The Nationals will address Victoria’s childcare crisis.
There is a severe lack of access to childcare in our communities. In some parts of regional Victoria, there are more than 30 eligible children for every available childcare place.
The Nationals will boost access to childcare with our $20 million Childcare Facilities Improvement Program and $2 million Childcare Workforce Program, ensuring that all Victorian children get the best start in life.
This is in addition to at least 50 new childcare centres that we will establish across Victoria.
When it comes to regional childcare, our 25 percent Regional Infrastructure Funding Guarantee will mean that we receive our fair share of investment.
We will also find solutions to the Melbourne-centric regulatory barriers that can cause issues for rural and regional childcare centres, your family, and your children.
Our Childcare Workforce Program will create a comprehensive plan to address the workforce challenges that too often limit childcare places across the state, and especially in the regions.
These actions are a key part of our broader plan to support Victorian children.
We will implement the $9 billion transition to free three- and four-year-old kindergarten, saving families up to $2,500 every year for every enrolled child.
Over 2020 and 2021, Victorian students lost up to 171 days of school over eight consecutive interrupted school terms – and Labor have not done enough to get them back on track.
The Nationals will keep schools open and rewrite our curriculum with $200 million to develop a streamlined program that prioritises the basics – reading, maths and sciences, along with the arts, languages and physical education.
We will also deliver a free Healthy Lunches program in schools to take pressure off families.
And, as part of our Mental Health Workforce Strategy, we will deliver a mental health practitioner in every Victorian school.