February 6, 2018  |  Adjournment

Fairy Hills Kindergarten

Mr CARBINES (Ivanhoe) (19:20:20) — (13 413) The action I seek for my adjournment matter concerns the Minister for Early Childhood Education in the other place. Can I firstly start by thanking Minister Mikakos for the $350 000 capital grant for Fairy Hills Kindergarten in Ivanhoe, which will go a very long way towards the $450 000 that is required to make it an all‑abilities kindergarten. We have children enrolled for 2019 who require wheelchair access. It is a kindergarten that through this capital grant — a fund that has provided $18 million for 28 kindergartens across Victoria this past year — will now be able to make those capital improvements to provide services particularly to those from my electorate attending Fairy Hills Kindergarten and to ensure that students who are enrolled who need wheelchair access in 2019, these capital works are done.

We are about $100 000 short. I am working hard with Banyule City Council to ensure that those funds are made available in their budget this year. I am sure they will come to the party. They understand the value of kindergarten and early years services. Also regarding the capital works that are going to get underway, we will make sure and we give assurances to those families that they can enrol their kids for 2019 and there will be access for children of all abilities at Fairy Hills Kindergarten.

I say thanks to the Fairy Hills Kindergarten parents and the kinder committee. I also say thanks to the Banyule disability advocacy committee, which has raised these issues as well. We put a good case forward. As the parent of a daughter who completed two years of preschool at the end of last year at Interlaken Kindergarten, Rosanna, I understand, like everyone here who has a family or who understands the value of early years education, how that prepares them for school. It is vital that that opportunity is available for all parents and all kids in every kindergarten across the state. This contribution of $350 000 to Fairy Hills Kindergarten will go a very long way to making sure that access is available for every child in Ivanhoe so they can attend preschool and get the education that they need.

I will also reference Minister Mikakos and her great campaigning work regarding the $1.9 million cut to the Take a Break program, which was for occasional care. It was a program that was cut by the Baillieu government, which demonstrated their lack of capacity to understand the needs of families and young children in the Ivanhoe electorate. This program shows the support we offer to preschools in Ivanhoe.