Supporting Families: Free Kinder & More Out Of Hours Care

This year, parents – but mostly mums – have had to juggle work and childcare and kids learning from home. Even now with students back at kinder and school, we know that balancing act isn’t any easier.

We want to give families one less thing to worry about.

It’s why the Andrews Labor Government will deliver free kinder for 2021 and support for more outside school hours care – saving parents thousands of dollars and helping more women back into work.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will deliver up to $169.6 million to make kinder free next year, saving families around $2000 for every child enrolled in a participating funded kindergarten program.

The investment will not only make sure more kids are getting a great early childhood education, it’ll make it easier for parents – particularly women – to return to the workforce as we recover from this pandemic.

Under this investment, subsidies will be offered to early childhood services providing funded kindergarten programs – meaning free kinder for four-year-olds and eligible three-year-olds attending a participating sessional kinder.

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 for those families that have kids attending unfunded three-year-old programs in sessional kindergartens, there will also be reduced fees.

This investment builds on the Labor Government’s commitment to deliver kinder for every three-year-old, reaching every part of the State by 2022.

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.

Grants of up to $75,000 will be made available to start new outside school hours care programs at up to 400 government schools – so that any school that currently doesn’t have a program can apply to receive a grant.

This investment will mean more families can rely on before and after school care – giving parents greater flexibility when it comes to work, study, training or re-entering the workforce.

The funding will help establish new services across our state and provide support for costs including equipment, setup and administration, facility upgrades and transport.

Not only will these investments support our kids, they’ll help make sure families – and our state – can begin to recover from this pandemic.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Women have been hardest hit by this pandemic. Real recovery means making sure they’re supported back into work – and the security and stability that affords.”

“This investment is dedicated to making the daily juggle of work, school and kinder just that little bit easier.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt

“This is a smart investment. Not only will free kinder save families thousands of dollars – it’ll get more kids into kinder, back early childhood services and workers, and help support more parents, especially women, into the workforce.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“More schools will be able to establish before and after school care programs for students, giving parents greater flexibility when it comes to work, study, training or finding new opportunities.”