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Kindergartens

boy playing in puddle 

Kindergarten (also called preschool) is an early childhood educational program for young children delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher.

Some kindergartens programs run as sessional programs in stand-alone services (for example, community kindergartens). Other kindergarten programs are run in long day care services or schools.

A number of kindergartens offer programs for children aged 3 and 4 years.

To decide if your child is ready to start kindergarten, talk to your maternal and child health nurse about your child's health and wellbeing.

child playing with clay outside 

A quality early childhood education has many benefits for children. Research shows that kindergarten improves children’s health and wellbeing, helps them to develop strong social skills and fosters a love of learning.

Research also shows that attending two years of quality kindergarten has even greater benefits. Children who attend kindergarten are more independent and confident and are more likely to make a smooth transition to primary school.

All children have the right to a quality education. If your child has a disability, a learning difficulty or other additional needs, when choosing a kindergarten talk to the educators about how their program and environment can support your child.

Child climbing in tree

In Victoria, children can attend one or two years of kindergarten before they start school.

Children can start kindergarten the year before they start primary school (generally called ‘four-year-old kindergarten’), or the year before that (generally called ‘three-year-old kindergarten’).

Every child is different, so the best time to start kindergarten depends on a range of individual factors.

To decide if your child is ready to start kindergarten, talk to your maternal and child health nurse about your child’s health and wellbeing. Your child’s two-year-old appointment is a great time to start this conversation.

You can also seek advice from a kindergarten educator, your family doctor or another professional your child sees, such as a paediatrician or speech pathologist, to see when your child may be ready to start kindergarten.

The Victorian Government provides funding to kindergarten services to contribute to the cost of running a funded kindergarten program, which helps keeps the fees set by individual kindergartens as low as possible.

In 2020, this funding applies only to 15 hours of four-year-old kindergarten. However, from 2022, funding will also be available for five hours of three-year-old kindergarten. This will increase to 15 hours by 2029.

In addition to this funding, the Victorian Government also subsidises fees for some children so they can attend kindergarten for free or at low cost. A range of funding subsidies exist for both three-year-old and four-year-old kindergarten, though different eligibility criteria apply.

To find out if your child is eligible for free or low-cost kindergarten, talk to your Maternal and Child Health nurse, a kindergarten educator or contact Maroondah City Council’s Kindergarten Officer on 1300 88 22 33.

You can also visit the Department of Education and Training website for information on different funding subsidies and their eligibility criteria.

Woman handing out brochure 

There are over 50 funded kindergarten services in Maroondah, so it can be hard to know where to start when choosing a kindergarten for your child.

Fortunately, there are useful tools available to help you find kindergartens near you:

  • The Starting Blocks website helps you to find kindergarten programs near you and their quality ratings.
    View the Starting Blocks website
  • You can find a list of kindergartens in Maroondah and their contact details in the Maroondah Community Directory
  • If you live in Maroondah, the ‘My Maroondah’ interactive map below can show you the kindergarten services closest to your home.

Interactive maps

  • Find your closest kindergarten by entering your address in My Maroondah
    Enter your address and see the 5 closest kindergartens.
  • Plan the best walking or public transport route to your kindergarten or school using our interactive map. It shows kindergartens and schools, and when you zoom in you'll see footpaths and crossings. Search for your kindergarten's address and change the settings to see bike lanes, bus routes near a kindergarten.

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To enrol in a MIKA kindergarten

Stand-alone kindergartens in Maroondah are part of the Maroondah Integrated Kindergarten’s Association (MIKA) central enrolment system, which is supported by Council.

To apply for a three-year-old or four-year-old place in a MIKA kindergarten, please complete an online application

If you need any assistance with your application, please call MIKA on 0449 997 488.

The MIKA central enrolment system operates on an annual cycle, with applications taken the year prior to attendance. Applications open on 1 March every year and close on 30 June. If you miss the application window, please contact MIKA on 0449 997 488 to discuss a late application.

To enrol in other kindergartens

Kindergarten programs in Maroondah that are not part of the MIKA central enrolment system manage their own enrolments and may have different enrolment dates. To enrol in these kindergartens, please contact the kindergarten directly.

Transition to primary school

To enhance primary school transition experiences for children and to assist families in planning their child’s enrolment to attend primary school in 2021, the Department of Education in collaboration with early childhood providers, school leaders, local government and other stakeholders have created a Transition to Primary School - Parent Information Pack.

There has been an extension for enrolment applications to Friday 7 August 2020 to take into account the impact of restrictions associated with COVID-19. Based on current advice, this will enable families to visit primary schools in person during the first few weeks of Term 3, before submitting their enrolment form by 7 August 2020.

Some schools are also providing virtual tours, online information sessions and other strategies to share information with prospective families during this remote learning time.

Download the information pack to find out more:

Transition to Primary School - Parent Information Pack

Further information

26/05/2017
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