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The Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy at Victoria University enthusiastically welcomes today’s historic announcement from the Victorian and NSW Governments to introduce a new year of play-based learning for children before they go to school.

The policy think-tank has long campaigned for reform in this area, and championed access to high-quality preschool as a proven strategy to lift outcomes for all children.

The Mitchell Institute’s many reports over the past several years have consistently found early childhood educational inequality throughout Australia, leading to about one-quarter of the nation’s children starting school with developmental vulnerabilities.

Its latest Education Policy Brief published in the lead up to May’s federal election, revealed that childhood development, along with preschool cost and access, largely depended on a family’s location, and that childhood vulnerabilities are clearly linked to socio-economic status.

Reform is badly needed game-changer

The Mitchell Institute’s support of the ‘Thrive by Five’ initiative highlights a goal to provide evidence-based research aimed at achieving equity, consistency and stability in preschool education across Australia – and making it a central goal of early childhood policy reform at all levels.

With today’s game-changing announcement, three and four-year-old children in Victoria will have access to free kinder from 2023, saving families up to $2,500 a child each year.

The Victorian Government will be injecting $9 billion into this crucial overhaul of early childhood education and care, and establish 50 new government-operated childcare centres.

Three-Year-Old Kinder is already rolling out across the state, expanding universal access to 15 hours of government-funded kinder every week – and from next year, it will be free.

Four-Year-Old Kinder will also be free, providing much-needed relief for family budgets and giving more women a choice to return to the workforce.

VU now offering fully-funded degrees for diploma-qualified teachers

To help meet the booming demand for more teachers, Victoria University is offering diploma-qualified early childhood educators the chance to fast-track to a degree by partnering with the Victorian Government to offer fully-funded Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching degrees.

Learn more by visiting vu.edu/early-childhood