Kindergarten in Victoria is government subsidised. Children get access to 15 hours of funded kindergarten per week in the year before they start school. Three-year old children get between 5 and 15 hours of funded kindergarten per week.
When will my child start kindergarten?
Kindergarten begins when your child turns 3 The timing is aligned to when your child is expected to start school. This table provides a guide. We recommend speaking with your kindergarten about the best time for your child to start 3-year-old kindergarten.
|Your child's birthdate is between:||Start 3-year-old kindergarten||Start 4-year-old kindergarten||Start school|
|1 May 2020 to 30 April 2021||2024||2025||2026|
|1 May 2021 to 30 April 2022||2025||2026||2027|
For more information on starting kindergarten visit Best Start, Best Life.
What are the different types of kindergarten?
There are 2 different types of kindergarten:
- Sessional kindergarten
- Integrated kindergarten
Sessional kindergarten is run in standalone kindergartens. They have set hours on set days and usually run during school terms.
Integrated kindergarten runs in centres that also have childcare programs. All local childcare centres with integrated kindergarten are listed on our Childcare and kindergarten page. There is a cost to access care for a whole day for your child. Whole day care is not covered by the Free Kinder program. Eligible families can access the Child Care Subsidy to help with the cost.
Choosing the right kindergarten for your child depends on your needs. Importantly, both types:
- provide kindergarten for 3 and 4-year-olds
- provide free kindergarten if the service is part of the Victorian Government’s Free Kinder program
- are taught by an Early Childhood Degree qualified teacher
- run set hours kindergarten sessions.
Early Start Kindergarten
Early Start Kindergarten is a program for children who meet any of these criteria:
- Identify as First Nations or Torres Strait Islander.
- Refugee or asylum seeker background.
- Living in out-of-home care.
- Have had, or their family have had contact with child protection.
A child must have turned three by 30 April in the year they start kindergarten to be eligible.
For more information, visit Early Start Kindergarten.
The Kinder Tick
Services with the Kinder Tick:
- are led by a qualified teacher
- use play-based learning
- are funded and approved by the Victorian Government
- run a program that complies with government guidelines and the National Quality Framework.
All the services listed on the childcare and kindergarten page have the Kinder Tick.
Community run sessional kindergartens
All the services listed below have the Kinder Tick.
- Albert Park Kinder
18 Dundas Place, Albert Park
Phone: 03 8672 9981
- Bubup Womindjeka Family and Children's Centre
85 Liardet Street, Port Melbourne
Phone: 03 9676 8400
- Civic Kindergarten
256 Richardson Street, Middle Park
Phone: 0403 097 244
- Lady Forster Kindergarten
63b Ormond Esplanade, Elwood
Phone: 03 9531 6812
- Lilian Cannam Kindergarten
97 Eastern Road, South Melbourne
Phone: 03 9699 3695
- Middle Park Kindergarten
131 Mills Street, Middle Park
Phone: 03 9690 1220
- Poets Grove Family and Children's Centre
18 Poets Grove, Elwood
Phone: 03 9531 6563
Not-for-profit sessional kindergartens
- Port Phillip Specialist Pre-School
Corner of Nott St and Poole St, Port Melbourne
- Port Melbourne Uniting Care Kindergarten
144 Bridge Street, Port Melbourne
Phone: 1800 183 103