What is Kindergarten?
Kindergarten is a unique play-based learning environment that promotes children’s learning and development through experimentation, trial and error, watching, listening and participating. It is provided as part of a sessional Kindergarten program and can also be incorporated into a Long Day Care Program. Kindergarten programs are designed to improve your child’s development in the following key areas:
- Language, literacy and numeracy skills, such as reading stories and counting objects;
- Independence and self-confidence;
- Social skills, such as how to play with other children in a calm, sharing and rewarding way;
- Self-awareness and respect for others;
- Emotional skills, such as understanding their own feelings and those of others;
- A joy for learning and group activities, such as talking, singing, dancing, drawing and making things together with other children their own age;
- Ability to make new friends;
- Exposure to new ideas and concepts
Early Start Kindergarten (ESK)
Early Start Kindergarten (ESK) provides free kindergarten to eligible three-year-old children. Wyndham City Council may be able to offer eligible children a kindergarten place in a three or four year old program. Children are eligible for ESK if they are aged three by 30th of April in the year they will be attending kindergarten, and;
- The child is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; or
- The family has had contact with Child Protection (or been referred by them to Child FIRST) or
- In Out-of-home care*; or
- Child/Parent have Refugee or Asylum Seeker status**.
To find out more and to access translated information on the benefits of Early Start Kindergarten visit https://www.vic.gov.au/early-start-kindergarten. (update link)
Please note: For Early Start Kindergarten applications please complete a paper registration form or contact Community Support and Enrolment Officer on 1300 370 567 for more information on how to register your child.
* Out-of-home care is the term used to describe the placement of children away from their parents due to concerns that they are at risk of significant harm.
** Eligible Visa Subclasses: 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 449, 785, 786, 790, 866, Bridging visa for any of the previously listed visas, ImmiCard
First Year of Kindergarten (3 year old children)
The first year of kindergarten (3 year old children) is a one-year program for children who turn 3 by the 30th of April, delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher in the year before they are eligible to attend their second year of kindergarten (4 years old).
Wyndham City Council is proud to deliver free kindergarten for children’s first year of kindergarten, in collaboration with the Victorian State Government. For more information on free kindergarten, please visit https://www.vic.gov.au/give-your-child-the-best-start-in-life (Update link)
All children are eligible to access the Free Kindergarten program for children’s first year of kindergarten from 5 hours and up to 15 hours per week.
Groups will vary in size according to licenced capacity, up to a maximum of 33 children with a 1:11 Staff/Child ratio
Second Year of Kindergarten (4 year old children)
Children’s second year of kindergarten (4 year old children) is a program for children turning 4 by the 30th of April and delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher in the year before they are eligible to commence primary school.
All children are eligible to access a free kindergarten program for 15 hours per week for 40 weeks in the year. For more information on free kindergarten, please visit https://www.vic.gov.au/give-your-child-the-best-start-in-life (Update link)
Groups will vary in size according to licensed capacity, up to a maximum of 33 children with a 1:11 staff/child ratio. Please note that some groups incorporate a team-teaching model, where 2 or more educators work together to deliver the kindergarten program.
Other Early Childhood Education Services
Some early childhood education and care services offer a long day care program. A long day care service offers a birth to three program in addition to a kindergarten program, with a registered early childhood teacher.
A child can only access 1 year of a free funded kindergarten program for their first year of kindergarten.
Currently Wyndham City Council does not accept registrations for any long day care services, to find a list of these services in Wyndham please click here.