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 kindergartenStart 4-year-old kindergartenStart school
1 May 2020 to 30 April 2021202420252026
1 May 2021 to 30 April 2022202520262027

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.

Find a Kinder Tick service.

Community run sessional kindergartens

All the services listed below have the Kinder Tick.

Not-for-profit sessional kindergartens

Independent sessional kindergartens