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Victorian State Budget 2023/24

The best start for the best life

We know that 90% of a child’s brain develops before the age of five, so early education is important to give kids the very best start in life.

Pre-school child reading on the floor

That’s why the Victorian Government is rolling out Best Start, Best Life and Three‑Year‑Old Kinder. Building on the more than $4.4 billion invested to date, we’re funding a further $1.7 billion to continue delivering this ambitious reform.

We're delivering more places at more kinders so parents can enrol their child at a great centre, close to home.

This Budget brings our total investment to date in the Best Start, Best Life and Three‑Year‑Old Kinder reform to $6.2 billion. This includes:

  • $1.6 billion to roll out Three‑Year‑Old Kinder and increase capacity by building new kindergarten facilities
  • $1.4 billion for Free Kinder to give Victorian parents – especially mums – the choice to return to work if they want to and provide savings to families each year, up to $2,500 in 2023.
  • $1.3 billion to build around 100 new kindergartens, with the majority to be located at or nearby government schools to help avoid the double drop off.
  • $921 million to deliver 35 new government‑owned and operated Early Learning Centres by 2027.
  • $303 million for around 35 new early learning facilities at low‑fee non government schools, and to expand early learning facilities on local government sites.

Funding will progressively transition Four‑Year‑Old Kindergarten to Pre‑Prep, providing 30 hours per week of play‑based learning and to attract and retain the kinder workforce.

We promised to deliver Three‑Year‑Old Kinder and that’s exactly what we’ve done. This year Victorian children can access between five and 15 hours of funded learning each week.

In this Budget we are investing $1.8 billion in early childhood and Pre-Prep, including funding to make our existing kinders even better with:

  • $48 million to support existing kinders and toy libraries to purchase equipment, provide additional Bush Kinder programs, and continue existing and create 10 new bilingual kinders.
  • $18 million to strengthen and modernise existing inclusion support for children with disability and additional needs.
  • $10 million for local councils and eligible providers to improve local kindergarten facilities.

The Victorian Government will build 50 government-owned and operated Early Learning Centres across Victoria in communities that have the greatest need for more childcare and kindergarten places. They will offer local childcare and kindergarten and where possible, will be located with other valuable community facilities like maternal and child health services, playgroups and schools.

Government-owned and operated Early Learning Centres have been confirmed in a total of 30 locations, with a further 20 sites to be announced.

Announced sites include:

  • Creswick-Clunes
  • Dandenong
  • Eaglehawk North Primary School (2025 opening)
  • Foster
  • Frankston North
  • Glenroy
  • Golden Plains
  • Hallam
  • Hampton Park-Lynbrook
  • Heidelberg West
  • Kings Park
  • Lalor
  • Loddon
  • Maryborough
  • Melton South
  • Mildura
  • Moomba Park Primary School (2025 opening)
  • Murtoa College (2025 opening)
  • Noble Park East
  • Numurkah
  • Portarlington
  • Portland
  • Reservoir
  • Rochester
  • Rockbank-Mount Cottrell
  • Seymour
  • Shepparton
  • Sunshine Primary School (2025 opening)
  • Werribee
  • Yallourn North-Glengarry

Reviewed 21 May 2023


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