Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (11:52): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Workplace Safety and Minister for Early Childhood, the Honourable Ingrid Stitt. The Kinder Tick is a new Andrews government initiative to help parents and carers navigate the kinder programs. It has been rolled out not only in my Western Metropolitan Region electorate, which I share with the minister, but to all the funded early childhood services right across Victoria, including here in Bright. I understand the minister was at the Alpine View Children’s Centre here in Bright only this morning to turn the sod to mark the commencement of their expansion works.
My question to the minister is: can the minister update me on what criteria is used to determine which early childhood services display the Kinder Tick and how the introduction of Kinder Tick will make it easier for parents both here in Bright and across regional Victoria as well as in the Western Metropolitan Region to find government-funded and approved quality kinder programs to help give children the best early childhood education to ensure they are ready for school and ready for life?
Ms STITT (Western Metropolitan—Minister for Workplace Safety, Minister for Early Childhood) (26 May 2021):
I am advised that:
I thank the Member for her question. I was delighted to have recently visited the Alpine View Children’s Centre in Bright to help turn the sod to mark the construction of their expansion work and to see first-hand the wonderful ways that its teachers and educators are supporting Bright’s young children and local families.
The Kinder Tick is a new and valuable tool for Victorian parents and carers, who need to navigate a lot of information when it comes time to enrol their child in a kindergarten program.
With many parents going back to work at their offices, or juggling family duties with working from home, we understand how complex this can be. Next year is also the very first time that funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten will be available across Victoria.
Choosing the kindergarten program that’s right for each family and child is important. All families want what’s best for their child, but they also want to find a kindergarten program that works for their own circumstances.
Victoria has a diverse early childhood education and care sector, and the Kinder Tick will help families know that kindergarten programs that are funded and approved by the Victorian Government are delivered in both long day care and standalone kindergarten services.
It is a simple symbol that parents and carers can look for in their own communities, such as those in the Member’s electorate. Soon, it will be displayed at services right across the state.
Wherever they see the Kinder Tick, Victorian families can be confident that the program will be led by a qualified teacher, takes a play-based learning approach, and complies with government guidelines and the National Quality Framework.
It’s a pleasure to work with the Member to help support local families and help young Victorian children to thrive.