Victoria is the first Australian state or territory to give children universal access to 2 years of funded kindergarten programs before they start school. The $14 billion Best Start, Best Life reforms include:
- Free Kinder: Free Kinder is now available for Victorian 3- and 4-year-old children at participating standalone kindergartens and long day care centres – a saving of up to $2,500 per child, every year.
- Pre-Prep: over the next decade, Four-Year-Old Kindergarten will transition to ‘Pre-Prep’ - increasing to a universal 30-hour a week program of play-based learning for 4-year-old children in Victoria by 2032.
- Early Learning and Childcare Centres: the establishment of 50 Victorian government-owned and operated Early Learning and Childcare Centres. These centres will be built in areas with the greatest need and will make it easier for families to access childcare and kindergarten places. The first of the centres will be available in 2025.
- Three-Year-Old Kindergarten: the continued roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, with programs across the state increasing to 15 hours per week by 2029.
We are starting from a strong base
The Victorian Government actively supports quality kindergarten in the 2 years before school, in partnership with local government, providers, the workforce and other stakeholders. There has never been more funding available for the kindergarten sector in Victoria - for workforce, service delivery and infrastructure.
Funded kindergarten programs improve learning and development outcomes for Victorian children, provide savings for families, and help parents to make choices about work and study that are best for them and their family.
Depending on their family’s needs, children can attend funded kindergarten programs in either long day care, or sessional or 'standalone' kindergarten services. These programs are led by a qualified teacher and comply with government guidelines and the National Quality Framework, and can be identified by the Kinder Tick.
Families can visit the Find a Kinder website or contact their local council to find a service near them.
No matter where a child attends a kindergarten program, they’ll be learning through play with qualified early childhood teachers and educators, which is the best way to help young children learn, develop and prepare to thrive at school and beyond.