Goodstart Early Learning Preston received $252,000 in funding, while Swan Hill received $186,975. The funds, part of a $60 million investment to build and upgrade preschools and early childhood centres across the state, will be used to build new facilities at the centres.
Preston centre director Hayley Greeves said the money would enhance the learning environments at the centres and provide more access to childcare places for families.
“We will go from having 22 kindergarten places to having 55 which is a significant boost so it’s a a great opportunity to offer quality early learning programs to everyone in our community,” Ms Greeves said.
“There is a big demand in this area for kinder places so we’re very pleased we will be able to expand our offering to support local families to access sought-after childcare places.”
At the Swan Hill centre, the funds will be used to rejuvenate indoor and outdoor learning areas, and to offer 11 more children a place in the kindergarten program, and another 10 places across the rest of the centre.
Goodstart state manager for Victoria Sharon Whiteman said investing in early childhood development and wellbeing was crucial.
“We know from extensive research that children who receive a quality early childhood education start ahead in life are more likely to stay ahead and be successful in life – this can bring significant benefits to children and families, and to society as a whole.”
State Children’s Minister Jenny Mikakos visited the Preston centre on Monday, January 30, to officially announce the funding.
She said the funding was all about investing in the future of young Victorians by giving families the flexible, accessible and affordable kindergarten and care services they deserved.
“Young families in Victoria’s fastest-growing areas need early year’s services, and our funding will ensure they get them,” Minister Mikakos said.
“These grants will help give families the flexible, accessible and affordable kindergarten and care services they deserve.”
Research shows children who attend 15 hours per week of preschool do better at school, have improved job prospects and are better equipped to achieve their full potential.