We consult with Victorian councils on issues related to early childhood education and care, services, funding and policies.
Through our forums, we communicate and consult with councils about our work in the early years area, and advocate local government perspectives to other sectors and levels of government.
To ensure a strong voice for local government and improved outcomes for families and children, we also collaborate with other organisations.
Our key areas of responsibility are:
Reinstatement of occasional care
We welcome confirmation of the signing of a four-year funding deal between the Australian and State Government of $8.55 million to reinstate occasional care in Victoria.
Funding was withdrawn for this service (formerly known as Take–A-Break) at the end of 2011 despite a concerted campaign by the MAV, families and other peak bodies. The funding was a 2013 election commitment of the current Commonwealth Government.
The MAV believes there is now the opportunity for this funding to provide wrap around care, which is critical in rural locations where there is often no access to any form of childcare.
The reinstatement of funding is an opportunity to look at innovative models of care that support local communities through increasing equity of access to services, particularly for vulnerable families and can provide other outcomes such as employment for qualified staff and linking of services.
Productivity Commission draft report: childcare
The MAV appeared at the Productivity Commission hearings into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning on 19 August. We had the opportunity to put forward key issues identified by councils as being critical to ensuring that early childhood education and care remains accessible, affordable and of a high quality.
Read the MAV response to the Productivity Commission draft report: Submission to Productivity Commission Draft Report into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning (Word - 140KB).
The PwC report Putting a value on early childhood education and care in Australia is also available for your reference.
For further information contact Wendy Allan.
Funding for 15-hours kinder
The MAV has welcomed the Federal Government’s investment of $406 million to fund 15-hours of kindergarten in 2015, ensuring universal access continues for all children.
Extension of the national partnership agreement on early childhood education would offer some relief for Victorian families for another 12 months.
While the State Government funds 10-hours, the Federal Government was undecided on whether it would continue to fund the extra five hours beyond December.
The funding announcement is a good start, however long term funding certainty is urgently needed. We hope that we can continue working positively and productively with the state and federal governments to find a permanent resolution.
Local government support for children, young people and families
This 2011 report documents the contribution made by Local Government in helping families to raise their children, and assisting young people to make their own way in the world.
Read: Local government support for children, young people and families (Word - 318KB).