The Victorian State Government is building on sector insights and partnerships to deliver the best outcomes for children by investing in early childhood education through its $14 billion Best Start, Best Life reforms.
Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn yesterday released Transforming early childhood education together: What we heard, what we’re doing, the strategy developed in close consultation with the early childhood sector about the design and implementation of Best Start, Best Life.
More than 5,000 Victorian families, early childhood teachers and educators, service providers, peak bodies, unions and tertiary education providers shared feedback to help shape the next stages of the reforms – making sure young Victorians get the best start to their education.
The response from these stakeholders was a strong endorsement of the state government’s vision for high-quality education that supports Victorian children, regardless of their circumstances or background.
The feedback included:
- Two years of quality early childhood education will give children more time to play and learn, so they can better develop the skills they need to thrive, especially those needing additional support.
- Victoria’s Best Start, Best Life reforms must value and grow the workforce.
- There is a need for more spaces where children can learn.
- We must work in partnership with the sector to ensure the reforms are a success.
The state government has already provided free kindergarten programs for up to 140,000 children in 2023, supported initiatives that have helped to grow the kindergarten workforce by more than 50 per cent since 2019, and opened 400 new services and expanded another 50 in the same period.
It is also delivering more accessible and innovative educator and teacher training programs, supporting new graduates in the workplace with mentoring and induction programs, and providing more professional development for the existing workforce.
A significant increase in funding is also helping to build, expand and upgrade kindergartens and directly delivering more government-owned kindergarten infrastructure, including kindergartens on school sites.
“Investing in early childhood education not only gives children the best start in life – it also ensures families and communities have access to the world class early education and facilities they deserve,” Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn said.
“We’re partnering with the early childhood sector to meet the needs of children and families, to value and grow the workforce, to deliver quality spaces for learning, and to support the sector through positive change.”