Department program

Early childhood language program

​Giving preschool children the opportunity to learn in another language.

From term one 2019, funding will be available to allow around 3,000 preschool children across Victoria the chance to learn a language in addition to English.

The funding will allow services to deliver language programs at no additional cost to services or parents.

Expressions of interest are now open
Information for services including how to apply and eligibility criteria.

About the program

In consultation with their preschool communities, early childhood services can choose to take part in one of the following language programs:

  1. Learn languages at kindergarten:
    • children will learn in another language for up to three hours per week
    • this will be offered across 120 kindergarten services.
  2. Bilingual kindergartens:
    • children will learn in another language for up to seven and a half hours per week
    • 10 kindergarten services will receive funding to transition to this model.

Find out more about the programs, including how to apply and if your service is eligible.

Increasing the workforce

A number of qualified language teachers will be engaged to deliver the program. The qualified teachers will work in consultation and in partnership with existing early childhood teaching staff.

This is above existing staffing levels required by the education and care services national regulations and by kindergarten funding guidelines.

The early childhood language program will be delivered in line with the Victorian early years learning and development framework (VELYDF) which guides kindergarten programs in Victoria.

Children will learn in another language in the way that they currently learn their every day program in kindergartens.

Benefits of learning a language in the early years

Learning in languages other than English helps children to improve their overall literacy and understanding of how language in general works.

Education experts have found that there are many benefits to children learning in another language at a young age, including:

  • increased literacy
  • cognitive flexibility
  • bolstering self-esteem and wellbeing
  • strengthened cultural identity.

Watch this video interviewing early childhood and language experts to find out more:

Promotional materials