Victoria's Minister for Education James Merlino yesterday announced a $45 million funding package to support sessional kindergarten providers.
Parents will be able to send their children to sessional kindergarten for free during term two.
Mr Merlino said the funding will provide about $485 per child for term two for children enrolled in a funded kindergarten program.
The funding will be available for community-based, local government and school providers who offer sessional programs.
"We are making sure children can still go to kinder and get an early childhood education during this difficult period, without parents worrying about fees," Mr Merlino said.
Early Learning Association Australia chief executive David Worland says the announcement represents a necessary and common sense response from the government.
"We had already seen many services experiencing enrolment cancellations or significant reductions in attendance prior to the term one holidays as parents either started losing their jobs or became fearful of coronavirus," Mr Worland said.
The extra funding will allow services to continue in the short term and ensures they won't be forced to permanently close their doors, according to Mr Worland.
The Federal Government last week announced that one million families will receive free child care during the coronavirus pandemic.
The government will pay 50 per cent of the sector's fee revenue up to the existing hourly rate cap based on a point in time where parents started withdrawing their children in large numbers.
The payment is on the condition that services remain open and do not charge families for care.
The Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst said that more than 5000 school students in Bendigo won't be expected to leave a Catholic school as a result of a family's incapacity to pay.
"The Diocese recognises these are extraordinary times and people are experiencing high levels of confusion and disruption," Bishop Shane Mackinlay said.
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