More than 5,000 Victorian children will have an opportunity to learn another language while attending kindergarten this year, due to significant investment from the Andrews Labor Government.

Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards MP today welcomed the Karen Language at Havilah Road Preschool in Bendigo. This language program is part of the $17.9 million investment into the Early Childhood Language Program from the Andrews Labor Government.

This kindergarten – where students are learning Karen – is one of around 160 across the state that will deliver a language program this year.

Weekly language sessions of up to three hours will be delivered in about 150 kindergarten services and a further 10 will be bilingual kindergartens, where children will benefit from half their program being offered in a language other than English.

These programs include in a range of languages including Mandarin, Punjabi, Arabic, Italian, Vietnamese, French, Spanish, Auslan and Aboriginal languages.

The Labor Government is providing funding for extra staff to deliver the language programs in partnership with existing staff – at no cost to parents or the early childhood services.

Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. That’s why, in an Australian first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver a full 15 hour per week kindergarten program for three-year-old children, to be progressively rolled out from 2020.

“It’s great to see the Karen language program being provided to Havilah Road Preschool, bringing the Education State vision to life in Bendigo.”

Posted by:Maree Edwards MP