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The Victorian Government is making it easier for families to find funded and approved kindergarten programs. For kinder you can count on, just look for the Kinder Tick.

About the Kinder Tick

The Kinder Tick helps Victorian families find a funded kindergarten program for their children.

When you see the Kinder Tick, you can be confident:

  • the program will be led by a qualified teacher
  • children will benefit from play-based learning
  • the kindergarten program is funded and approved by the Victorian Government
  • the program complies with government guidelines and the National Quality Framework.

This is the same in both long day care and sessional or “standalone” kindergarten services.

No matter where your child attends a kindergarten program, they’ll be learning through play with an early childhood teacher. Research shows that play-based learning is the best way to help young children learn, develop well and prepare to thrive at school.

Kinder Tick is not a rating system

All kindergarten programs in Victoria are independently assessed and rated under the National Quality Framework, which is a separate process. You can find descriptions of every service’s National Quality Framework rating on startingblocks.gov.au

The Department of Education and Training website also gives you information on how to choose a quality service

Plain English

Download a plain English fact sheet about Kinder Tick:

Finding a Victorian Government approved kinder program for your child

Where to look for the Kinder Tick

You can look for the Kinder Tick logo at your local early childhood education and care service, on the service or centre’s building or grounds, on their website or in their information materials.

The Kinder Tick is not linked with Free Kinder. All services running an approved program are eligible to display the tick.  

Kinder is a program, not a place

Kindergarten programs are delivered in both long day care and standalone services.

You can choose what works best for your family and child – the kindergarten programs are the same. All funded kindergarten programs in Victoria are led by a qualified early childhood teacher and offer a play-based learning program based on the same government guidelines.

Long day care centre

A long day care centre offers a full day of education and care to children from birth to school age, and many offer a funded kindergarten program as part of their service. The teacher-led kindergarten program may be integrated with additional hours of education and care. Kindergarten programs delivered in a long day care setting provide flexibility for parents and carers by offering childcare before and after the kindergarten program.

Standalone kindergarten

A standalone kindergarten offers up to 15 hours of a funded kindergarten program to eligible three and four-year-old children.

Availability in both service types

In both service types, the funded kindergarten program may be available on certain days and session times. These days and session times are set by the service.

Deciding where to send your child will depend on which services are available in your community, and your family’s needs. 

Enrolling your child at a funded kindergarten program

You can talk to your local kindergarten service about their enrolment process and timelines.

Your local area may also operate a central enrolment process for some or all services. To find out more, contact your local council.

Kinder programs

In 2022, two years of funded kindergarten programs will be available across Victoria. This means families can access government-subsidised play-based learning programs from when their child turns three years old. Victoria is the only state or territory in the nation to introduce this state-wide reform.

Four-Year-Old Kindergarten, delivered in the year before a child goes to school, is 15 hours a week of play-based learning that is available to families.

Funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten is rolling out in stages and will be available for the first time state-wide from next year.

  • Why kinder programs are important 

    Research shows that play-based learning is a powerful way to support children’s development.  These benefits last into the school years and beyond.

    The evidence also shows that two years are better than one when it comes to early learning.

    A quality kindergarten program will have more of an impact for children who start at age three than those who start at four.

    Learning programs led by teachers are even more important for children who are in vulnerable circumstances.

  • Young children learn about the world through play. It gives children the opportunity to use their imagination and practise important skills. It also helps their social and emotional development, and wellbeing. 

    In a kindergarten program, children use play to build their language skills and learn about numbers and patterns. They also learn how to get along with others, share, listen, and manage their emotions. Teachers and educators help children become curious, creative and confident about learning.

    Kindergarten programs are designed to meet the needs of their local families. All kindergarten programs work with the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework. This makes sure the programs are appropriate for children's ages, needs and interests.

Translated information about the Kinder Tick

About government funding

  • To be able to show the Kinder Tick, services must be receiving Victorian Government funding.

    This means service providers must:

    • provide a kindergarten program that is planned and delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher
    • offer at least 15 hours per week for 40 weeks of the year for four-year-old kindergarten; and from 2022 offer up to 15 hours per week for 40 weeks of the year for three-year-old kindergarten
    • deliver a program in line with the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework as an approved learning framework under the National Quality Framework
    • comply with the Victorian Department of Education and Training’s standards and guidelines

    The amount in kindergarten fees that each family pays can vary based on your location, the type of early childhood education service and existing government subsidies. It’s best to speak to your service directly about your fees, including any subsidies your family may be eligible for.

  • The amount in kindergarten fees that each family pays can vary based on your location, the type of early childhood education service and existing government subsidies. It’s best to speak to your service directly about your fees, including any subsidies your family may be eligible for.

Reviewed 29 April 2021

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