The Victorian Government provides funding to support children to attend kindergarten in the year before they start school. It is important that children start school when they are ready to learn in a more formal environment. Therefore it is important for parents to consider when is the best time for their child to start school, as this will determine the best time to attend kindergarten.
Kindergarten (also known as preschool) provides children with an educational program the year before they start primary school. Kindergartens are funded by the State Government through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and are staffed by degree qualified early childhood teachers
At Kindergarten children will learn about how to:
- Play together, make friends and share
- Understand feelings
- Use blocks to build and play a game
- Listen to stories and talk together
- Be creative using scissors, crayons, pencils and brushes
- Enjoy music, sing songs, listen and clap to music
- Climb, run and jump and enjoy outdoors
- Find out, explore and solve problems
It is recognised both in Australia and overseas that participation in a high quality Kindergarten program will have a long lasting impact on a childís life.
Greater Dandenong Council operates a central enrolment system for Councilís 23 Kindergartens (not attached to a child care centre).
Local Community Directory - Kindergartens
To enrol, a child must turn four years of age by 30 April of the year they will be attending Kindergarten. They should be enrolled as near to their second birthday as possible and Kindergarten preference is given to Greater Dandenong residents.
Kindergarten is available free to eligible families and offers real benefits for their families and their children. The Victorian Government provides funding to early childhood services for families, including:
- Those on concession cards, health care cards and/or Department of Veteransí Affairs gold cards
- Special humanitarian entrants
- Those on asylum seekers visas
- Triplets and quadruplets in the same year of kindergarten. They can receive a kindergarten program for 10 hours a week for free. The number of hours may differ in some kindergartens and/or services, as the Early Years sector is currently undergoing a major review and this amount of free hours is in the process of transition.
For information on Kindergarten enrolments, please contact the Central Enrolment Officer on 9767 0817, your local Kindergarten or visit the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website.
Kindergarten enrolment process
Kindergarten in Greater Dandenong Brochure
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged three and four years old can access up to 10 hours a week of a funded early childhood program planned and delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher. The number of hours may differ in some kindergartens and/or services, as the Early Years sector is currently undergoing a major review and this amount of free hours is in the process of transition.
For more information on funded kindergarten for three and four year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children, contact the Kindergarten Enrolment Officer call 9767 0817 or Maternal and Child Health call 9767 0812.
Culture is valued and respected at all early childhood services. As well as services available to all Victorian children, there are a number of services and programs developed especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. For further information or assistance, contact the Preschool Field Officers 9767 0814 or visit the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website.
The main role of the Preschool Field Officer program is to support the access and participation of children with additional needs in kindergarten. It supports children with a range of developmental concerns and additional needs who are usually not receiving supports from Early Childhood Intervention Services or kindergarten inclusion support service packages.
Preschool field officers are highly qualified early childhood professionals specialising in early childhood education and development. They support kindergartens by providing consultation, resources and advice to teachers and families.
Any family with a child attending a state-funded kindergarten program with additional needs or a teacher working in a state-funded kindergarten program can access this service.
A referral can be made by a parent or kindergarten teacher. Referral forms can be obtained from kindergartens.
For further information contact the Preschool Field Officers on 9767 0814 or 9767 0815.