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05 July 2023

5 June 2023


The Andrews Labor Government is doing what matters for regional Victorians and is getting on with delivering our Best Start, Best Life reforms to set Victorian kids up for the future, support women back into work and reduce cost-of-living pressures for families.

Childcare fees are high – and that’s if you can find a place, particularly in our regions where childcare services are few and far between.

And while childcare availability and affordability are the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government, the Andrews Labor Government is stepping in. In the recent Victorian State Budget, the Treasurer confirmed that 50 new government-owned and affordable early learning centres will be built across Victoria in locations with the greatest need. These centres will offer much needed affordable childcare and Free Kinder to local families.

Importantly for children and families in the Bellarine, one of these centres will be established in the Portarlington Statistical Area 2 region, which includes the growing suburb of St Leonards – making sure that local children can get the very best start in life. 

To determine the best location within an announced area, the department is working closely with local government and other stakeholders to understand where the greatest need for childcare is, so that this new centre can benefit as many local families as possible. Importantly, the announced area includes the growing community of St Leonards, which we know is in great need of additional childcare capacity.

Quote attributable to Alison Marchant MP

“Having access to affordable childcare for families on the Bellarine is so important – giving parents, particularly mothers more options to get back to work while giving their children the best possible start in life.”

“With the growth we have seen in the Portarlington and St Leonards area, it is vital we have services such as childcare. We know the Bellarine it’s a great place to raise a family and this new childcare service will ensure local families are supported.”