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Three-year-old kindergarten

Information for families

What does three-year-old funded kindergarten mean?

From 2022, as part of the State Government's Kindergarten Reform, every Victorian three-year-old child will be able to access a minimum of five hours per week of funded three-year-old kindergarten, progressively scaling up to 15 hours per week by 2029.

Research shows that quality play-based learning is a powerful way to support children’s learning and development. The benefits last into the school years and beyond.

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 to commence in 2022.

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

Three-year-old funded kindergarten is coming to the City of Whittlesea from 2022 

When and how will I apply for 3 year old kindergarten?

For 2021 - contact your local kindergarten or child care centre

For 2022 - Applications are now open for 3 year old funded kindergarten

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


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. This allows children to access up to 15 hours a week of funded kindergarten delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher. 

Families can access a sessional kindergarten service at low or no 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

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 Apply via Year of attendance Apply via  
1 May 2016 –
30 April 2017
N/A N/A 2021 City of Whittlesea Now
1 May 2017 –
30 April 2018
2021 Direct with kindergarten 2022 City of Whittlesea Now
1 May 2018 –
30 April 2019
2022 City of Whittlesea 2023 City of Whittlesea Now
1 May 2019 –
30 April 2020
2023 City of Whittlesea 2024 City of Whittlesea 1 Feb 2022

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.

For more information about Early Start Kindergarten visit Early Start Kindergarten via

Where can I find out more information about three-year-old kindergarten?

The Department of Education and Training website.

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