(Photo taken prior to COVID-19)

Three-Year-Old Kindergarten is just around the corner for children living in Hepburn Shire, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s landmark early childhood education reform.

For the first time, local families can enrol their children in universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten in Hepburn Shire Council in 2021 – including Daylesford Community Child Care, Daylesford Preschool, Hepburn Kindergarten and Trentham Kindergarten.

It’s part of the Labor Government’s almost $5 billion decade-long reform to make two years of universal funded kindergarten programs available for all children across the state – in an Australian-first.

The reform started this year in the six local government areas of South Gippsland, Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack. Three-Year-Old Kindergarten will roll out to families in a further 15 regional LGAs, including Hepburn Shire, in 2021.

Kindergarten services across these areas are getting ready to introduce this exciting initiative, with many already accepting enrolments for 2021. This includes sessional kindergartens and long day care centres, with places funded in the same way as four-year-old kindergarten programs.

Three-Year-Old Kindergarten will be expanded in 2022 to give three-year-olds across the rest of the state access to five hours of funded kindergarten, before being scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029. At full roll-out, an estimated 90,000 children each year will be receiving this important educational boost.

Parents can enrol their children for a three-year-old program by contacting their local early childhood service.

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

“This is an incredibly exciting time for families in the Hepburn Shire, who can now enrol their children in funded Three-Year-Old Kinder for the first time next year. I encourage parents to contact their local services, enrol their children and be part of this historic initiative.”

“Building the Education State starts with the early years – that’s why it’s fantastic that all children in the Hepburn Shire will have the opportunity to access Three-Year-Old Kinder from 2021.”