Frequently Asked

Why should my child go to a Kindergarten program?

During their time at Kindergarten, children discover and develop a wide variety of skills and experiences. The early years are critical in laying the foundation for children’s achievement in schooling and into adulthood.

There is a wide body of evidence showing that children’s education and care affects a child’s health, wellbeing and competence throughout their lives.

To find out more about the benefits for your child in attending a Kindergarten program see here.

What will my child learn at Kindergarten?

​Attending kindergarten is an important step for your child. It will help them learn skills that they will build on throughout life as well as strengthening their enthusiasm for learning. Your child’s teacher will talk to you about your child and your family, and together you will develop a plan that suits your child’s individual needs. 

Our Educators use the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework to achieve the best outcomes for all the children.  This Framework identifies five learning outcomes:

  • Children have a strong sense of identity
  • Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  • Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
  • Children are confident and involved learners
  • Children are effective communicators

Young children learn about the world through play. It provides opportunity for children to use their imagination and practise important skills, whilst extending their social and emotional development, and wellbeing. Teachers and educators help children become curious, creative and confident about learning.

Please talk to the staff at your local kindergarten if you would like any further information.

Are your kindergarten programs free?

All Y Kinders offer free kindergarten programs for 3 and 4 year old children. 

To find out more about the sessions offered at your local Y Kinder – locate your service here

​When do I send my child to Kindergarten?

Research shows that engaging children in high-quality early learning experiences benefits all children and their families. View this page for more details.

How do I know if my child is ready for Kindergarten?

​Areas to consider when thinking about sending your child to kindergarten include emotional maturity and social confidence.

Children develop at different rates and learn in different ways. Your child’s kindergarten teacher will plan activities and experiences based on your child’s interest and will help your child develop in all areas. Kindergarten Teachers use a strength-based approach to learning. 

Speak to a maternal Child Health Nurse, Kindergarten Teacher or Pre-School Field Officer if you are unsure of your child’s readiness.

How do I know which year to send my child to 4 Year Old Kindergarten?
​If your child was born during Year eligible to attend a 4 year old program
1.5.2018 – 30.4.2019 ​2023
1.5.2019 – 30.4.2020 ​2024
1.5.2020 – 30.4.2021 2025
1.5.2021 – 30.4.2022 2026
Does my child need a second year of Kindergarten?

A second year of funded Four Year Old Kindergarten may be considered when a child shows delays in learning and development outcome areas in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, and when:

  • the kindergarten program is deemed to be the most appropriate learning program
  • the child will achieve better outcomes at kindergarten than if they go to school.  

​The DE (Department of Education) provides more details here.

How do I enrol my child?

​Enrolment procedures vary depending on the Kindergarten and the Local Government Area (LGA), Shire or location of the Kindergarten.

Opening and closing dates for enrolments also vary, so it is important to check the enrolment process for your kindergarten either on this website, through the local Shire or by contacting our Y Kinders’ enrolment team

Contact details can also be found on the local Kindergarten web pages.

Locate your kindergarten’s centre information through this list or the Find a Y Kinder page.

My child’s starting kindergarten. Do you have a Handbook?

We have a comprehensive family handbook which covers everything from what to send in your child’s lunchbox through to how to log on to our online parent portal.
You can download our Y Kinders and Early Learning Centres Handbook here.

Is there additional funding for children with additional needs?

The Kindergarten Inclusion Support Service offers supplementary assistance to kindergartens to support the inclusion of a child with additional needs into the program. Applications are made by the Kindergarten Teacher in consultation with parents, early childhood intervention agencies and Preschool Field Officers.

Applications are made in the year prior to the child starting kindergarten and strict criteria exist for an application to be made. Please speak to the Preschool Field Officer for further information on funding availability to children with special needs.

No Jab, No Play; what are the immunisation requirements?

The No Jab, No Play legislation requires that in order to finalise enrolment for your child in long day care, kindergarten, family day care or occasional care you must provide the service with an Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register which that shows your child is:

What is this document used for?

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, we are unable to confirm an enrolment of a child unless the child has certification with age appropriately immunisation or has approved exemption. The Immunisation Record accessed through the Australian Immunistaion Register, will be stored on the child’s enrolment for reference.

Immunisation History Statements can be obtained from:

  • the myGov App – Medicare section of the myGov website
  • Express Plus Medicare mobile App 
  • The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR): Phone 1800 653 809 or email
  • Your local Medicare or Centrelink Office.

Can the Child Health Record be submitted to show immunisation?

Early Childhood services are no longer able to accept Child Health Records as an immunisation record.

Immunisation History Statement requirements

​​The Medicare logo and Australian Government crest must be present and identifiable to be considered a valid Immunisation History Statement. For example, if the Statement is on the second page of a letter from Medicare, both pages need to be presented to the service to confirm enrolment.

Families who do not hold a Medicare card must call the AIR to request an Immunisation History Statement.

A ​translation and interpreting service is available by calling 131 450, Monday-Friday, 8.30am-4.45pm.

No Jab, No Play; are there any exemptions to the requirement to provide Immunisation History Statements?

You may be eligible for the Support Period Exemption. Certain Criteria must be met to qualify.

​Who is eligible for the support period (previously known as the “grace period”)?

Children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage are eligible to enrol in a service under a support period, without having provided proof of up to date immunisation. The support period provisions allow the family to continue to access early childhood education and care services while receiving information and assistance to get their child’s immunisations up to date and to obtain the required immunisation documentation that needs to be provided to the service.

Children eligible to be enrolled under the support/grace period include:

  • children identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • children who hold a health care card, or whose parents hold a health care card, a pensioner concession card, a Veterans Affairs Gold or White card
  • children who are refugees or asylum seekers
  • children who are known to child protection (that is, children who have been the subject of a report under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005, or who are on a protection order under the Act, or whose families are receiving support from a registered community service, including through a referral to CHILDFIRST or through Services Connect)
  • children who are living in emergency or crisis accommodation, accommodation supported by the Department of Health and Human Services, or is of no fixed address due to family violence or the risks of family violence or due to homelessness
  • children evacuated from their place of residence due to an emergency such as a flood or bushfire
  • children in emergency care within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
  • children in the care of an adult who are not the child’s parent due to exceptional circumstances such as illness or incapacity
  • children from a multiple birth of triplets or more
  • any other circumstance specified in guidelines made by the Secretary to the Department of Health and Human Services.

More information about the support/grace period is available here.

What is Early Years Management?

Early Years Management organisations manage services for community kindergartens and some early childhood services.
The aim of an Early Years Management (EYM) provider is to build and maintain a strong and sustainable universal kindergarten system for children, families and local communities.

The EYM is the Licensed Provider under the Department of Education. The EYM is responsible for ensuring that each of their managed services is meeting and providing adquate care under each Legislation, Regulation and Law for Early Childhood.

Y Kinders is the EYM of the Y Ballarat, supporting and managing kindergartens across the state of Victoria.

For more information about Y Kinders as an EYM visit our Join Us page.

The DE (Department of Education) provides more information about the EYM framework on their website.​

The Y acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and future.

View our full Commitment Statements here .

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