Free Sessional 3 & 4 year old Kinder in 2023
From 2023, the Victorian Government has announced Free Kinder will be available for all Victorian three and four year old children at participating services, in both standalone (sessional) services and long day care (childcare) settings – a saving of up to $2,500 per child, every year.
Free Kinder means more Victorian children can have the best start in life, no matter where they live:
- For three-year-olds, this means from 5 and up to 15 hours per week of a kindergarten program
- For four-year-olds, this means 15 hours per week (600 hours a year)
Participating kindergarten programs will receive funding directly from the Victorian Government, so families are not out of pocket (and don’t have to claim the savings back).
Please note- Our free kinder programs are in line with the directives from the Victorian Government and follow their criteria for free kindergarten in Victoria in 2023. Any changes the Victorian Government make around this initiative we will follow and adjust accordingly.
Up to $2000 saving for long daycare kindergarten
If your child attends a kindergarten program within a long day care setting, a $2,000 Free Kinder subsidy will offset the kindergarten program component of your out-of-pocket fees.
Long day care centres will be required to pass on the full amount to parents as a direct reduction in their out-of-pocket fees. This will provide a free program for some families and a significantly reduced cost for other families, depending on service fees, number of days attended, and the amount of Commonwealth subsidy received.
What is the Kinder Tick?
Have you seen this symbol?
The Y Whittlesea uses the Kinder Tick because we’re an approved provider of a Victorian Government kindergarten programs. That means our service delivers a play-based learning program, led by a qualified early childhood teacher.
The Kinder Tick shows we meet criteria in the funding guidelines set out by the Victorian Government — which means you can have confidence that your child’s learning and development will be supported by qualified early childhood teachers and educators through a responsive, evidence-based learning program.
By looking for the Kinder Tick, you can be certain your child will be taking part in a kinder program that will give them their best start in life.
To find out more, visit: vic.gov.au/kinder
For more information families can look at the Kinder Tick Families Fact Sheet.
To enrol in our sessional kindergarten program at Galada Kindergarten, The Heights Kindergarten, Orchard Road Community & Early Learning Centre, Kirrip Kindergarten or Eucalyptus Parade Kindergarten please visit: www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/community-support/children-and-families/3yo-kinder
To enrol in our 3 year old Funded Kindergarten Program at Mill Park Heights Childcare Centre & Kindergarten, Orchard Road Community & Early Learning Centre (Long Day Care) and Diggers Rest Early Learning Centre please contact the service directly.
Please click here for the contact details for all our sites.
What is the difference between sessional and an integrated kindergarten?
Both programs are delivered by a fully qualified kindergarten teacher. There is no difference between the educational programs offered other than the length of days and allocation of days to attend. A long day care centre can offer a full day of education and care, including a kindergarten program. The teacher-led kindergarten program is integrated with additional hours of education and care. At a standalone service, a kindergarten program will only operate on certain days and at specific times. These days and hours are set by the kindergarten service.
What does free kindergarten mean?
This means the program is subsidised by the Victorian Government.
How do I enrol?
Please click here to see our enrolment process for each of our centres.
Does CCS cover funded kinder or is this an additional fee?
Typically CCS in a long day care model can cover up to 85% of your daily fee for long daycare kindergarten. This does not apply to sessional kindergarten.
When can my child start?
Your child must turn 3 years old before they can commence in the program. If your child turns 3 after the 30th of April, they cannot attend the 3 year old kinder program. To work out when your child is due to start kindergarten click here.
What do our services offer?
Galada Kindergarten – Sessional 3 and 4 year old Kinder.
Orchard Road Community & Early Learning Centre – Sessional and Integrated 3 and 4 year old Kinder.
Mill Park Heights Child Care Centre & Kindergarten – Integrated 3 and 4 year old Kinder.
Diggers Rest Early Learning Centre – Integrated 3 and 4 year old Kinder.
Kirrip Kindergarten – Sessional 3 and 4 year old Kinder.
Eucalyptus Parade Kindergarten – Sessional 3 and 4 year old Kinder.
The Heights Kindergarten – Sessional 3 and 4 year old Kinder.
What are the session times?
3 year old sessional kinder – We offer between 5 – 10 hours per week – please refer to our timetable on your kindergarten specific page.
4 year old sessional kinder – We offer 15 hours per week – please refer to our timetable on your kindergarten specific page.
Long day Care – Our long daycare kindergarten program is offered 5 hours a day 5 days a week.
For more information please contact the service you are enrolling in.
What is the cost for kinder?
For 3 and 4 year old sessional kindergarten the programs are free which allows children to access kindergarten delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher at no cost.
Long Day Care – Your child’s kinder fee is your daily fee after child care subsidy. A $2,000 Free Kinder subsidy will offset the kindergarten program component of your out-of-pocket fees.
Do we need to pay a deposit?
Sessional Kinder – A deposit of $50.00 is paid to hold your position which will come off your term fee. This deposit is non-refundable if you withdraw your application.
Long Day Care – No deposit is charged.
Should my child be toilet trained?
Your child does not need to be toilet trained to attend 3 year old kinder. We assist all children with their toileting needs when and where required.
Does my child need to bring lunch or snacks?
Sessional Kinder – Children will need to bring a healthy lunch box and a drink bottle filled with water.
Long day care – Lunch is provided to all children attending Long Day Care.
How many children are in a kindergarten group?
Our 3-year-old kinder groups can cater between 15-22 children per day.
Our 4 year old kindergarten groups cater up to 33 children per day.
What programs do we offer?
Our kindergarten program’s ensure children learn through play-based learning. Teachers support and help develop your child’s curiosity, concentration, resilience and creativity. They will learn the foundations of language skills, basic math’s concepts and how to regulate their behaviour. To see the Y programs offered at our services please visit one of our Early Learning Centre pages:
Benefits of the Y's Kindergarten
Research from across the globe shows that two years of quality kindergarten programs improves a child’s learning outcomes.
Children who attend two years of kindergarten also show higher levels of emotional intelligence and wellbeing into their school years and beyond.
Benefits of 3 year old kindergarten
- 2 years gives your child more time to develop essential skills to prepare them for school
- A minimum of 5 hours per week with Bachelor qualified teacher
- Perfect stepping stone to prepare them for 4 year old kindergarten
- High quality programmes
We also offer educational and rewarding extra-curricular activities including:
- Y Ranger
- Y Chef
- Y Linguist
- Y Community
- Y Gardner
- Y Scientist
- Y Performer
- Y Athlete
Benefits of 2 years of kindergarten
- Develop socially and emotionally
- Develop resilience, self-awareness and respect for others
- Develop their language and numeracy skills through play based learning
- Develop their physical skills – both fine and gross motor skills
- Develop their concentration and focus on tasks provided
See what our families have to say about our centres!
Everyday our son comes home from long daycare he tells us
“ I played with all my friends today”
It’s so lovely to hear that he was happy and can’t wait to come back.
Mill Park Heights Child Care Centre has made us feel like part of the family from the beginning. Their teachers are all so friendly and nurturing and they helped our girls transition smoothly into their rooms. Thank you for making each day such a fun, explorative and creative experience for our kids!
In our time with Galada Kindergarten we have experienced a positive sense of community. The staff are friendly and the educators are skilled and engaging. Over our 4 years with Galada our children have grown and developed socially, physically and educationally, and have had so much fun! Galada has prepared them well for school and beyond.
What a wonderful and busy term we had at Galada Kindergarten. All children acknowledged many different cultural events including Diwali and Halloween and celebrating Children’s Week. We had number of incursions including the Dentist’s visit, Butterfly Adventures Live Butterfly...