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About Pre-Prep

To give Victorian children the best start in life, 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.

Pre-Prep will be delivered through sessional kindergartens and long-day-care centres, creating a high-quality, universal program that gives 4-year-old children greater opportunities to socialise and learn through play.

Pre-Prep, like all early childhood education and care, will provide greater opportunities for children to develop the critical foundational skills for their learning and development in year before school.

Studies show that developmentally appropriate 30-hour per week early learning programs can lead to improved learning and social outcomes. Using play-based learning, Pre-Prep programs will be led by qualified teachers.

By 2032, children across Victoria will have access to 1,800 hours of funded kindergarten before school, comprising 600 hours of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and 1,200 hours of Pre-Prep.

Roll-out schedule

Pre-Prep will begin in selected areas from 2025 before progressively expanding across the state.

The roll-out will be introduced in stages as it takes time to grow the necessary workforce and infrastructure, and for services to get ready to run expanded programs.

  • The roll-out starts in 2025 in parts of rural Victoria, and new local government areas will be added each year.
  • In 2026, Aboriginal children and vulnerable children across the state will be eligible for between 16 and 30 hours per week. Vulnerable children include children from a refugee or asylum seeker background and children who have had contact with Child Protection services.
  • In 2028, disadvantaged children will also have access to between 16 and 30 hours per week (including those children living outside the early roll-out areas). Disadvantaged children who have (or have a parent or guardian who has) a Commonwealth concession cards and those who are a multiple birth child (triplets or more) will also become eligible from 2028.
  • From 2032, children across Victoria will be eligible for 30 hours of Pre-Prep each week.

Under the staged roll-out, 16-30 hours of Pre-Prep will commence in Ararat Rural City, Gannawarra Shire, Hindmarsh Shire, Murrindindi Shire, Northern Grampians Shire and Yarriambiack Shire.

Other local government areas will join the roll-out in following years, with all families in metropolitan Melbourne able to access up to 20 hours of Pre-Prep in 2030.

Vulnerable children and Aboriginal children living outside the early roll-out areas will be eligible for 16-30 hours of Pre-Prep from 2026, while disadvantaged children will be eligible from 2028.

Those able to access Pre-Prep from 2026 include children from a refugee background, children known to child protection and Aboriginal children. The broader cohort of disadvantaged children who will be eligible for Pre-Prep from 2028.

Children in metropolitan Melbourne will be able to access Pre-Prep from 2030, starting at 16-20 hours per week, and from 2032, all children across Victoria will be eligible for 30 hours of Pre-Prep each week.

Roll-out year pre-prep

Roll-out year across LGAs


6 regional LGAs: Ararat Rural City, Gannawarra Shire, Hindmarsh Shire, Murrindindi Shire, Northern Grampians Shire, Yarriambiack Shire


12 additional regional LGAs: Benalla Rural City, Buloke Shire, Corangamite Shire, East Gippsland Shire, Horsham Rural City, Loddon Shire, Mansfield Shire, Mitchell Shire, Pyrenees Shire, Strathbogie Shire, Wangaratta Rural City, Wodonga Rural City


12 additional regional LGAs: Alpine Shire, Central Goldfields Shire, Colac-Otway Shire, Glenelg Shire, Indigo Shire, Moira Shire, Moorabool Shire, Moyne Shire, South Gippsland Shire, Southern Grampians Shire, Swan Hill Rural City, West Wimmera Shire


15 additional regional LGAs: Bass Coast Shire, Baw Baw Shire, Campaspe Shire, Golden Plains Shire, Greater Shepparton City, Hepburn Shire, Latrobe City, Macedon Ranges Shire, Mildura Rural City, Mount Alexander Shire, Queenscliffe Borough, Surf Coast Shire, Towong Shire, Warrnambool City, Wellington Shire


3 additional regional LGAs: Ballarat City, Greater Bendigo City, Greater Geelong City

2030 - 2032

31 additional metropolitan LGAs: Banyule City, Bayside City, Boroondara City, Brimbank City, Cardinia Shire, Casey City, Darebin City, Frankston City, Glen Eira City, Greater Dandenong City, Hobsons Bay City, Hume City, Kingston City, Knox City, Manningham City, Maribyrnong City, Maroondah City, Melbourne City, Melton City, Merri-bek City, Monash City, Moonee Valley City, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Nillumbik Shire, Port Philip City, Stonnington City, Whitehorse City, Whittlesea City, Wyndham City, Yarra City, Yarra Ranges Shire.

Cost of Pre-Prep

Pre-Prep, like Four-Year-Old Kinder, will be free for children at participating kindergarten services across the state.

Free Kinder will benefit up to 140,000 children per year and save families up to $2,500 per year, per child, helping more than 28,000 parents return to work.

To find kindergarten programs in your community, visit Find A Kinder Program – Department of Education and Training, Victoria ( Link

To find out more about Free Kinder, visit Give your child the best start | Victorian Government ( Link

Reviewed 01 March 2023

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