Investing in Quality Local Kinder

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My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Children in the other place, and the action I seek is for the minister to join me at Brentwood Preschool in my electorate. Brentwood Preschool is one of hundreds across the state that have received a grant from the Allan Labor government to run a bush kinder program in 2024, and it is a terrific win for my youngest constituents, who will be able to access quality outdoor learning opportunities either through programs delivered in offsite nature or by bringing the natural landscapes to the kinder. The evidence tells us that young children learn so much from spending time in nature. That is why we are investing $3.6 million over four years to expand the bush kinder program so more Victorian kids get the opportunity to spend time outdoors in natural settings.

I would also love to use this opportunity to give a shout out to Bambou Early Learning Centre in my electorate, which just like Brentwood preschool, also received a bush kinder grant this year. Just like Brentwood preschool, they also consistently exceed the national quality standard across every benchmark, delivering world-class kinder for local families. I would like to thank all the early childhood educators for the work that they do and the terrific centre director Haritsa for her ongoing passion for early childhood education. It was terrific to visit Bambou ELC to meet with some of the youngest constituents and hand out some of the kinder kits last week. I even had a chance to read some of Where is Galah? – my daughter’s favourite book.

We know that our youngest Victorians deserve a great start in their development and learning, and it is why we are delivering nation-leading Best Start, Best Life reforms right across Victoria. That includes making three- and four-year-old kinders free, saving Victorian parents thousands of dollars per child per year. We are investing in better facilities with the Building Blocks upgrades and the rollout of 50 government-run kindergartens in high-need areas. Plus we are recruiting more world-class early childhood educators and investing in more ongoing training and support to bolster workforce retention. We are witnessing the biggest transformation in the early childhood education system in Victoria’s history, and I am proud to be part of the Allan Labor government, which is making it happen. I look forward to the minister’s response, and I hope she can join me in the Glen Waverley district to celebrate the expansion of the bush kinder program.

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