Four-Year-Old Kindergarten is becoming Pre-Prep

About Pre-Prep

From 2025, Four-Year-Old Kindergarten will gradually transition to Pre-Prep, with programs across Victoria increasing from 15 to 30 hours each week by 2032.

Led by qualified teachers, Pre-Prep will give 4-year-old children greater opportunities to socialise and learn through play. Pre-Prep will be delivered through standalone (sessional) kindergartens and long day care centres.

By 2032, all 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.

Why hours are increasing for 4-year-olds

Increasing to 30 hours of play-based learning in the year before school gives children even greater access to the many benefits of early childhood education.

A 30-hour program of play-based learning each week can increase children’s early literacy and numeracy, and self-regulation skills.

Teachers and educators will be able to provide deeper and more deliberate play experiences, which will give children opportunities to embed their learning.

Roll-out schedule

Pre-Prep will start in 6 local government areas (LGAs) in 2025, and gradually roll out across the state.

New LGAs will be added to the roll-out each year. The staged schedule allows time to grow the necessary workforce and build the infrastructure, and for services to prepare for expanded programs.

  • In 2025, Pre-Prep starts in Ararat Rural City, Gannawarra Shire, Hindmarsh Shire, Murrindindi Shire, Northern Grampians Shire and Yarriambiack Shire. Programs will be between 16-30 hours each week.
  • In 2026, Pre-Prep becomes available across Victoria to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from a refugee or asylum seeker background, and children who have had contact with Child Protection services.
  • In addition, Pre-Prep starts in 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. Programs will be between 16-30 hours each week.
  • In 2027, Pre-Prep starts in 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. Programs will be between 16 and 30 hours per week.
  • In 2028, Pre-Prep becomes available across Victoria to children who have (or have a parent or guardian who has) a Commonwealth concession card, and children who are a multiple birth child (triplets or more).
  • In addition, Pre-Prep starts in 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, Queenscliff Borough, Surf Coast Shire, Towong Shire, Warrnambool City, Wellington Shire. Programs will be between 16-30 hours each week.
  • In 2029, Pre-Prep starts in Ballarat City, Greater Bendigo City, and Greater Geelong City. Programs will be between 16-30 hours each week.
  • In 2030, Pre-Prep starts in 31 metro 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. Programs will be between 16-20 hours each week.
  • In 2031, Pre-Prep increases to 16-25 hours in metro LGAs.
  • In 2032, 30 hours per week of Pre-Prep will be available for 4-year-old children across Victoria.

Pre-Prep will start in 6 local government areas (LGAs) in 2025, and gradually roll out across the state.

map with different colours representing different areas in Victoria's roll out years as described above

Cost of Pre-Prep

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

Free Kinder will be available in Pre-Prep, similar to Four-Year-Old Kindergarten. There will be no charge for children who attend standalone (sessional) kindergartens and families who enrol their children at long day care centres will receive a fee offset.

In 2024, Free Kinder will benefit up to 140,000 children and save families up to $2,563 each year, per child, helping more than 28,000 parents return to work.

To find kindergarten programs in your area, use our find a kinder program interactive map.

Find out more about Free Kinder.