Rolling out Three-Year-Old Kindergarten

Universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten is now available across the state.

Three‑Year‑Old Kindergarten is an ambitious reform. It will take ten years to complete the reform in full across the state.

By 2029, all Victorian kindergarten services will be delivering 15 hours of funded kindergarten programs to children in the two years before they start school.

The early childhood education sector is working hard work to deliver this historic reform. Partnerships between government, service providers, Early Years Managers, local councils, unions and peak bodies will continue to be important across the lifetime of the reform.

2022: State-wide Three-Year-Old Kindergarten

Victoria is the first Australian state or territory to give children access to two years of funded kindergarten programs before they start school.

The roll-out started in 2020 in six local government areas (LGAs) in regional Victoria. In 2021, it launched in a further 15 LGAs.

In 2022, services in these 21 LGAs are funded to deliver between five and 15 hours of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. These areas include:

  • Alpine
  • Ararat
  • Buloke
  • Campaspe
  • Central Goldfields
  • Colac-Otway
  • Corangamite
  • East Gippsland
  • Glenelg
  • Hepburn
  • Hindmarsh
  • Indigo
  • Loddon
  • Murrindindi
  • Northern Grampians
  • South Gippsland
  • Southern Grampians
  • Strathbogie
  • Towong
  • West Wimmera
  • Yarriambiack.

In 2022, services across the rest of the state are being funded to deliver five hours each week to local families.

2023: Introduction of flexible funding

Flexible hours will be introduced state-wide in 2023. This flexible-hours approach has already been introduced in the 2020 and 2021 roll-out locations.

This approach will allow providers more scope to determine how many hours — between five and 15 per week — of funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten they offer, within set parameters. Services will be funded pro-rata for the program hours delivered.

In 2023, the priority is to give as many Victorian children access to funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten as possible. Where places are limited, the participation of children must be prioritised over the number of weekly program hours delivered.

The state‑wide introduction of flexible hours will:

  • maximise children's access to Three-Year-Old Kindergarten programs
  • provide children with more hours of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten programs where this is possible, which will have a greater impact on children's learning and development
  • allow providers to be more responsive to the varied needs of communities across the State
  • create more certainty to support long-term infrastructure planning and service viability.

For more information, refer to Funding and policies supporting Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.

2024-29: Progressive scale-up of hours

Between 2024 and 2029, services will progressively scale up hours as the infrastructure and workforce capacity in the system grows.

This approach will be reviewed each year to support both participation and the increase in the number of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten hours that services offer. This approach will be in line with the growth in infrastructure and workforce capacity in the sector.

This support will maximise the number of Victorian children who are able to receive the learning, development and wellbeing benefits that come with attending two years of funded kindergarten programs before school.