KINDERGARTENS will be able to access $4500 from the state government to improve ventilation, in an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The state government today (Saturday, October 16) announced more than $7.5m in grants to improve ventilation in around 1700 Victorian not-for-profit kindergarten services, with each grant worth $4500.

Eligible services will be sent an email where they simply opt-in for the grant – which can be spent on ventilation and air purification enhancements as well as small-scale building works like adding or replacing windows and installing outdoor shade structures to increase learning outside.

Funding will be available from Monday, October 18, and is open to all Victorian not-for-profit funded sessional and long-day care providers offering a funded three or four-year-old kindergarten program.

Many Victorian early childhood education and care services can already create environments with good ventilation through opening windows and doors, and using existing outdoor learning spaces to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Air purification is also an important measure for spaces where there may be limited ability to increase ventilation, such as kitchens or staff areas.

This follows the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s directions that vaccination is a requirement of work in an early childhood setting.

All workers in early childhood settings must have a first dose by October 25, with full vaccination required by November 29, unless a medical exemption applies.

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