Victoria launches cleaning grants for kindergartens

State government commits $2.6m in funding grants to support kindergartens with cleaning and hygiene costs.

The Victorian government has committed $2.6 million in funding grants to support kindergarten services with cleaning and hygiene costs in Term 2.

Minister for Education James Merlino announced $2.6 million in grants would be made available for all early childhood services delivering a funded kindergarten program to boost their cleaning and hygiene during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Victorian government will provide $900 grants for kindergarten services with less than 50 enrolments and $1500 for those with 50 or more enrolments.

These grants aim to help with the costs of high standards of cleaning and hygiene, consistent with the Australian Health Principal Practitioners Committee guidance.

“Cleaning grants are another step in supporting kinders during this time – after guaranteeing 100 per cent of their funding and providing additional funding to make sessional kinder free,”  Merlino said.

“Early childhood staff are doing an outstanding job with their children and families, and these grants help kinder services ensure high standards of cleaning and hygiene.”

Service providers will have flexibility in how to use this funding as long as it is spent on meeting cleaning and hygiene requirements for their kindergarten program. This includes paying for additional hours of cleaning and buying hygiene products, such as hand sanitiser and soap.

Early childhood education and care services continuing to operate, in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Australian Health Protection Principal Committee including – enhanced personal hygiene for children, staff and parents, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surface at least daily and regularly washing toys and equipment

The grants are available as part of the up to $45 million in extra funding to support kindergartens during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week the Victorian government pledged an additional $45 million for enhanced school cleaning for the remainder of Term 2 and Term 3 as students prepare to begin a phased return to classrooms. The investment aims to help to reduce the spread of viruses and germs in schools and will include the cleaning of frequently used high-touch surfaces.

The state government also announced it would create short-term positions for 1500 cleaners who will work across 10 regional and 26 suburban communities cleaning public infrastructure, retail centres and shopping strips as the staged lifting of restrictions begins.

The cleaning blitz is part of the government’s $500 million Working for Victoria initiative. Almost 3000 Victorians have found positions through Working for Victoria since the program was launched last month.

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