A Yarriambiack Shire Council representative is calling on the state government to consider allowing younger children on buses, ahead of the three-year-old kindergarten roll-out in 2020.
General manager of community services and development Gavin Blinman said four-year-olds were coming to some kinders in the region on buses.
"Currently three-year-olds aren't allowed under government policy," he said. "We already offer three-year-old kindergarten in all towns except for Murtoa and Warracknabeal.
"We have the situation where a parent of a four-year-old on a bus is driving behind them 15 minutes into town with a three-year-old in the car. By the time you do that a couple of times a day it's a bit silly really."
Yarriambiack shire's 2018 Annual Report showed it had 76 four-year-old kindergarten enrolments and 22 three-year-old enrolments.
Mr Blinman's comments came as the state government last week opened applications to councils and kindergarten services for grants to build, expand and improve early years facilities.
The office of Western Victoria MP Jaala Pulford said major grants of up to $2 million were available for new facilities or significant upgrades, while grants of up to $50,000 were available for expansions and refurbishments of existing facilities.
Mr Blinman said council had engaged analysis firm Ernst and Young to assess how much money it would need to upgrade the capacity of its kindergartens to offer the new childcare.
"We will also be meeting with kinder communities and childcare providers who use our buildings, like Uniting Victoria in Warracknabeal, to see what impact three-year-old kinder will have on those services," he said.
"We indicated early on staffing numbers will stretch us a bit. The government has already rolled out scholarships to attract people to workforce, and we are currently talking to people about the possibility of doing some training so they can come on board.
"The money part is the easy part - it's having the resources in small communities for people who want to and can work in those areas. People are not just moving across a suburb: If someone in Horsham wanted to work in one of our kindergartens they would virtually have to move to the town."
Universal childcare is also being rolled out to the Hindmarsh and Northern Grampians shires in 2020. Horsham District Kindergarten Association has six childcares in these two areas.
Executive officer Pauline Butler said Ernst and Young were also set to assess their capacity in coming weeks, and this would inform what grant applications they ultimately made.
"We are looking at how we can offer kindergarten to three-year-olds sustainably, but there are some things the state government still needs to clarify," she said.
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