12 SepBush kinder funding grant

Posted on 12 Sep 2023

ELAA would like to remind members that Funded Victorian kindergarten services have the opportunity to apply for a one-time grant of $6,000 in 2024, aimed at either initiating or enhancing a bush kinder program.

The Victorian Government has allocated $3.6 million over a span of four years, with the objective of assisting more kindergartens to introduce bush kinder programs, allowing more children the delightful experience of playing and learning in our picturesque outdoor settings.

What is bush kinder?

Bush kinder programs are early learning educational initiatives conducted regularly in natural outdoor environments. These programs are ideally situated in places such as metropolitan parks, regional parks, local bushlands, nearby beaches, and visitor sites within national and state parks.

Bush kinder programs offer children a unique opportunity and the freedom to learn through play, utilising natural materials outdoors.

Both the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) and the National Quality Framework (NQF) recognise the importance of outdoor play in the learning journey of young children. Outdoor play contributes significantly to their physical and cognitive development, overall well-being, and their ability to assess risks.

The benefits of bush kinder

Research has highlighted the significant benefits of regular outdoor, play-based learning for young children. This approach contributes substantially to their holistic development, encompassing physical and cognitive growth, overall well-being, and their capacity to assess and manage risks. By increasing the time children spend outdoors in natural surroundings, bush kinder programs can:

  • enhance children’s wellbeing, physical, fine and gross motor skills, core strength, coordination, balance, eyesight, and physical endurance
  • encourage children to develop a deeper understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts
  • support children in making decisions and judgments that challenge established boundaries while ensuring safe exploration
  • foster stronger connections to nature among children, which can further their knowledge and commitment to environmental sustainability as they grow into adulthood.

Information about grants

This ongoing grants program marks the commencement of an annual cycle, where up to 150 kindergartens will be annually awarded grants to facilitate the establishment of bush kinder programs within their facilities.

The application deadline for this round is set for Friday, 29 September 2023. To learn more about bush kinder initiatives, visit the bush kinder website or refer to the Bush Kinder Grants Program.

If you have any further inquiries, please reach out to the Bush Kinder Grants Program team via email at bush.kinder.grants@education.vic.gov.au.

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