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.
Welcome to our registration process for entry to 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. Our aim is to ensure that our process is a simple and fair one so that, wherever possible, all eligible children have access to a kindergarten place that best meets their needs.
Before starting the process, we encourage you to read this guide in full so that you have all the information you need about the eligibility criteria and the steps you will need to take in order to register your child in one of our programs.
The staff in our centres also welcome a visit from you and your child at any time throughout the process so that you can familiarise yourself with the centre and the individual kindergarten program that they offer.
Why do we have a centralised registration process?
We are committed to working with families to ensure that, wherever possible, all eligible children have access to our high quality kindergarten programs. This process gives families the opportunity to nominate their preferences for both 3 and 4 year old kindergarten places at our eight different centres.
We aim to ensure that children have access to programs in their local area and that the allocation of places is fair and equitable for all children and their families.
Registration and enrolment timelines
|Wednesday 29 January 2020
||Registration process opens
|Friday 19 June 2020
||First round registrations close
|Monday 13 July 2020
||First round offers are sent to families
|Friday 24 July 2020
||First round acceptances due back
|Second round registrations close
|Monday 3 August 2020
||Second round offers are sent to families
|Friday 14 August 2020
||Second round acceptances due back
|Registrations for 2021 ongoing
Why should my child go to kindergarten?
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.
Your child will have the opportunity to:
- develop their social and communication skills by forming relationships and friendships with other children and taking part in group activities and cooperative play
- express their creativity through dance, music and art
- increase their independence and develop an identity that is strong in culture and community
- develop the skills and knowledge that they need for reading, writing and mathematics
- increase their problem-solving skills and their understanding of the world around them.
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.
Some of our centres also include bush and beach kindergarten sessions, so that children learn to care for and learn from the natural world around them.
When is my child eligible to attend kindergarten?
The following table provides a general guide to when children should enrol in either a 3 year old or a 4 year old sessional program:
|Date of birth
||3 year old kinder
||4 year old kinder
|1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017
|1 May 2017 to 30 April 2018
|1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019
|1 May 2019 to 30 April 2020
Please contact us if you would like to discuss the specific needs of your child.
How does the registration process work?
Step 1: Expression of interest form submitted by families
To register your interest in enrolling in one of our kindergarten programs, you are asked to complete an expression of interest (EOI) form.
You must do a separate EOI for each child you are registering. Please take note of the registration number that appears on your screen at the end of the EOI process for further reference.
The EOI form allows families to nominate up to two centre preferences for their child/ren. Session times will be decided based upon demand.
Step 2: Allocation process
Once the form is received, we offer places to families based on the following Priority of Access criteria:
Victorian Kindergarten Guidelines Criteria
Priority 1 Criteria
Children at risk of abuse or neglect, including children in Out-of-Home Care
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children
Asylum seeker and refugee children
Children eligible for the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy
Children with additional needs, defined as children who require:
- require additional assistance in order to fully participate in the kindergarten program
- require a combination of services which are individually planned
- have an identified specific disability or developmental delay
Priority 2 Criteria
Children who have prior association with the centre
Priority 3 Criteria
- Children who live in the City of Greater Geelong.
- Children whose families are in the process of moving to the City of Greater Geelong.
- Children who are cared for within the City of Greater Geelong
- Children whose families work or study in the City of Greater Geelong
Places are first allocated to children who meet one or more of these criteria. Any remaining places are then to be allocated based upon family preference, using a ballot system.
The ‘priority of access’ criteria used are in line with Victorian Government requirements regarding how kindergarten places must be allocated to children. It works to ensure that:
- a transparent, equitable and approved process is followed
- the maximum number of children receive a kindergarten place
- children who are eligible for priority places are allocated a place in their kindergarten of choice
We have a strong commitment to ensuring that, wherever possible, all children are allocated a place in one of our programs. We cannot, however, guarantee a kindergarten place to every child.
Step 3: Letters of offers are sent
Once the allocation of places has been completed, families are notified in writing of the place that has been offered to their child, in a particular group, at one of our centres (including the session times for that group). Wherever possible, this offer will be made via email. Ensure you continue to check your emails including your junk mail, for this offer.
Step 4: Offers are accepted by families
You are required to make contact with us to accept or decline the offer by the required date. If you do not respond to an offer by this date, the place will be re-allocated to another child.
We require that families pay a $100 non-refundable deposit in order to accept their kindergarten place. This amount is deducted from the Term 1 kindergarten fees. Families accepting a place in a four year old program who are eligible for a free place will not be required to pay the deposit.
Step 5: Registering in the program
Following your acceptance of the offer, your child’s information will be given to staff at the individual centres. Registration/information packs will be sent to families by the individual centres.
Change of information
Please keep us updated with any changes to your contact details or any information that may be relevant to the registration process.
What is 4 year old kindergarten?
Four year old Kindergarten is a one year program for young children delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher in the year before they begin school. The Victorian Government provides funding to services to contribute to the cost of running a funded program. Families are required to pay a set fee to the program to cover the gap between the funding received and the fill cost of operating the program.
All children are eligible to access a funded kindergarten program for 15 hours per week for 40 weeks (or 600 hours) in the year before commencing school (15 hours is provisional on the continuation of Government funding).
Families can only access Government funding for one kindergarten program at a time and cannot have previously accessed a funded place (for example: in the previous year).
Families are eligible for a free place if they meet one of the following criteria:
- Hold an eligible concession card:
- Identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- Are a triplet or quadruplet attending in the same year
Can my child do a second year of 4 year old kindergarten?
Your child is eligible for Government funding for a second year of kindergarten if the early childhood teacher at the kindergarten your child attends assesses them as having delays in at least two areas of development.
If you feel that your child would benefit from attending a second year of kindergarten, you should discuss this with your child’s teacher as soon as possible. Second year applications must be submitted before the end of Term 3.
What is 3 year old
Three year old kindergarten is a full fee paying program for children who turn 3 years of age before 30 April each year, two years before they begin primary school. The program is taught by a qualified early childhood teacher and varies in length (from 3 to 6 hours per week) at our individual centres.
The Victorian Government subsidises fees for some children so that they may attend for free. To be eligible, your child must be at least 3 years old by 30 April and be either:
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- Known to Child Protection, or referred by Child Protection or Child First.
Please contact us if you are unsure whether to enrol your child in the 3 or 4 year old program.
Under the new ‘No Jab, No play’ legislation that came into force on 1 January 2016, children are required to be fully vaccinated for their age before they can be enrolled in a kindergarten program.
Our centres are, therefore, required to obtain evidence that your child is fully immunised for their age, is on a vaccination catch-up program or is unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons.
You will be required to provide immunisation evidence twice per year.
Conscientious objection is not an exemption.
Do you need an interpreter?
Please contact us if you are in need of an interpreter to support you with completing the registration process.
Kindergarten programs we offer
Please note: Armstrong Creek East Children’s Centre (Community Hub) is being managed by Best Chance - see their website bestchance.org.au.
Feedback and complaints
We welcome feedback on the kindergarten registration process. We also recognise the right of families to complain if they are feeling dissatisfied or unhappy with the process.
If you would like to provide us with feedback about your experiences or have concerns about the registration process, please contact us.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or need any help in completing the EOI form or in understanding how the registration process works.