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Australia : Minister celebrates Children s Week by announcing $20 million in government grants.

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell has announced $20 million in community grants and is encouraging local councils, schools, community groups and children s service providers to apply for funding.

Ms Lovell announced the new round of grants during her Children s Week address to parents and early childhood professionals at the Early Learning Association of Australia s Annual General Meeting.

This investment by the Victorian Coalition Government is a big boost for Victorian families, ensuring they have even greater access to high-quality early years services, Ms Lovell said.

Importantly, the capital grants will deliver modern infrastructure to parts of the state where demand for early years services is strongest.

Communities will be able to apply for four types of grants:

Integrated Children s Centre Grants, worth up to $1.6 million to support the building of brand new centres offering kindergarten, day care, maternal and child health and early childhood intervention services under the one roof;

New Early Learning Facilities Grants, worth up to $650,000 to support communities to establish new early learning facilities to meet demand for kindergarten places;

Early Learning Facility Upgrade Grants, worth up to $350,000 to support existing services to upgrade and extend their facilities to meet the demand of kindergarten places; and

Minor Infrastructure Grants, worth up to $10,000 for small refurbishments that will enhance the quality of the kindergarten program at a service.

Ms Lovell said that proposals to build early childhood education and care facilities on the same sites as government schools would be assessed favourably, alongside projects in growth suburbs where demand for services is increasing.

Building services on school sites has benefits for the whole community, Ms Lovell said.

It is not only more convenient for families; it ensures children are better supported to move smoothly and confidently into school.

This $20 million program brings the Coalition Government s investment in children s capital projects to new record highs.

Since December 2010, the Coalition Government has invested $106 million of state and national partnership funding towards building and upgrading hundreds of services, including many in growth corridors and regional areas.

Applications for the minor infrastructure grants close on 19 November 2013. Expressions of interest for major infrastructure grants close on 29 November 2013 and the Children s Facilities Capital Program grants round close on 21 February 2014.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Oct 25, 2013
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