Coronavirus update 13 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support.

Summary

  • You can enrol your child in a kindergarten through the Boroondara Kindergarten Central Enrolment Scheme (BKCES) when they turn 2.
  • Before you start your application, learn about the enrolment process and get to know your local kindergartens including their session times and fees.
  • Kindergarten places are allocated using our central enrolment policy selection criteria.
  • Your child must be immunised to attend kindergarten and you will need to provide an Immunisation History Statement.

Kindergarten is an education program offered at either a stand-alone kindergarten, a long day care (childcare centre) or an independent school. Kindergarten programs are taught by qualified early childhood teachers. 

Children attend a 4-year-old kindergarten program in the year before they start primary school. The program is delivered during the 4 school terms and usually runs for around 15 hours a week over 40 weeks. Many kindergartens also offer kindergarten programs for 3-year-olds, usually for fewer hours than 4-year-old kindergarten.

Kindergarten (sometimes called 'preschool', especially in other states in Australia), is an important step for young children as it can support a smooth transition to primary school. Kindergarten enhances children’s health and well-being, assists them to develop social skills and key skills for life. ​

Attending kindergarten has many benefits. Find out why kindergarten is strongly recommended.

Remember important dates

Calculate kindergarten dates and add them to your calendar.

When to start kindergarten

Early childhood educators strongly recommend that children attend a 4-year-old kindergarten program in the year before they start school. Your child has to be 4 years of age on or before 30 April to attend 4-year-old kindergarten in that year.

Children can also attend an extra year of kindergarten when they are 3. The Victorian Government is gradually rolling out funding for 3-year-old kindergarten. Five hours of funded 3-year-old kindergarten is set to commence in Boroondara in 2022. Find out more about 3-year-old kindergarten.

Some children have a choice about what year to start kindergarten

If your child's birthday falls between 1 January and 30 April you have a choice about whether they start school the year they turn 5 or 6. If they start the year they turn 5 they may be younger than many other children in their class. Working back, this means you have a choice about when your child starts kindergarten. We have developed a kindergarten dates calculator to help you figure out your options and add important enrolment dates to your calendar.

How do you know your child is ready for kindergarten?

It can be difficult to know when your child is ready because children develop and learn in different ways. There is currently a trend for younger children to wait until the following year. Talk to your Maternal and Child Health nurse or a qualified early years teacher to help you decide. Kindergarten open days also provide a great opportunity to talk things through with an experienced professional.

Choosing a kindergarten

Some families may work part-time or combine long day care, occasional care or help from grandparents if they live nearby, in order to attend a stand-alone kindergarten. Attending a long day care centre that also provides a kindergarten program may suit your family better or you may opt for an independent school kindergarten, depending on your family and your circumstances.

Find more information about choosing a kindergarten.

Stand-alone kindergarten

Some kindergarten programs are taught in purpose-built centres. Children attend programs at set days and hours. These are known as  'sessional' or 'stand-alone' kindergartens. The sessions are usually shorter than a business day and run two, three or four days per week. Many of these kindergartens are managed by volunteer parent committees.

Most stand-alone kindergartens in Boroondara are part of the Boroondara Kindergarten Central Enrolment Scheme which is administered by Council.

Kindergarten in long day care (childcare centre)

Long day care centres offer childcare for children from 0 to 6. Most also offer kindergarten programs that children can attend as part of their time at care that are taught by early childhood teachers. Hours of care vary across centres, but most offer 40 hours per week.

Kindergarten in an independent school

Some independent schools offer kindergarten programs. Some of these schools offer 'K-12', meaning they provide schooling from kindergarten through to year 12. They sometimes refer to their kindergartens as Early Learning Centres or ELCs.

Kindergarten fees and funding

The government provides funding directly to kindergartens to keep fees low.

Early Start Kindergarten grants are available to help eligible children attend programs for free or at a reduced cost. 

Learn more about kindergarten fees and subsidies.

Immunisation

Under the Victorian Government's 'No Jab, No play’ legislation, children must present an up-to-date Immunisation History Statement (IHS) when they enrol in kindergarten, childcare or school. Learn how to access your child's Immunisation History Statements.

Use our immunisation dates calculator to see when your child is due for scheduled immunisations and add those dates to your calendar.

Quality and safety

Kindergartens and childcare services are regulated and assessed under the National Quality Framework to ensure they meet quality and safety standards, and work to improve outcomes for children.

Find out more about the regulation of kindergartens in Victoria.

Contact us

For further information contact us on 9278 4444 or email [email protected].

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