Constituency Question: Support for Kinders
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): My constituency question is for the Minister for Early Childhood. Can the minister outline what actions the government will take to support quality not-for-profit kinders in the Prahran electorate that are facing significant financial shortfalls if they participate in the government’s free kinder scheme? The government’s free kinder scheme, whilst welcome in its intent, unfortunately by its design has placed local quality not-for-profit kinders in an unenviable position of either losing hundreds of thousands of dollars if they do sign up to the scheme or losing enrolments from families who expected free kinder if they do not. For families that will mean either a loss of quality at a community kinder that exceeds the quality standards or being unable to benefit from free kinder despite the financial hit that so many families have faced due to COVID. The department has informed the sector that they estimate 9 per cent of service providers will be negatively impacted, so I urge the government to fix this to make sure that all kinders and families can benefit from the scheme. Our quality community kinders are so important.