In 2022, the Victorian Government will subsidise 5 hours of 3-year-old kindergarten. From 2023, services will have the opportunity to increase their funded 3-year-old kindergarten programming up to 15 hours per week. The subsidies are paid directly to kindergartens for children to attend a single year of 3-year-old kindergarten. Learn more at Kindergarten fees and subsidies.
Research shows that play-based learning supports children’s development and that 2 years are better than 1 when it comes to early learning. Learn more about the benefits of 3-year-old kindergarten.
When to start 3-year-old kindergarten
Each child is different, and we recommend carefully considering your child’s readiness before starting kindergarten, as this may have a flow on effect for when they start school.
Your child has to be 3 years of age on or before 30 April to be eligible to attend 3-year-old kindergarten in that year. Many kindergartens will require your child to have turned 3 years of age before they can start attending kindergarten. Your child’s place will be held until they turn 3 years old and fees will only apply once they can start attending.
If your child is born between 1 January and 30 April, your child can begin 3-year-old kindergarten in the year they turn 3 or 4. Children under 3 years of age will not be able to attend a funded kindergarten program until they turn 3, unless the service has enough staff to cover the required ratios.
Where children do not attend from the beginning of the kindergarten year because they turn 3 between January and April, services must waive parent fees for this period. If a deposit is charged, it must be offset against fees once the child starts kindergarten.
If you are applying for a kindergarten that is a member of the central enrolment scheme, we recommend that you apply for the first year your child is eligible. Once offered, you can defer your place if you decide to wait until the following year.
How much 3-year-old kindergarten costs
Kindergartens set their own fees, which may include a fee to secure your child's place in kindergarten.
Find out more about kindergarten fees and subsidies.
How to enrol in 3-year-old kindergarten
If you are applying for a place in kindergarten in a long day care centre, an independent school, or a stand-alone kindergarten that is not part of the Boroondara Kindergarten Central Enrolment Scheme (BKCES) you will need to contact them directly. You can use our kindergartens map to find their websites and contact details.