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 Plan 2016–20 (currently under review)

Register your child for three and four-year-old kindergarten.

Kindergarten tick

The Kinder Tick is being introduced to help families recognise funded kindergarten programs that have been approved by the Victorian Government and meet the set requirements needed to receive government funding. Council is a proud partner of the Kinder Tick initiative.  Find out more information on the Kinder Tick.

Three-year-old kindergarten

Designed as an introduction to kindergarten as we know two years are better than one, 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.  

In 2022, Council will deliver five hours of funded kindergarten per week of three-year-old kindergarten thanks to the Victorian Government. For more information see the Victorian Government website.

Qualified teachers support children by offering them a range of learning experiences and activities that are both stimulating and fun. Your child’s learning and curiosity will be encouraged through experiences and activities, such as exploring the natural world, being exposed to new ideas and solving problems.

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.

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.

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.  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.

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.

Koorie Kids Shine

Koorie Kids Shine provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with up to 15 hours of free kindergarten each week. To be eligible, a child must turn three or four by 30 April in the year they go to kindergarten.  Aboriginal families provide a strong foundation for their children’s early learning and development. Kindergarten is a great place for kids to continue to grow and develop. At kindergarten, children will make new friends, enjoy fun activities, and get ready for school in a safe and supportive environment.

 Children will:

  • learn through play, art, music and dance
  • learn to express themselves in a safe, inclusive and caring environment
  • build the skills and confidence to prepare them for school

Kindergarten programs have a qualified teacher and work hard to create culturally safe places for Aboriginal children and families, such as including Aboriginal perspectives in the learning curriculum and environment and encouraging children’s growth through indoor and outdoor learning environments.

For more information, call the Department of Education and Training on 1800 338 663 (or call 131 450 first to get an interpreter) or visit Koorie kids shine

Once you are enrolled

Starting kindergarten is an important milestone in the lives of both you and your child. Some children, like adults, will take time to settle into a new environment and our Educators are here to help  to assist your child throughout their year and their preparation in the transition to school. Still have questions? Our Parent Information booklet(PDF, 4MB) can help or call us on (03) 5422 0239

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.

Early Years Team Philosophy

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is on Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Countries. We respect their Elders past, present and emerging and welcome Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People who attend or visit our services.

We aim to:

  • Embrace the rights, values, cultures and uniqueness of each child
  • Provide a play-based curriculum and that is responsive to the environment
  • Advocate for the children, early childhood services and our profession
  • Communicate openly, maintain confidentiality and provide support to children and their families
  • Encourage Educators strengths, knowledge and expertise in the development of programs
  • Create team efficiency working together, consistently and collaboratively
  • Seek opportunities to continually improve our programs, facilities and the development of our Educators
  • Improve outcomes for all children through the delivery of accessible and inclusive programs
  • Utilise technology in the program to enable children to connect to their world
  • Work towards more environmentally sustainable facilities and programs
  • Promote the importance of parent committees to kindergarten families and provide advice and support to those committees. 

Customer Service Charter

This Customer Service Charter is an expression of our commitment to providing a high standard of service, and ensuring consistency and sustainability in service delivery.

COVID, illness and our kindergartens

Council is continuing to take a proactive approach in protecting the health and wellbeing of the community following the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19.  Everyone in the community has a role to play in protecting themselves and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Entry requirements for your child

As per advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), if your child meets any of the following criteria, entry to the facility will not be permitted:

  • returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • has been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • a contact is defined as anyone who has been in contact with a known case, including the 24 hours before the case became symptomatic
  • fever (a temperature of 37.5C or more) or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath)

For latest information regarding latest updates, please go to the DET website or DHHS for further details.

Illness

In line with the services infectious diseases policy(PDF, 1MB) , parents/guardians are responsible for keeping their child at home if they are unwell or have an excludable infectious disease. Council ask that you keep your child home if they are displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • chills or sweats
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath
  • runny nose
  • loss of sense of smell or taste
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea

In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, may also be considered.  Services will send unwell children home in accordance with preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services.  

Please notify your kindergarten educator if your child will not be attending the session due to illness.