Victoria’s child and family services peak welcomes a budget that gives children the best start in life

Education response from the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

27 May 2019

Victoria’s peak body for child and family services has welcomed a number of budget initiatives that prioritise our education system, to give children and young people the best possible start in life.

The centrepiece is a record $1 billion in early childhood education, as part of the $4 billion invested from kindergartens and schools through to higher education and TAFE.

“We welcome the over $880 million to start rolling out 15 hours of subsidised kinder programs for all three-year-old children over the next decade,” said Deb Tsorbaris, CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.”

“We welcome the $26.1 million in extending the School Readiness Funding initiative to three-year olds.”

“We welcome the School Dental Program initiative – this will deliver on the Government’s election commitment to provide $395.8 million in funding over four years for oral health teams to visit all government primary and secondary schools to provide children with free dental care.”

“We welcome the commitment to supply free sanitary pads and tampons in every Victorian public school.”

This budget also delivers a new initiative that builds on the successful School Breakfast Club Program (SBCP) 2016-19 that has provided 8 million breakfasts to Victorian primary students in need.

An evaluation of the program highlighted the positive impact the program has had on student engagement and learning. Teachers reported improvements in student concentration, focus and social skills since participating in the program, with 85 per cent noting a positive impact on the academic outcomes of students, among other benefits.

The new initiative will expand the reach and scope of the SBCP and further address the impact disadvantage can have on education outcomes by:

• delivering free breakfasts in 1,000 primary, secondary, P-12 and special schools

• providing lunches and holiday food supplies to support the estimated 10 per cent of children who attend breakfast clubs who also come to school without lunch.

• delivering capacity building meal preparation and nutrition classes to families in 100 disadvantaged schools.

Inquiries: Deb Tsorbaris 0417 599 869

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