Kids in Dandenong, and across Victoria, will have everything they need to get the best start in life, with more kinder places, new and upgraded kinders and new language programs, thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government.

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced an additional $17.9 million to give at least 3,000 children attending state-funded kinders the opportunity to learn a language other than English for the very first time.

Learning languages at kinder often result in kids learning the language of their grandparents, as well as inspiring them to take an interest in other cultures. It’s also shown to improve brain function and their English reading and writing skills.

Weekly sessional language programs will be delivered in 120 kinders, with a further 10 services to become bilingual – where children will benefit from up to half their program being offered in another language.

Thousands more children will also be able to attend kindergarten, with almost $43 million to build, upgrade and improve early learning facilities across Victoria, as part of the Victorian Budget 2018/19.

It is the single largest state investment in kinder infrastructure ever, and grants will be open to applicants across Victoria, including local government, not-for-profit providers and schools in Dandenong.

It is part of an overall $60.8 million investment that will help kinders meet the growing demand for kinder places, provide access to the latest technology and ensure kinders are accessible and inclusive for children of all abilities.

This boost will bring this Government’s investment to a record $123.6 million to build, expand and improve early years infrastructure across Victoria, funding an additional 8,250 three- and four-year-old kinder places since 2014.

This record investment comes as Victorian families continue to benefit from the Labor Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, which was announced in last year’s budget.