New jobs are being created and kids across Hepburn Shire are receiving better care thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s improved educator-to-child ratios.

The new ratio of one educator for every 11 children – down from one per 15 – means improved levels of attention and care, helping children to get more out of their early years education.

Manager of the Eureka Community Kindergarten Association, Joanna Geurts says that the adjusted ratio has made a significant impact on the quality of care and attention that they can provide at their Daylesford, Hepburn and Trentham sites. “Since the beginning of the year we have put on one new educator at Trentham, and another at Daylesford” she said.

Ms Thomas said that since the change was announced at beginning of 2016 there have been 890 new jobs state wide, with 15 of those in the Hepburn and Macedon Ranges shires.

Research shows that higher numbers of staff to children aged three to five years is associated with important social and learning outcomes, including increased literacy skills and general knowledge.

Kindergartens in Hepburn will also receive extra support as they transition to the improved educator-to-child ratio, with the Andrews Labor Government providing extra resources to assist with strategic planning.

The Andrews Labor Government has a strong vision to improve outcomes for all young children, through the delivery of world class, accessible early childhood education and care services. Earlier this year, Clunes Kindergarten also received support from the state government through the Regional Kindergarten Fund that will provide certainty to the centre, regardless of fluctuating enrolments.

Boosting the quality of early years education and care is a key part of transforming Victoria into the Education State.

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP

“The new educator-to-child ratios are a win for Hepburn as we create new jobs and provide a better early education for our kids.”

“We are helping families and staff at small rural kindergartens by providing certainty to shore up their services and plan for the future.”

“Our investments are helping our kindergartens thrive, and give kids in a strong start in life.”