Kindergarten is an important step for young children and is strongly recommended for all children. It is the two years of early education for children before they start primary school.
Research shows that kindergarten improves children’s health and wellbeing, helps them to develop strong social skills and encourages a love of learning. Children who attend a kindergarten program are more independent and confident and are more likely to make a smooth transition to primary school.
A high-quality kindergarten program will offer your child a range of learning experiences and activities that are both stimulating and fun. Your child’s learning and curiosity will be encouraged through experiences and activities, such as exploring the natural world, being exposed to new ideas and solving problems.
The kindergarten that is closest to your residence is usually the best option. This ensures that the child builds a good community connection and will likely know children when transitioning into primary school. However, regardless of proximity, kindergarten is a personal choice based on what each kindergarten offers within their indoor/outdoor program. It is recommended that you visit kindergartens of interest to compare and assist you in deciding which would be more suitable for your child.
Kindergarten programs are delivered by a qualified Early Childhood Teacher. They are designed to improve your child’s development in:
- social skills, like how to play with other children in a calm, sharing and rewarding way
- self-awareness and respect for others
- emotional skills, e.g., understanding their feelings
- language, literacy and numeracy skills, such as reading stories and counting objects
- participating in learning and group activities, such as talking, drawing and making things together with other children their own age
- making new friends; and
- being exposed to new ideas and concepts.
Kindergarten also gives families:
- opportunities to meet other families and make community connections
- access to support for children with special needs; and
- access to other community services.
CPSG fees for 2022, will be $425 per term
The Department of Education and Training (DET) provides funding for each child who is enrolled and attending a funded kindergarten program. Income from other sources, primarily fees, is required to meet all the additional costs incurred by a service in the delivery of a kindergarten program.
The Kindergarten Fee Subsidy enables eligible children to attend a funded kindergarten program free of charge in the two years before school (see What is the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy below to see if your child is eligible).
All kindergarten fees go towards maintaining and operating the kindergarten and cover the gap between the cost of running the kindergarten and funding from the government.
Fees are compulsory and non-refundable. Fees are payable prior to the commencement of each term, and must be paid prior to the due date to ensure your child can attend kindergarten. Fee payment plans are also available.
For further information see How much kindergarten costs
CPSG FEES FOR 2023
The Victorian Statement Government has recently announced
that kindergarten will be FREE from 2023 onwards for three and four-year-old
children at participating services.
Further information will be provided once available.
In instances where more eligible children apply for a place at a service than there are places available, CPSG must prioritise children based on the criteria outlined in the Department of Education and Training’s Kindergarten Guide and work with other local kindergarten services and the regional Department office to ensure all eligible children have access to a kindergarten place.
The priority of access assessment process determines which applicants are granted a “high priority” place in a specific kindergarten service and group.
CPSG offers a variety of kindergarten programs, depending on actual enrolment numbers.
Sessional kindergarten refers to a kindergarten program that operates for specific days or hours each week. In most instances, the same children attend on the same days. For example, kindergarten may be Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm each week.
Combined (our multi-age programs)
A combined program is when a sessional kindergarten is made up of mixed age groups (i.e. three and four-year-old children). This is common in our rural services, that typically have smaller enrolment numbers.
If enrolments exceed the number of approved places for the kindergarten, in some circumstances the introduction of a rotational session structure can cater for additional enrolments, whereby children are allocated into smaller groups which are combined together on a particular day to form a larger group.
No. Most children will only be eligible for two years of funded kindergarten, so your child will transition from a three-year-old program to a four-year-old program.
This is why it is so important to choose the right time to start for your child (see Is my child ready for kindergarten above).
A second year of funded four-year-old kindergarten may be considered when:
- your child is observed as having delays in at least two outcomes areas of learning and development (detailed in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework) available at education.vic.gov.au; and
- there is evidence to suggest that the child will achieve better outcomes if he/she attends a third year of kindergarten to strengthen learning and development of skills in these areas and better facilitate transition to school the following year.
For further information, see:
Children can go to kindergarten when they’re six years old if they have a disability, developmental delay or it’s a special situation.
If your child will turn six before or while they’re in their first or second year of funded kindergarten, you must get an exemption from starting school.
For further information, see Going to kindergarten if your child is 6 years old.
If your child has additional needs, they may be eligible for funding for extra support at kindergarten. This may include additional training for staff, equipment specific to your child’s needs or an additional assistant being allocated to the group.
We encourage families to be open with us so we can support children to the best of our abilities. We are happy to work with external agencies your child may be working with to ensure a collaborative and consistent approach to their learning.
We encourage you to contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss your child’s specific needs.
No. 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
your family is eligible for the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy.
The Kindergarten Fee Subsidy (KFS) 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.
CPSG will apply for the kindergarten fee subsidy on your behalf. The payment will be made directly to your child’s kindergarten and will allow your child to attend up to 15 hours a week for free or at low-cost.
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 further information, see Early Start Kindergarten.
If a family becomes eligible for the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy during a term, a full refund of the applicable term’s fees will be provided when evidence of this eligibility is provided to CPSG.
Please contact the CPSG office on (03) 5579 5920 or email [email protected] to provide your new contact information.