Kindergarten enrolments

Kindergarten (also known as kinder or preschool) provides high quality education programs for 4 year old children in the year before school entry.

Under the new 'No Jab, No Play' legislation (as of 1 January 2016), you will need to provide documentation/evidence regarding immunisation directly to the kindergarten to confirm your child’s enrolment. Council does not require this evidence for your kindergarten application.

On this page:

How to apply for kindergarten

  1. Download the 4-year-old kindergarten application form (PDF - 638KB).
  2. Fill in your child's details and nominate 3 kindergartens, in order of preference.
  3. Provide the following supporting documents:
    • proof of child’s birth (for example, a copy of their birth certificate/extract or maternal child health record book)
    • proof that you live in the City of Whittlesea (for example, a copy of your current driver’s licence, rates notice, telephone, gas, electricity or water bill). If you are a non-resident, provide proof of primary childcare and/or work arrangements within the municipality, (for example, a signed Statutory Declaration)
    • a non-refundable application fee of $20.50, or a copy of your Concession/Health Care Card, if applicable
  4. Bring your complete application to the Community Services Counter at our Civic Centre offices, or mail it to:

    Kindergarten Central Enrolment
    City of Whittlesea
    Locked Bag 1
    Bundoora MDC VIC 3083

Alternatively, you can pay the application fee by credit card and simply email your application to keo@whittlesea.vic.gov.au or fax it to 9409 9822.

Application process and dates

Applications open

Applications are accepted from the first working day in March each year, for 2 years before the year of kindergarten attendance. Applications for attendance in 2018 opened on 1 March 2016.

Closing date

In preparation for offers, applications close at 5pm on the last business day in June of the year before your child attends kindergarten.

Applications submitted after this date will be accepted and processed after the first round of offers are made.

Kindergarten placement offers

We process applications as we receive them and make kindergarten placement offers in order of application date, after placing priority of access children.

We confirm your child's kindergarten placement by mail between July and September of the year before your child attends kindergarten.

Although you may not receive a first round offer, your child will be offered a place at one of our kindergartens. We process deferments, cancellations and changes of preference, which can open more spaces at your preferred kinder.

If you have received a kindergarten placement offer, you can respond to the kindergarten placement offer online or return your mailed form by email, fax or mail.

After you accept your placement offer, you will be contacted by the kindergarten management regarding session times and fees. You will then need to provide documentation regarding immunisation directly to the kindergarten to confirm your child’s enrolment.

How to change or cancel your application

Please use the relevant online form to:

Alternatively, you can download the Change of information form (PDF - 611KB) to make any of these changes.

Defer your application

You can defer your application to the following year online.

Alternatively, you can download the Kindergarten deferment form (PDF - 454KB).

Your child's application can only be deferred before they start attending kindergarten.

Local kindergartens

There are 35 kindergartens in the City of Whittlesea, and you can nominate your child to attend any one of these:

Information about programs, session times and fees are available from each kindergarten and is often displayed on kindergarten noticeboards.

We encourage you to visit any kindergarten which you are interested in. However, you should first book an appointment so that the teacher can make time to speak with you personally.

About 4-year-old kindergarten

Four-year-old kindergarten is a 1 year education program for children, the year before they start school.

Children attend for approximately 10 to 15 hours per week, which can be spread across 2 or more days or alternatively all-day in childcare centres offering kindergarten programs.

Four-year-old kindergarten is subsidised by the Victorian Government to keep fees low and allow all children to attend.

Childcare centre-based kindergarten

There are childcare centres within the municipality that also offer 4-year-old kindergarten programs. To access a list, see Childcare centres.

Benefits of kindergarten

Kindergarten is an important program for all 4-year-old children to attend, as it provides young children with the opportunities to improve skills that are important for life, and helps prepare them for school.

Kindergarten will support your child to develop:

  • language and listening skills
  • confidence and independence
  • physical and creative skills
  • the ability to work cooperatively with other children and adults

The kindergarten teacher is responsible for planning an educational program to meet the children’s needs and interests, and to develop a desire to learn.

There is an emphasis on a play-orientated approach to learning, to suit the developmental level of individual children.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for 4-year-old kindergarten, your child must turn 4 by 30 April in the year of kindergarten attendance.

If your child was born between January and April, you have the choice of which year to enrol your child, including the year the child is eligible or the year after. You should be aware that some children who start kindergarten early may experience issues later, as they start school early.

Second year of funded kindergarten

All children are eligible for 1 year of 4-year-old kindergarten, under the funding provided to kindergartens by the Victorian Government.

The Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) has strict eligibility criteria for a second year of funded kindergarten. In order to be eligible, a child will:

  • have already received a year of funded kindergarten
  • be eligible to enter school the following year
  • have identified developmental needs in 2 or more areas
  • be expected to benefit from a second year of kindergarten

The kindergarten teacher prepares the application in consultation with parents, and may consult an early childhood specialist, if required.

Find out more about eligibility for a second year of funded kindergarten.

About 3-year-old kindergarten

We do not accept applications for 3-year-old kindergarten. To register for 3-year-old kindergarten, you must apply directly to your chosen kindergarten.

Three-year-old kindergarten programs are not subsidised by the Victorian Government, so fees are generally higher than the 4-year-old kindergarten program.

If your child already attends a 3-year-old kindergarten program, they are not automatically allocated a place for 4-year-old kindergarten.

Kindergarten management

Kindergartens are managed by volunteer parent management committees, elected each year at an Annual General Meeting, or by professional early childhood organisations. Committees are registered with the Department of Education and Training (DET), and monitored regularly to ensure standards are maintained and funding conditions are met.

Our role is to:

  • own and maintain the facilities in which kindergarten programs are run
  • manage a central enrolment system for all 4-year-old kindergartens
  • support early childhood educators with professional development and service planning

For more information on the management of local kindergartens, please refer to the:

Last Updated: 08 August 2016