What does funded 3 year old kindergarten mean?

From 2022, as part of the State Government’s Kindergarten Reform, every three-year-old Victorian child can access at least five hours of a funded kindergarten program each week. This means that the Government has contributed funding to three-year-old kindergarten that helps to reduce the cost of sending a child to a three-year-old kindergarten program.  For some families, it may mean that children can attend a three-year-old kindergarten program for very low or no cost.

What will my child do at Kindergarten?

At kindergarten, children learn and develop many skills that will help them in school and beyond. Kindergarten programs help children learn about the world through play and provide children with opportunities to use their imagination and practise important skills. All of which help to progress a child’s social and emotional development and wellbeing. All kindergarten programs work with what is known as the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework. This framework ensures that the programs are right for children’s ages.

I have heard about the ‘Kinder Tick’, what is that?

The ‘Kinder Tick’ has been designed by the Victorian Department of Education and Training as a way to easily identify a kindergarten program that:

  • is funded and approved by the Victorian Government
  • has a play-based learning program
  • is run by a qualified teacher

Where are three-year-old kindergarten programs?

Both sessional kindergarten services and long day care centres are funded to deliver kindergarten programs for three-year-olds.

A standalone service is a kindergarten program that operates on certain days and times each week. These days and hours are set and decided by the kindergarten service. An example of this may be Wednesday’s during school terms from 9 am to 2 pm.

A long day care centre can offer a full day of education and care, including a kindergarten program. This is because the kindergarten program forms part of the additional hours of education and care. An example of this may be a child attending a long day care service on a Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, with 5 of these hours including a funded kindergarten program.

Whether your child goes to a standalone service or long day care centre, all teachers and educators will be qualified to lead the program.

Which Our Place sites offer three-year-old kindergarten?

Our Place SiteService TypeProvider
CarltonLong Day Care with a Kindergarten ProgramGowrie
DovetonLong Day Care with a Kindergarten ProgramDoveton College
Frankston North – AldercourtStandalone serviceCommunity Kinders Plus
Frankston North – Mahogany RiseLong Day Care with a Kindergarten ProgramFrankston City Council
MooroopnaLong Day Care with a Kindergarten ProgramGreater Shepparton City Council
Morwell – Morwell CentralLong Day Care with a Kindergarten ProgramGoodstart Early Learning
Northern BayLong Day Care with a Kindergarten ProgramGreater City of Geelong
RobinvaleStandalone serviceYMCA
SeymourStandalone serviceKids First Australia
WestallStandalone serviceTry Australia

Other local kindergarten services can be found here by searching your postcode.

How do I know when I can send my child to three-year-old kindergarten?

The Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) has an online calculator here that allows you to put in a child’s birthdate to determine which year they can attend three-year-old kindergarten.

Where can I get information in other languages?

The Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) have translated information about three-year-old kindergarten in over 30 languages available for download here

How does kindergarten align with the Our Place approach?

The Our Place approach is built on the strong body of evidence from international research and experts and learnings from our lighthouse site at Doveton College, which began in 2012. As research shows that quality play-based learning is a powerful way to support children’s learning and development and that the benefits of this are carried into the school years and beyond, the Our Place approach seeks to support high-quality learning environments for children – at home, in early learning settings and in schools.

Download the PDF version of this article or click here to find out more about the Our Place approach.