Best Start Best Life Reform

The Best Start Best Life reform, an initiative by the Victorian state government, prioritises early childhood education as a foundation for lifelong success. This initiative promotes the significance of quality education and support for young children, ensuring they receive a solid foundation for future learning and development. The state Government is investing $14 billion in enhanced access to early education services and implementing measures to improve teaching quality, with aims to empower kinder age children to give them the Best Start in life.  

3 year old Kinder

The roll out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten continues across the state, programs will increase to 15 hours a week across the state by 2029.  All Victorian children will have access to 2 years of funded kindergarten.

Pre Prep

Beginning in 2025, the Four Year Old Kindergarten will transition to Pre-Prep, expanding to 30 hours per week by 2036 in Victoria. Led by qualified early childhood teachers, Pre-Prep aims to enhance socialisation and learning through play for 4 year olds.

Just like 4 year old kindergarten, pre – prep will be free for children at participating kindergarten services.

Pre Prep Roll Out Schedule

In May 2024, it was announced the Pre-Prep roll-out schedule was adjusted to be staged more gradually, with children across Victoria eligible to access up to 30 hours per week of Pre-Prep by 2036.

Pre-Prep will commence in rural and regional local government areas (LGAs) on schedule over the next 4 years, with some adjustments to stage the increases in program hours.

Pre-Prep will commence in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong in 2032 and in metropolitan LGAs in 2034, with staged increases in program hours.

Children who are shown to benefit most from kinder will be prioritised and receive early access to Pre-Prep, no matter where they live in the state. From 2026 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from a refugee or asylum seeker background, and children who have had contact with Child Protection services will have access to up to 25 hours of Pre-Prep a week, increasing to up to 30 hours a week from 2028.

By 2036, children across Victoria will have access to up to 30 hours of Pre-Prep per week.

The Victorian Government will continue to build new kinders on or near school sites, and kinders at non-government schools. The 50 government-owned and operated early learning and childcare centres will open by 2032.

For more information about the Victorian Government’s Best Start, Best Life reforms, including the complete schedule for the roll-out of Pre-Prep, visit the Victorian Government website: The Best Start, Best Life reforms.

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