State budget highlights 2020/21

As our state emerges from the global pandemic, we need to make sure all Victorians have the support they need.

Whether it’s our youngest learners getting the best start in life with three-year-old kinder or adult learners being able to get the skills they need for the jobs in demand, our early childhood, schools and training sectors will be the heart of our state’s recovery.

That’s why the Victorian Government is making additional investments in education and training to support our learners, boost the economy, create jobs and ensure Victorians have the skills they need to secure a stable job.

We’re also ensuring no-one is left behind as we recover, with support for Victorians who were hardest hit by the global pandemic. This includes free kinder, devices to reduce the digital divide, more than 4100 tutors for students who may have fallen behind or become disengaged and a significant expansion of Free TAFE and government-subsidised training for Victorians who have lost their jobs.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 also sees an unprecedented investment in disability support to help every student of every ability thrive at school and in life.

Whether it’s building new kinders, getting on with our state’s biggest ever school building program or delivering world-class TAFE facilities, we’re building the state-of-the-art facilities Victorians need and creating thousands of jobs.

This is a budget that continues to build the Education State in Victoria.

Early childhood education

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will deliver a $773.8 million investment in early childhood education, including $169.6 million to help cover the cost of kinder and give our children the very best start in life.

Continuing landmark investment in Three-Year-Old Kinder

$302 million to continue the roll-out of our landmark Three-Year-Old Kinder reform, which started in six regional local government areas this year and expands to a further 15 areas in 2021 – and then to the rest of the state in 2022.

$4.8 million to fast-track early childhood teaching courses for 76 Victorian early childhood teachers.

Supporting family budgets and getting more women back in work

$169.6 million to help cover the cost of kinder for up to 100,000 Victorian families. This means free kinder for four-year-olds and eligible three-year-olds attending a participating sessional kinder. Families with children enrolled in kinder programs at a long day care centre will also benefit from a saving of around $2000 in fees.

Creating opportunities through infrastructure and jobs

$38.5 million in the Building Blocks grants program towards building, expanding, improving and creating more inclusive early learning facilities. This additional boost is expected to create up to 1,500 additional kindergarten places, build more inclusive facilities for young Victorians of all abilities and provide services with IT grants.

$30 million will go towards the Refurbishment and Minor Works grant program, which will support the delivery of minor capital works projects at Victoria’s kinders. This new program will create more than 180 jobs in construction and associated industries, while giving our kids the best start in life.

Supporting families and children impacted by the global pandemic

Almost $6.2 million for early intervention specialist support to help parents and kids struggling as a result of the pandemic, including:

  • $1.5 million for a new family group program to help vulnerable kids transition to school
  • $3.8 million for outreach and wraparound services to support vulnerable children, including those in public housing communities, to participate in early learning
  • $2.5 million to support three-year-old refugee and asylum seeker children to access 15 hours of free or low-cost kindergarten in all parts of Victoria from 2021.

School education

Victorian students will be supported to achieve their best regardless of their circumstances and background, as the Victorian Government invests an additional $6 billion in new school programs and infrastructure initiatives through the Victorian Budget 2020/21.

Transforming disability support so every child can thrive at school and in life

$1.6 billion for Disability Inclusion to transform support for students with disability in Victorian government schools, doubling the number of students receiving extra support in the classroom to 55,000 and expected to create up to 1,730 jobs. 

This includes $102.8 million for new resources and support to build the skills and knowledge of school staff in delivering inclusive education, including more than 100 extra staff to provide on-the-ground implementation support and program delivery.

Ensuring that no child is left behind as we recover from the pandemic

$250 million to deploy more than 4,100 tutors across Victorian schools to ensure students who have fallen behind or become disengaged in the wake of the pandemic get the support they need in 2021.

$24.5 million to reimburse schools so students can keep the more than 71,000 mobile devices loaned to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

$31.6 million will support more families through the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund and State Schools’ Relief’s Affordable School Uniforms program.

$7.4 million to continue the Marrung strategy, including expanding the successful Koorie Literacy and Numeracy and Koorie Engagement Support Officer programs to help Aboriginal students stay engaged in their education.

$37.5 million to continue to help schools adopt a whole-school-approach to Respectful Relationships and embed a sustained, universal approach to the prevention of family violence.

Making sure as we recover, all students are work-ready for the jobs of the future

$38 million to develop a new single VCE integrated senior secondary certificate, meaning students no longer have to choose between doing VCE or VCAL.

New Jobs, Skills and Pathways Coordinators in government secondary schools will provide advice and support for students choosing vocational and applied learning programs.

Investing in our teachers

$10.8 million to give aspiring teachers the opportunity to build their experience in secondary and specialist schools, as part of a $15.4 million investment towards fast-tracking teacher training programs.

