Portland will get a new low-cost childcare centre and extra training incentives will boost the region's educator numbers amid chronic childcare staff shortages if Labor is re-elected.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday Labor would build and run 50 new government-owned and operated early education centres in the communities that needed them most if re-elected this weekend.
It will also build more kinders, establish a workforce package to tackle skills shortages and roll out 30 hours of pre-prep.
Childcare is an issue plaguing south-west families with parents facing waiting lists of up to two years due to a lack of centres, places and educators.
A Victoria University study Deserts and Oases: How Accessible is Childcare in Australia, released in March, revealed the south-west was the worst in the state.
It showed the south-west had almost 3.5 children for every available childcare place, and some areas in the region were worse, qualifying it as a "childcare desert".
Portland is one of 30 locations to benefit from Sunday's announcement. It is part of the government's Best Start, Best Life reforms to set children up for the future, support women to return to work and reduce cost-of-living pressures for families.
The first four centres, all located outside the south-west, will open in 2025 and deliver childcare, kindergarten, and eventually pre-prep and - where possible - other early childhood services.
The government said it would invest $584 million across the 50 services - with all of them to be up and running by 2028 but there were no details about where the remaining 20 centres would be located.
Mr Andrews said the new childcare centres would mean a "high-quality, low-cost option" and would give parents certainty.
It comes as high childcare fees are crippling family budgets and follows the government's free kinder for every Victorian three and four-year-old from next year.
Included in Sunday's announcement, the government will invest $159 million as part of a major workforce package to "attract, retain, and develop talented and dedicated early childhood professionals".
It will also fund 700 extra early childhood scholarships - worth between $12,000 to $34,000 for people looking to become early childhood teachers through undergraduate degree pathways.
Extra incentives of between $9000 and $50,000 is also available for teachers and educators moving into, or re-joining, the sector and for priority services in areas that struggle to find qualified staff.
Mr Andrews said the investment made sense, "setting our little ones up for the future - and helping more families juggle the cost and complexity of child-care."
Early childhood and pre-prep minister Ingrid Stitt said educators did an incredible job.
"We'll back their work with more opportunities to upskill, retrain and start a new career," Ms Stitt said.
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