A Warrnambool family says its cost of living will go down "dramatically" as a result of a state government initiative to make kindergarten free from next year.
Rachael Bond's two children Poppy, 4, and River, 2, will both attend three-year-old and four-year-old kindergarten next year.
Ms Bond said the move would save the family at least $75 to $100 a week on daycare costs, as well as kindergarten fees.
The state government said the initiative, which comes into effect in 2023, would save families money and support women to return to the workforce.
"This means from 2023, any family with a three or four-year-old will pay nothing for kinder - a saving of up to $2500 per child every year," the government said.
Ms Bond said with both children in kinder and daycare she'd be able to increase her work hours and also help run the family's restaurant.
"It gives me the opportunity to pick up work and it's more beneficial because you're getting more of an income, but you're not paying any more for your daycare or kinder," Ms Bond said.
"So that money you're earning is going towards your bills or being able to save to go on a holiday, now that the cost of living has gone up so much.
"It just makes a huge difference with where you can put the rest of the money," she said.
"It's over $100 to fill up the car. It is really good that they've made it free but they've also extended the hours (that three-year-old kinder is funded). That part's really good."
It's part of an ambitious overhaul of early childhood education and care, with a $9 billion investment over the next decade. It also includes delivering a new year of universal pre-prep for four-year-olds and establishing 50 government operated childcare centres.
Despite parents welcoming the news, concerns have been raised from those in the sector, which is already struggling with staff shortages, and families on long childcare waiting lists across the south-west.
Currently Warrnambool and Moyne Shire residents have access to at least five hours of funded three-year-old kindergarten.
The government said it would expand universal access to 15 hours of government-funded three-year-old kinder every week, but it's unclear whether south-west residents will have access to the full 15 hours from next year.
How the funded kindergarten program works in private centres and in those that offer long daycare is yet to be detailed.
Thrive by Five director Jay Weatherill said the significant early learning reform would be life changing for children, women and families.
Thrive by Five is a national campaign for high-quality, universally accessible and affordable early learning.
"It's not just an incredible investment in children, this is an investment in better choices for women and families and will drive workforce participation and the economy," Mr Weatherill said.
"Early childhood education and care is a smart investment that can boost the economy, ease financial pressure on families, increase women's workforce participation and help kids maximise their potential."
He said early learning reform would provide a legacy of better life outcomes for children, with the early years crucial for development, including shaping thinking and emotional patterns for life.
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