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New Bilingual Kindergarten programs in 2024

Eleven additional early childhood services will be offered a bilingual kindergarten program from Term 1 in 2024.

Expression of interest process

Following a competitive selection process, the Victorian Government has announced that the following early childhood services will deliver a bilingual kindergarten program from Term 1 in 2024:

  • Albanvale Community Kindergarten (Albanvale) 
  • Bethal Primary School Kindergarten (Meadow Heights) 
  • Brentwood Kindergarten (Glen Waverley)
  • Dala Yoroo (Bairnsdale) 
  • Donvale Early Learning Centre (Donvale) 
  • Iramoo Kindergarten (Wyndham Vale) 
  • Shine Bright Helm Street Kindergarten (Kangaroo Flat) 
  • Springvale Service for Children (Mulgrave) 
  • Vista Valley Kindergarten (Bulleen) 
  • Vista Way Kindergarten (Wyndham Vale) 
  • Woodhouse Grove Kindergarten (Box Hill North). 

In selecting these services, the Department of Education gave priority to services with a high proportion of children from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. The department received more than 70 expressions of interest applications from services across the state.

To learn more about bilingual kindergartens, watch:

Funding information

Successful early childhood services will be provided with $48,000 (excluding GST) for every group of 4-year-old children each calendar year until 30 June 2027. For every group, the funding will allow the employment of an above-ratio language teacher for 18 hours a week. The language teacher must use this time as follows:

  • 12 hours to deliver the language program to the children
  • 6 hours of non-contact time to co-plan, develop resources and undertake professional learning.

In addition, each early childhood service will receive a once-off $1,500 grant to:

  • purchase language learning resources
  • undertake parent engagement activities.

To ensure language teachers are equipped with the skills they need to deliver a high-quality language program, they will complete the Early Childhood Teaching Methodology Course developed by the University of Melbourne specifically for the Early Childhood Language Program. This online self-paced course is mandatory for all language teachers.

To support the ongoing professional development of language teachers, kindergarten teachers and other educators at services, we will engage a supplier to provide the Quality Support Program that provides free professional learning, mentoring and networking opportunities.

For services that recruit a Deaf language teacher to deliver an Auslan language program, we have contracted Expression Australia to deliver Deaf Awareness Training and provide an interpreting service to support the language teacher and kindergarten teacher co-plan.

For more information about how a Bilingual Kindergarten program must be delivered, refer to ECLP Support and Implementation Guide (DOCX, 2.28MB).

Languages services can deliver

Successful services can choose to deliver any language, including an Aboriginal language or Auslan, but are encouraged to make this decision based on:

  • the languages spoken by their enrolled children
  • the interest of their children, staff and families
  • the diversity of their community
  • the language taught at their local or nearby primary school(s)
  • the availability of a language teacher to deliver the selected language.

For services that wish to deliver an Aboriginal language program, we have contracted the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. to support services to undertake community consultation and navigate the Traditional Owner approval process. An Aboriginal language program cannot be delivered until Traditional Owner approval is received.

Next steps for successful applicants

Once successful services have entered into a funding agreement with the department for 4 years, they will need to:

  1. Advertise, interview and recruit a suitably qualified language teacher. This person needs to operate above-ratio. For services that will use an existing staff member as their language teacher, they will need to employ someone to backfill that staff member while they are operating as the language teacher.  
  2. Advise the Early Childhood Language Program Team at the department once they employ a language teacher.  
  3. Onboard and induct their new language teacher during Term 1 in 2024. 
  4. Support them to undertake the free professional learning support provided by the department and complete a language proficiency assessment. 

Detailed guidance and support to implement the above can be in the ECLP Support and Implementation Guide (DOCX, 2.28MB).