Free Kinder 2021: Saving Parents Thousands and Supporting Women in the Workforce
As a former educator, a parent, and a grandfather, I could not be more pleased with our latest commitment as a government to deliver free kinder in 2021 and increase outside school hours care. This will save parents thousands of dollars and help more women get back to work.
The impending Victorian budget will spend up to $169.6 million on making kinder free next year, which saves families around $2,000 for every child enrolled in a participating kinder program. This investment will not only make sure more kids can access a great early childhood education, it will make it easier for parents – particularly women – to return to the workforce as we recover from the pandemic.
Families with children enrolled in kinder programs at a long day care centre will also benefit from a saving of around $2000 in fees, and fees for unfunded three-year-old programs in sessional kindergartens will be reduced too.
We are building on our commitment as a Government to deliver kinder for every three-year-old, reaching every part of the State by 2022, because we know how fundamental these years are to a child’s development.
To further help parents return to work or increase their hours, the Government will invest $81.6 million to increase the availability of before and after school care. Schools that currently do not have outside school hours care programs can apply to receive a grant of up to $75,000.