Y Kinders

Pre-Prep

What is Pre-Prep?

At Y Kinders, we understand just how important early learning is for children’s development, providing essential benefits for today and for the future.

As part of Victoria’s ‘Best Start, Best Life’ reform, from 2025, Four-Year-Old Kindergarten will transition to Pre-Prep.

Pre-Prep is an expanded kindergarten program, and it will replace current Four-Year-Old Kindergarten, offering 16 to 30 hours of free early learning each week.

 

The vital role of early education

Through investing in high quality early learning, we’re setting children up with a strong foundation for their future education and development.

During the first five years of life, a child’s brain undergoes rapid change, with approximately 90% of its growth occurring in this time.

This is a fundamental time for learning and acquiring essential skills. These include problem solving, critical thinking, communication, emotional regulation, and relationship building.

The development of these abilities can have a long-lasting influence on children’s health, wellbeing, behaviour, and future educational outcomes.

Because of these far-reaching benefits for children and society, this important reform prioritises access to quality early education and care.

 

Best Start, Best Life: Reforming early education

The Victorian Government’s “Best Start, Best Life” reform was launched in June 2022 and includes three major initiatives:

Free kinder across
the state

All kinder programs will be fully funded.

Universal Pre-Prep for
4-year-olds

The introduction of Pre-Prep, rolling out from 2025.

50 New government-operated childcare centres

to support the reform.

 

When is Pre-Prep commencing?

Pre-Prep is rolling out across the state in stages.

Y Kinders in Ararat Rural City are amongst the first to start the Pre-Prep program in 2025. You can find out more information about our Ararat services here.

By 2036, the program aims to ensure all children and families across the state will be able to access up to 1,800 hours of free funded kindergarten in the two years before school. This includes 600 hours of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and 1,200 hours of Pre-Prep.

When will my kinder introduce Pre-Prep?

 

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to changes to your child’s education and the transition from 4 Year-Old Kindergarten to Pre-Prep, you’re bound to have many questions.

Below, you’ll find responses to some of the common questions that families have asked.

We understand that this may be a significant step for both you and your child, and we’re here to support you! If you have any queries or require help with your enrolment, please contact us at enrolments@ykinders.org.au.

Is Pre-Prep free?

Yes. Y Kinders has signed up to the Free Kinder program with the State Government, which means there are no fees to attend our kindergartens.

How is Pre-Prep different from current 4 Year Old kinder?

The educational program provided by the Early Childhood Teacher will continue as it has been delivered previously. The only difference in Pre-Prep is the number of hours that are provided.

Can I bring my child in at different times than the start time or collect them early?

Yes. We understand that family routines and needs may impact the time that you arrive at the service, or wish to collect your child. The times our sessions operate are the earliest arrival time and latest leaving time available. If you need to make arrangements to arrive later, or leave earlier, please speak with your child’s teacher to determine the best approach.

Can I increase my child’s hours over a period of time?

Yes, you can. You may wish to attend fewer days or shorter hours when your child first attends kindergarten, especially if they haven’t been in a care environment before. Speak with your child’s teacher during Orientation to determine the best schedule for your child.

How will my child cope with such a long day?

For children attending a 4-day program, it may seem like a long time to be in kindergarten.

Our experience is that children will respond well and quickly if you have a consistent routine established. They may be tired at the end of the day or the end of the week when they first start attending, but they will soon adapt with the right support. Many children are already attending early education settings for more hours than kindergarten.

Our educators will also adapt their program to provide your child with the best educational experience, including opportunities to self-regulate if they need some quiet time, or encourage them to undertake restful or mindfulness activities.

Will my child be able to have a rest if they need it?

Yes. Children will have opportunities to rest and relax across the course of the day. If you would like your child to have a designated rest period, please speak with your child’s teacher to understand how this will work in your service.

How will you stop my child from getting tired?

There’s a lot that happens in one day at kindergarten, so it’s likely your child will get tired! However, our educators plan experiences around the children’s energy levels, and will ensure they continue to benefit across the course of the day, even as their energy fluctuates. 

Opportunities for rest, mindfulness and other forms of relaxation are available, and educators will monitor and encourage children to rest if they are demonstrating signs of tiredness.

Do we have to attend all the hours or days?

No. Unlike school, children are not required to attend all 30 hours. We encourage you to talk with your teacher about the best arrangements for your child at the service you have selected, to help provide a consistent and supported approach to your child’s time at kindergarten.

What support is there for children with special needs?

Our educators work closely with parents and children to identify any additional supports that may be required. Where your child has known needs prior to attending, please ensure this is included on your enrolment information, so the teacher can take steps as early as possible to provide the right level of support.

What support is there for children with language differences?

Some children speak more than one language in the home, and English may not be their first language.  Our educators are skilled at working with both the family and individual children to ensure they feel safe and supported while at kindergarten. If you feel your child may need additional support when first starting to help feel settled, please let the educators know.

Will there be food provided?

Food is not provided at our Pre-Prep sessions. Depending on the times of the session, families should send appropriate snacks and food for their child, to ensure they have sustenance to enjoy their time at kinder. The kindergarten and teacher will provide more information at Orientation.

Can I send food that needs to be kept in a refrigerator?

Food in lunchboxes should be able to be kept cool through the use of iceblocks and cool packs. During warmer weather, an option can be to freeze foods like fruit, which will not only be fun to eat, but will also help in maintain a safe temperature in their lunchbox.

While we can support some food cooling or warming, we encourage lunch box selections to be foods that can be safely stored at room temperature, as this supports your child’s self-help skills and sense of agency.

How will the program prepare my child for school?

Play based learning has been proven to help support children in their social and emotional development, agency and cognitive elements. The ability to share the learning space with a group of other children is key to a strong start in primary school. Our educators use existing knowledge and preferences of children to create an individual learning experience that will support your child as they undertake their initial educational experiences.

It is also key to acknowledge the learning that occurs within the kindergarten experience for its own merits – if you view kindergarten as only a pathway to school, you will miss many of the accomplishments your child achieves across the course of the year.

Can I meet with the teacher to talk about my child’s progress?

Absolutely. You can gain information across the course of the term through the program that is displayed at the service, and information that is shared either through the on-site Day Book, or via StoryPark (depending on the platform the teacher is using). Educators will also pass along key information during pick up and drop off times.

If you would like to have a specific conversation with your teacher about your child’s development, we encourage you to make a time to meet with the teacher, to ensure they are able to have this conversation privately and without interruption.

My child already attends an Ararat kindergarten, do I need to re-enrol my child?

You do not need to complete the enrolment form again, but you will need to complete the registration form to ensure we know that you want to continue at your current service. For 2025, that form can completed using this link


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