About kindergarten

Overview

Council manages eight kindergartens in the shire. We are committed to providing quality early childhood education and care with a strong focus on quality improvement, and uphold the principles that guide the National Quality Standards that inform the delivery of quality early childhood education and care.

Our kindergartens are places of learning, with educational programs and facilities specifically designed to build your child’s skills and confidence, and prepare them for their first years at school.

For more information regarding kindergarten visit the Department of Education & Training website.

Council's kindergartens and early years services are guided by the Early Years Infrastructure Plan 2009–19 and the Early Years Plan 2016–20.

Register your child for kindergarten or an activity group.

Take a look around

Tour your preferred kindergarten, ask questions about the service and take a look around to get the right fit for you and your child.

Come along to our kindergarten information session held in May. If you are thinking about registering your child for a kindergarten program, our information session will provide you with information to help you make an informed decision on whether your child is ready for kindergarten. 

Once your child is enrolled, you are invited to attend a parent information night in October/November where you will find out more information about fees, what your child will experience at kindergarten and what your child will need to bring to kindergarten. Separate parent information sessions for three and four year old kindergarten will be held at three locations within the shire. You will then be invited to come along to a short group session ‘Welcome day’ at the kindergarten for your child’s first kindergarten session. A great way for the children to familiarise themselves with the room, educators and other children.

Still have questions? Our Parent Information booklet(PDF, 1MB) can help or call us on (03) 5422 0239.=

Kindergarten session times

Find your kindergarten session times(PDF, 458KB) 

Four year old kindergarten

Kindergarten is a play-based learning environment for children in the year before school. Children are eligible to attend four year old kindergarten if they turn four years old by 30 April in the year of attendance.

This program runs for 15 hours per week, and is offered in a range of session lengths (e.g. 3 x 5 hours or 2 x 7.5 hours).

Fees for four year old kindergarten are currently subsidised through state and federal government funding making them affordable for all families. Kindergarten is free for families with a current health care card.

Three year old groups

Designed as an introduction to kindergarten, your child will get their first taste of learning as part of a wider group of children their own age. This program is particularly valuable for children who have not been in formal care outside the home.

This program runs for 2.5 hours per week, and children must have turned three years old before they can attend. These sessions are not government subsidised.

Universal access for three year olds

A Labor promise will see every three year old in Australia to access 15 hours of subsidised early childhood education, so they can get the best start to learning. Funds will also be used to create infrastructure and training to accommodate for this change, anticipated to commence in 2021.

Early Start Kindergarten

Free or low cost kindergarten for eligible families

 

* filmed and produced by the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training.

Early Start Kindergarten gives eligible children 15 hours of free kindergarten a week.

To be eligible, your child must be three years old by 30 April in the year they'll start kindergarten, and:

  • your child is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • your family has had contact with Child Protection (or been referred to Child FIRST).

If your child has used Early Start they can get free or low cost four year old kindergarten as well. 

How to apply

Early Start Kindergarten is available in all kindergarten programs delivered by a qualified teacher. You can enrol your child by contacting a kindergarten near you, and asking to access an Early Start Kindergarten grant. You can also contact us for assistance on (03) 5422 0239

For more information, visit Early Start Kindergarten.

Transition program

Council kindergartens aim to create a warm environment where all children and families are welcome and respected. 

Our transition program starts with an orientation session in November/December the year before children start, allowing children to become familiar with the environment and to meet their educators. Parents/guardians will also have the opportunity meet with their child’s teacher in January prior to the child starting. Dates and times for transition to kindergarten sessions are mailed to registered families.

Settling into kindergarten

Starting kindergarten is an important milestone in the lives of both you and your child. There are a range of things you can do to assist your child’s transition into kindergarten:

  • Read to your child every day
  • Promote their independence by encouraging them to do things for themselves and play independently
  • Pack a change of clothes for your child, or leave a spare set at the kindergarten
  • Labelling all of your child’s belongings that are brought into kindergarten
  • Encourage your child to dress themselves, so they are able to be more independent and can manage to take off a jumper or a jacket
  • Practice a goodbye ritual, which becomes gradually shorter so your child becomes less dependent
  • Keep the staff at kindergarten informed of any changes in your child’s life that may affect their experience
  • Create opportunities for your child to interact with other children of a similar age through play dates and playgroups.

Remember that some children, just like adults, will take time to settle into a new environment. Following these suggestions will assist your child at the commencement of kinder and throughout their program and will also assist their preparation in the transition to school.

Our kindergarten community

Parents are welcome to participate in their child’s kindergarten experience. Parents can assist in sessions, share skills and interest with the children, provide support for activities or become involved in the kindergarten committee. Kindergarten committees focus on providing social opportunities for families, networking, developing partnerships with staff and the kindergarten community and fundraising.  

We aim to foster and maintain positive relationships between parents and staff. Exchanging of information on a regular basis is essential if we are to achieve our aim.

Parents and visitor code of conduct

A parent and visitor code of conduct(PDF, 256KB) has been developed to provide guidelines for desirable and appropriate behaviour for all, it reflects the values and beliefs of the organisation. The Code of Conduct is designed to provide principles and practices to guide adult behaviour. 

Child Safe Standards and Reportable Conduct Scheme

Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme create distinct sets of responsibilities for organisations, but have been designed to complement one another. Together, Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme strengthen the capacity of organisations to prevent and respond properly to allegations of child abuse.

 Child Safe Standards 

Child Safe Standards focus on organisations and what they do to promote child safety, prevent child abuse and respond to suspected child abuse.   The standards provide a framework for organisations to develop policies, procedures and strategies that embed a culture of child safety into everyday thinking and practice, and reduce the risk of child abuse being perpetrated by an employee, volunteer or contactor.

 The Reportable Conduct Scheme

The Reportable Conduct Scheme is focused on worker and volunteer conduct and how organisations investigate and respond to suspected child abuse. The scheme aims to improve organisational responses to suspected child abuse and to facilitate the identification of individuals who pose a risk of harm to children, but do not have a criminal record.