Bellarine Kids to Embrace Nature with Expanded Bush Kinders

Bellarine Kids to Embrace Nature with Expanded Bush Kinders Main Image

14 February 2024

Children in Bellarine will have the chance to learn and play in the great outdoors, thanks to an expansion of bush kinder programs by the Allan Labor Government.

Alison Marchant MP today announced three kindergartens across the Bellarine will receive one-off grants of $6000 to offer a bush kinder program in 2024.

Headstart Early Learning Centre Ocean Grove and Woodlands House Child Care also in Ocean Grove, are both recipients of the Bush Kinder Grants Program, as well as Lonsdale House Childcare in Point Lonsdale.

Bush kinder programs are delivered outdoors at places including parks, bushland and beaches - giving children a unique opportunity and freedom to learn through play with natural materials in outdoors.

The programs are educational and exciting – with a significant positive impact on a child’s development, as well as on their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The $6000 grants will help kindergartens buy the equipment they need to run programs that focus on getting outside, playing with natural materials, and learning through activities such as climbing trees and watching wildlife.

Kindergartens without access to a suitable off-site location can use their grant funding to enhance the biodiversity of their existing outdoor environment.

The Labor Government is investing $3.6 million over four years to expand bush kinder programs in up to 600 kindergarten services across Victoria.

Through our nation-leading $14 billion Best Start, Best Life reforms over the next decade, the Labor Government is transforming kindergartens to give every Victorian child the best start to life, save families time and money, and support parents to return to work or study if they choose.

The 2024 expansion will see new bush kinder programs established in 52 local government areas, including 25 regional locations. Of the 150 kinders receiving one-off grants, 100 are in Melbourne.

Bush kinder programs funded in this grant round start at the beginning of Term 3, 2024.

Applications for the 2025 round of another 150 bush kinder grants will open in the second half of 2024.

To find out more regarding the bush kinder grant, visit

Quotes attributable to Member for Bellarine Alison Marchant

“We’re supporting kindergartens in the Bellarine each year to start bush kinder programs, providing more children with opportunities to get outdoors and learn in a natural environment.

“Bush kinder programs are not just fun and educational, they also help to keep kids active and connect them with nature – boosting their health, wellbeing and development.”