraded to be more inclusive of children with disability.

The Secretary, Sonya Kilkenny visited Miners Rest Kindergarten and Creswick and District Preschool to announce the next round of successful applicants in the Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program.

“Creswick and District Preschool is one of 54 services to secure funding to upgrade their buildings or playgrounds,” Ms Kilkenny said.

“It will receive more than $60,000 to improve the accessibility of its 60-year-old facility, including building a new ramp to connect its second classroom to the playground and widening doorways,” she said.

Ms Kilkenny said children at Miners Rest had already benefitted from the program, after the kindergarten received more than $140,000 to modify its playground and improve lighting.

She said a further 184 services would receive grants of up to $10,000 for items that promoted inclusiveness and diversity, such as adjustable tables and chairs, padded mats and weighted cushions.

“Three-Year-Old Kindergarten will roll out progressively across the state, with families in 21 regional Local Government Areas to benefit in 2020 and 2021,” she said.

Ms Kilkenny said the program would be expanded in 2022 to give three-year-olds across the rest of the State access to five hours of funded kindergarten, before being scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029.

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