$300,000 for Stratford kinder upgrade

State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has announced today that Stratford Kindergarten will receive a major $300,000 upgrade.

“The funds will be used to construct an activities room with toilets and assist the kinder in achieving the move to programs of 15 hours per week in the year before school as part of the Universal Access agreement,” Mr Bull said.

“The upgrade will also enable Maternal Child Health to be based at the kindergarten and follows on from a $300,000 upgrade to Glassford Kindergarden in Maffra announced earlier this year,” Mr Bull said.

The Victorian Coalition Government has again demonstrated its commitment to early childhood education, by allocating more than $40 million today.

The funds were available for upgrades to facilities or the development of integrated children’s services hubs, and is a combination of state and National Partnership funding.

“Our delivery of this funding will have a huge impact on children, not just now, but for many years to come and I am delighted we continue to attract high levels of government funds into this region,” Mr Bull said.

“We’re committed to educating Victoria’s youngest children and setting them up for a life of learning.

Minister for Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell, said the government’s strong record on early childhood funding was a sign of its priorities.

“I’m proud to say that we’ve delivered record spending in early childhood, including more than $80 million in grants to services in our first 18 months,” Ms Lovell said.

“We recognise that 95 per cent of a child’s brain development happens by the age of five, and a good quality early childhood education will set them up for life.

“By getting it right in the early years, we can deliver better students to our primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, and in the longer term, better applicants to the workforce.

“That can only be a positive outcome for children, families and our state,” Ms Lovell said.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Scott Rosetti, said Wellington Shire Council is thrilled to receive this grant as it ensures a secure future for Stratford Playgroup.

“With the necessary funds now secured, we will continue working in partnership with the Central Gippsland Health Service, Uniting Care Gippsland and the committee of the Stratford Kindergarten to maximise the benefits it brings to the Stratford community.

“The co-location of the playgroup and Kindergarten facilities creates a seamless progression for Stratford’s children as they grow and develop through the different services from birth to school age.

“It is important to recognise the value these facilities provide to the parents in our community as a place for socialising, supporting and sharing their experiences of raising young families,” Cr Rosetti said.