Victorian parents will be able to send their children to sessional kinder for free during term two under a $45 million boost aiming to keep the sector viable amid coronavirus.
The extra state government funds will help keep kindergarten services afloat and kinder teachers and early childhood educators in jobs, amid plunging numbers because more parents keep their kids at home.
"We're making sure Victorian children can still go to kinder and get an early childhood education during this difficult period, without parents worrying about fees - this will save jobs, save kinders and save families hundreds of dollars," Education Minister James Merlino said on Sunday.
The funding - available for community-based, local government and school providers offering sessional programs - provides about $485 per child for term two, for each child enrolled in a funded kindergarten program.
It allows providers to continue teaching and caring for kids, including children of essential workers and vulnerable children, subject to health directions, Mr Merlino said.
To be eligible, services must not charge families and allow children to attend 15 hours a week of kinder for free.