$32.8 million to extend the Primary Maths and Science Specialists initiative to train 200 more primary school teachers as mathematics and science specialists and help more students achieve their potential in STEM.

$20.5 million will continue to help build teacher capability and data literacy in schools through specialist teachers and data and evidence coaches.

Helping parents return to work and increase their hours

A new $81.6 million initiative will establish up to 400 new outside school hours care services at government schools, increasing the availability of before and after school care options for families. Grants of up to $75,000 will be available to start these new programs, which will be offered to both government and non-government school students.

World-class schools and boosting jobs in every corner of the state

$3 billion in school upgrades, including $1.1 billion as part of the previously announced Building Works Package, with a further $1.9 billion to roll out the next phase of the school building boom.

This extra $1.9 billion investment will support more than 6,400 in construction and supply chain jobs, including more than 4,830 jobs related to projects in metropolitan Melbourne and more than 1,570 jobs related to projects in regional Victoria.

  • $1.28 billion for 162 upgrades, which includes $388.8 million to improve facilities at 39 specialist schools – Victoria’s single largest investment ever in upgrading specialist schools.
  • More than $85 million to expand seven existing schools, providing space for 1,175 extra students.
  • $20 million to build inclusive learning spaces and accessible playgrounds for students with disabilities through the Inclusive Schools Fund
  • $147.3 million allocated to acquire land for 11 new schools.

  • $122.4million for a new vertical primary school in North Melbourne opening in 2023 and deliver a further four stages of new school projects.
  • $70 million for the Planned Maintenance Program to support upgrades and improvements at around 300 schools
  • A further $50 million to fast-track shovel-ready projects at around 300 schools through the Minor Capital Works Fund.

In the past five years, more than $9 billion has been invested in school infrastructure to deliver to deliver new schools and upgrade existing ones, creating more than 10,000 construction jobs.

TAFE and training

To help more Victorians find their path to a job, a $1 billion investment will ensure Victoria has the training and skills system it needs as the state emerges from the global pandemic.

Getting Victorians back to training and into work

Our investments will create up to 80,000 new training places over four years, including 60,000 in Free TAFE courses like health, and community and disability services, through:

$631.4 million for extra training places, ensuring Victorians can get the skills they need to secure a stable job

$155.4 million to increase access to TAFEs, Learn Locals, Registered Training Organisations and other training providers for those disproportionately affected by the pandemic, including women, young people, and Victorians from diverse backgrounds. This investment will provide additional support for Koorie learners and multicultural communities including:

  • $1.7 million towards a Koorie loading to support pre-accredited learners
  • $1.2 million for an additional 1,000 Learn Local training places
  • $520,000 for additional support for the Koorie Vocational and Education Training Advisory Group
  • $520,000 to establish a Multicultural Learning Partnership between the Department, AMES Australia, Victorian Multicultural Commission, Migrant Workers Centre, Victorian Trades Hall Council and Adult, Community and Further Education Board.
  • $809,000 for AMES Australia to support cultural safety training and the Career Mentors for Multicultural Learners program

$5 million to develop high-quality learning and assessment materials to support online, remote or flexible training delivery by TAFEs for key qualifications.

Creating jobs and boosting skills as we upgrade and rebuild our state

$33.2 million in the Big Build Apprenticeship Model will see up to 1,500 apprentices and trainees a year work across Victoria’s major infrastructure projects while receiving the training they need to establish a rewarding and well-paid career.

$74.8 million to ensure people get the skills they need for the jobs in demand: 

  • $57.4 million for the rapid retraining of workers into high-priority industries through additional places in accredited skill sets
  • $10 million in the clean economy workforce
  • $7.3 million to embed skills and jobs in the North East Link and the new Footscray Hospital.

$19.3 million for an Apprenticeships Growth Strategy:

  • $9.3 million for Apprenticeship Support Officers to work with apprentices and employers to ensure more apprentices successfully complete their training
  • $8 million for an apprenticeship innovation fund to explore new approaches, including $5 million to support innovative projects that encourage more women into apprenticeships

$6 million to expand the pilot of higher apprenticeships and traineeships in the social service sector, to create opportunities for 400 workers to channel their on-the-job expertise into a qualification

$6.5 million to attract and support people to reskill as teachers at Victorian TAFEs, including teacher scholarships and mentoring.

World class TAFE facilities

$107.6 million for the Building Better TAFEs Fund for two TAFE redevelopment projects to improve lifelong education pathways:

  • $67.6 million for the second stage of the redevelopment of Chisholm Institute’s Frankston Campus
  • $40 million for the upgrade of Melbourne Polytechnic’s Collingwood Campus.

Discover more in this year's budget

For more information including the Budget papers and details across all other portfolios, explore the complete Victorian budget.

Explore the Victorian Budget 2020/21
Delivering for all Victorians