About funded Kindergarten

This guide aims to assist you to understand the steps you need to take to register your child in our 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten programs. For further enquires please contact our Early Years team by phoning 03 5568 0516 or email enrolments@moyne.vic.gov.au

Why should my child go to Kindergarten?

Give your child the best start. Kindergarten is an important part of young children’s growth and development and attendance is strongly recommended for all children. Attending kindergarten improves children’s health and wellbeing, supports their development, helps them to develop strong social skills and encourages a love of learning. Children who go to a kindergarten program are more likely to be independent and confident and to make a smooth transition to primary school.

Our high quality kindergarten programs will offer your child a range of learning experiences and activities that are both stimulating and fun. Your child’s learning and curiosity about their world will be encouraged through different experiences and activities, such as exploring the natural world, being exposed to new ideas and solving problems.

Kindergarten is for all children and is inclusive of all children. If your child has a disability or needs additional help with their learning and development, the educators will work with you to ensure that the program and learning environment meet the needs of your child.

Research consistently shows that two years of kindergarten are better than one.  In 2022, every child who is 3 or 4 years of age before 30 April in their year of enrolment will be eligible for 5 hours per week of three-year-old kindergarten, or 15 hours per week of four-year-old kindergarten.

All children will receive two years of funded kindergarten in the years prior to school, and may be eligible to receive a third year of kindergarten if they have delays in at least two areas of development. Unfortunately, general immaturity is not considered a delay so it’s important that families consider when is the right time to start kindergarten. Your child’s Maternal and Child Health Nurse or early childhood educator will be a useful resource to discuss your child’s readiness for Kindergarten

Funded Kindergarten Fee Subsidy

The Kindergarten Fee Subsidy is applied in the following circumstances and enables eligible children to attend a funded kindergarten program free of charge if:

  • The child is identified by a parent, carer or legal guardian as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • The child is identified on their birth certificate as being a multiple birth child (triplets or more)
  • The child individually holds, or has a parent or guardian who holds one of the following: A Commonwealth Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card, Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card or White Car, or a humanitarian visa.

Early Start Kindergarten (ESK)

Three-year-old children that identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or their family has had contact with Child Protection or are refugee or asylum seekers, are eligible for up to 15hrs of funded kindergarten through Early Start Kindergarten. (ESK) Early Start Kindergarten gives eligible children 15 hours of free 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:

  • Identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or
  • Your family has had contact with Child Protection
  • Your family are refugee or asylum seekers

Evidence of immunisation for enrolment

To have an enrolment confirmed for a child in long day care or kindergarten, parents/carers have to provide the service with a current Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR); AND the statement must show that the child is up to date with all vaccinations that are due for their age, or that they are able to receive within the two months prior to the child starting at the service

The Immunisation History Statement from the AIR lists the vaccines the child has received and, if applicable, which vaccines are due in the future and when. Medical exemption may also be listed, where applicable.  Letters from GPs or local councils are not accepted. An Immunisation History Statement from the AIR is the only type of immunisation record accepted by early childhood education and care services for the purposes of confirming enrolment and must be provided within the two months prior to the child starting at the service. 

How can parents/carers get an Immunisation History Statement from the AIR?

You can print a copy of your child’s Immunisation History Statement from your MyGov account. If you have difficulty getting a copy via your MyGov account, you can call the AIR on phone 1800 653 809 or visit a Medicare or Centrelink office. Families who do not hold a Medicare card must call the AIR to request an Immunisation History Statement.

About the grace period

Under the legislation, some families are eligible to enrol and commence at the childcare/kindergarten service, under a 'grace period' provision, while they bring their children's vaccinations up-to-date and/or obtain the required documentation.                                               

Early childhood education and care services, with help from the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education and Training, will support families of children who are not up-to-date with their vaccinations and provide them with information as to where they can access vaccinations.

Children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage are eligible to enrol in a service under a grace period, without having provided proof of up-to-date immunisation. The grace period provisions allow the family to continue to access early childhood education and care services while receiving information and assistance to get their child's immunisations up to date and to obtain the required Immunisation History Statement from the AIR that needs to be provided to the service. Families who meet any of the following criteria are eligible for the grace period

Evacuated children

  • Children evacuated following emergency (such as flood or fire)
  • Children in emergency care
  • Children in emergency care (for example, emergency foster care) under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005

Children in the care of an adult who is not their parent

  • Children in the care of an adult who is not the child’s parent due to exceptional circumstances such as illness or incapacity

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children

  • Children identified by their parents as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander 

Other children experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage

  • Children who hold or whose parents hold a health care card, pension concession card, Veterans Affairs Gold or White card
  • Children from a multiple birth of triplets or more
  • Children who are refugees or asylum seekers
  • Children known to child protection
  • Children who are on or who have been on a Child Protection Order
  • Children in or who have been in foster care or out-of-home care
  • Children who have a report made about them under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005
  • Families that have received support through Family Services including ChildFIRST; Services Connect; a community-based child and family service; or an integrated family service.