Quick guide for parents

Give your child the best start by enrolling them in 2 years of kinder.

Click on the language below to find information in your preferred language.

አማርኛ (Amharic) | العربية (Arabic) | ܐܵܬܘܿܪܵܝܵܐ (Assyrian) | မြန်မာ (Burmese) | 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese) | 繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese) | دری (Dari) | Thuɔŋjäŋ (Dinka) | English | فارسی (Farsi) | Filipino | ગુજરાતી (Gujarati) | Laiholh (Hakha Chin) | هزارگی (Hazaragi) | हिन्दी (Hindi) | ကျိာ် (Karen) | नेपाली (Nepali) | Afaan Oromoo (Oromo) | پښتو (Pashto) | ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi) | Gagana Samoa (Samoan) | සිංහල (Sinhalese) | Soomaali (Somali) | Kiswahili (Swahili) | தமிழ் (Tamil) | తెలుగు (Telugu) | ትግርኛ (Tigrinya) | Türkçe (Turkish) | Українська (Ukrainian) | اردو (Urdu) | Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)

The best start for every Victorian child

The Victorian Government’s $14 billion Best Start, Best Life reforms are the most significant change to Victoria’s early childhood sector in a generation.

This means:

  • Free Kinder: Starting in 2023, all children in Victoria who are 3 and 4 years old can access Free Kinder. This is available at both standalone (sessional) kindergartens and long day care (childcare) centres. This means families will save up to $2,500 per child each year.
  • Three-Year-Old Kindergarten: The roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten continues, with programs increasing to 15 hours a week across the state by 2029, providing Victorian children with 2 years of a quality kindergarten program before school.
  • Pre-Prep: Four-Year-Old Kindergarten will gradually transition to Pre-Prep over the next decade from 2025. Funded kindergarten hours will double from 15 to 30 hours a week.

How kinder works

Your child can go to kinder at the age of 3 or 4, and it's available in various settings:

  • Standalone services: These run Kinder programs on specific days and at set times, determined by the kinder service.
  • Long day care services: These provide a full day of education and care, complete with a kinder program. The teacher-led kinder program is seamlessly integrated with additional hours of education and care.

No matter where your child goes to kinder, qualified teachers and educators will lead the program.

Standalone kindergarten - children attend kindergarten programming for set days and hours Long day care services have two parts: kindergarten programs that children attend as part of their time in long day care, and education and care for children aged between 0 and 6 years.

Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program hours

Three-Year-Old Kinder programs are for between 5 and 15 hours each week from 2023. As there are different hours available for Three-Year-Old programs, you may have more choice in session times.

Some services have shorter session times, which might suit families with older children at school. Longer hours may work better for other families.

Benefits of kinder

Let your child learn through play! Studies show that play-based learning is a great way for kids to grow and develop. The benefits of this approach last through their whole life.

Free Kinder

Free Kinder is available in Three- and Four-Year-Old Kindergarten programs across Victoria at participating services. These can include both standalone and long day care services.

Free Kinder means a saving of up to $2,500 per child, each year, and also means more than 28,000 Victorians can return to work, including almost 26,600 of which are women.

Participating kinder programs will receive funding directly from the Victorian Government, so families are not out of pocket (and don’t have to claim the savings back).

Free Kinder is for every Victorian child, regardless of visa status. Find more information about kindergarten programs in your own language.

All Victorian children are eligible to access Free Kinder at participating services. If a child is not attending a Free Kinder program, the amount a family pays will vary depending on the type of early childhood education service their child attends.

See what kinder is like

Experience a day in kinder, where learning through play makes every day a new adventure.

When to start

Use the starting age calculator to enter your child's birth date to find out what year they can start Three- and Four-Year-Old Kindergarten.

Date of birth(Required)

Finding a kinder program

To find services offering free and government-approved kinder programs with play-based learning, visit the find a kinder program website.

You may wish to visit a service or centre to meet staff to help you decide which service will best suit your child.

Talk to your local kindergarten or childcare service about their enrolment process. A central enrolment system may operate in your area. To find out more, contact your local council.

Kinder Kits

All children starting free Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, including Early Start Kindergarten and Access to Early Learning, in 2023 and 2024 will be eligible to receive a Kinder Kit, helping them develop their love of learning at home as well as kinder.

The Kinder Kit contents have been carefully curated and provide educational and fun items to support three-year-old children to develop their skills and creativity as they learn through play.

This privacy notice explains how we will be handling personal information as part of the Best Start Best Life reform consultation and engagement approach.