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Three-year-old kindergarten

Information for families

In 2022, the kindergarten fee subsidy allows children to access up to 15 hours of funded kindergarten delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher for free or at low cost.

Your child is eligible for the kindergarten fee subsidy:

  • if your child identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • if your child is identified on their birth certificate as being a multiple birth child (triplets or more)

or if your child holds or has a parent or guardian who holds, one of the following:

  • a Commonwealth Health Care Card
  • a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card
  • a Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card or White Card
  • Refugee or Asylum Seeker visa (200-204, 786 or 866)
  • Bridging visas for any of the above Refugee or Asylum Seeker visas

If your family or child has a humanitarian or refugee visa listed by the Department of Home Affairs which is not included in the above list, your child may still be eligible for the kindergarten fee subsidy.

Please speak to your kindergarten service for more information.

From 2023 onwards, the Victorian State Government has announced that kindergarten will free for all three and four year old children.

This is a big change and so we are working with kindergarten providers to cater for your family’s needs and manage capacity across our centres. This means three-year-old kindergarten hours will vary at different kindergartens, providing families with between 5 and 15 hours each week.

Contact your local kindergartens or check their websites for timetables from October onwards. Most childcare centres also offer kindergarten programs, contact your local centre for details.

  • Applications are now open for 2023 and 2024,
  • You can apply for 3 and 4 year old kindergarten at the same time.
  • There are three new kindergartens opening in 2023: Meadowglen Primary School Kindergarten (Epping), Lalor Primary School Kindergarten (Lalor) and Wollert West Primary School Kindergarten (Wollert).

Council's role

The City of Whittlesea is committed to supporting the community in accessing quality education services and is working in partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET), Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and the services to plan for the funded three-year-old Kindergarten programs commenceing in 2022.

Council is not a manager of kindergarten services in Whittlesea however it does manage the Kindergartens Central Application Scheme.

If you speak a language other than English and would like assistance to apply for kindergarten, or to find out more information, please contact Council’s Early Years team on 9217 2170. You are welcome to contact the Interpreting Service 131 450

Eligibility

When to start Kindergarten?

Your child needs to turn three to commence Three-Year-old kindergarten before the 30 April. There are a few things you may need to consider when making the decision to commence kindergarten. For Date of Birth Range see the table below.

For more information on when to start Three-Year-Old Kindergarten visit: Give your child the best start | Victorian Government

Free or low cost kindergarten

Are you eligible to pay no or low fees?

Most kindergarten program fees are partly paid by the Victorian Government directly to the kindergarten. 

Families can access a sessional kindergarten service for free or low cost if the child: 

  • is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • is a triplet or quadruplet
  • is covered by a Health Care Card
  • holds an eligible concession card or refugee, humanitarian or asylum seeker visa, or their parent or guardian does

For more information visit: How much kindergarten costs via education.vic.gov.au

The following table provides a quick reference for application details:

Date of birth range   Three-year-old kindergarten    Four-year-old kindergarten Applications open 

 

Year of attendance Year of attendance  
1 May 2017 –
30 April 2018
N/A 2022 Now
1 May 2018 –
30 April 2019
2022 2023 Now
1 May 2019 –
30 April 2020
2023 2024 1 February 2022
1 May 2020 –
30 April 2021
2024 2025 1 February 2023
 

Click on the link to view the kindergarten applications page and to apply for kindergarten.

Early Start Kindergarten

Early Start Kindergarten gives eligible children 15 hours of free or low-cost kindergarten a week for two years before starting school.

To be eligible, your child must be three by 30 April in the year they start kindergarten, and:

  • is from a refugee or asylum seeker background, or
  • identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or
  • your family has had contact with Child Protection/Child First/Orange Door

For more information about Early Start Kindergarten visit Early Start Kindergarten via education.vic.gov.au

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