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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 educator.

Programs are based on the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF).

Kindergarten programs operate in a variety of settings throughout Maroondah, including:

  • Stand-alone community kindergartens
  • Integrated within community based or private long day-care child-care centres
  • Long day care services run by Universities or independent 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. 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.

kinder benefits infographic
 

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.

Kindergarten can provide an opportunity for families to get to know their local community and establish local support networks.  Families can contribute their time, skills and knowledge casually (through social events, working bees or as parent helpers) or formally as part of a committee of Management or Parent Group.

Child climbing in tree

In Victoria, children can attend one or two years of kindergarten before they start school. When it comes to early learning, evidence shows that two years of kindergarten has positive effects on child development, wellbeing and learning.

To be eligible for kindergarten, a child must turn 3 or 4 before 30 April in the year of Kindergarten attendance.  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 an early childhood educator, your family doctor or another professional your child sees, such as a paediatrician or speech pathologist.

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

From 2022 services will receive funding for at least five hours of three-year-old kindergarten. This will increase to 15 hours by 2029 as part of the Three-Year-Old Kindergarten Reform.  

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 through the Early Start Kindergarten (ESK) and Koorie Kids Shine programs. 

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

Further information

Children Painting
 

There are over 60 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:

Interactive maps

  • 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

MIKA Application Information - YouTube

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.

Three Year Old Kinder Postcard

The Victorian Government has committed almost $5 billion over the past decade to deliver universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten across Victoria. This is the largest early childhood investment in the state’s history.

By 2029 all three-year-old children will have access to 15 hours of funded kindergarten each week led by a qualified early childhood teacher. Program delivery, funding rates and support services will be consistent with four-year-old kindergarten provisions.

Three-year-old program hours and funding will scale up from 2023, allowing services to make timetable and workforce adjustments as the demand for kindergarten places grows.

For more information on the kindergarten reform visit the Victorian government website

Further information

26/05/2017
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