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New Learnings, New Experiences for Your Child

 New Learnings, New Experiences for Your Child

The introduction of the Free Kinder program in Victoria, goes beyond the traditional boundaries of education, offering a more holistic approach to early childhood learning with an aim to provide free early childhood education to all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background. It is proof to Victoria’s commitment to inclusive and accessible education. The program is especially great for families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds as it not just acknowledges diversity but celebrates it. It reaches out to families from all levels of society ensuring that no child is left behind.

We spoke to a few key stakeholders to get some lived perspective to the Victorian Kinder program and below are some key insights for parents to note:

This program aims to ensure that every child has access to high-quality education from an early age while recognising that education is not limited to the classroom, but extends to the child’s environment, experiences, and interactions. This program offers a range of immersive learning activities allowing children to learn as they play. The program is based on research and understanding that every child is unique, with diverse talents and learning styles. In the kinder environment, children are encouraged to explore, question, and discover while learning from personal experience, outdoor exploration, and creative projects. This allows their imagination to take flight and nurtures their love for learning new things.

“I remember the day I walked into the kinder with my little Aarav. The vibrant art on the walls, the sound of laughter echoing through the halls, it was a world of wonder for him,” says Priya, a mother from Melbourne. “Since he started attending kindergarten, I’ve seen him grow in ways I never imagined! He’s not just learning his ABCs; he’s learning to share, care, and respect. He is picking up cultural and behavioural traits. He is less shy and more aware of people around him now”

Anita, a CALD outreach coordinator, advocate the program’s goal of promoting inclusivity and support for CALD families.

“As a CALD outreach workers, our role is to provide support where needed. This includes helping CALD families complete kindergarten registration paperwork, providing resources in multiple languages; and supporting providers in creating inclusive and welcoming environments for diverse families. Within the kinders, every culture is represented. We have children from various backgrounds, each with their own unique stories. It’s a place where diversity is not only accepted but celebrated”

Manoj, an early childhood educator, highlights the educational philosophy. “Our approach is structured play-based learning designed for children in the early childhood age group. This refers to activities that are intentionally designed to promote specific learning outcomes and support children’s cognitive and emotional development. We have activities like reading picture books that introduce mathematical concepts, craft making that encourages problem-solving and creativity, and games that promote critical thinking and teamwork while teaching math and science.”

“As children from diverse backgrounds play and learn together, they form bonds that transcend cultural divides. Children who play and learn together may have the opportunity to celebrate different cultural holidays, try different types of food, or learn about different customs and traditions. This early exposure to diversity prepares them for a future in a multicultural world. By developing empathy, social skills, and a sense of acceptance, they become more open-minded and capable of bridging cultural differences,” adds Anita.

Free Kinder program in Victoria

The program also eases the transition to school, making it less daunting for both children and parents.
“Seeing my son excited about learning and going to school is a relief,” Priya adds. “I know he’s not just ready for school; he’s ready to thrive.”

Well, we can safely conclude that kinder is a place where learning is joyous, where every day is a new adventure, and every experience a step towards a brighter future. All we can tell you is that if you have not already enrolled, please check the Free Kinder page here for details of the program – https://www.vic.gov.au/kindergarten-culturally-and-linguistically-diverse-children

You can also find information in your language of choice – https://www.vic.gov.au/kinder/translations

As you gear up for the upcoming enrolment period for 2025, remember to check the Victorian Government website on services with the Kinder tick near you – https://www.vic.gov.au/kinder-tick or look for approved services – https://findakinder.educationapps.vic.gov.au/

Media Release

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