Starting kindergarten is an important milestone in the lives of both you and your child. To be eligible to enrol in a funded kindergarten program, your child must be at least four years old by 30 April of the year they are starting kindergarten. Some kindergartens run programs for three-year-old children, but this program is charged at the full fee and is not part of the kindergarten fee subsidy, unless you are eligible for Early Start Kindergarten.
To decide if your child is ready to start kindergarten, talk to your maternal and child health nurse about your child’s health and wellbeing.
Enrolling in kindergarten
Once you have chosen a kindergarten and made sure that the information about the services procedures and policies are displayed – including their children’s services licence – the next step is enrolling your child.
Information you need to provide
When enrolling your child you need to provide the following information:
- your child’s name and address and details of any special needs
- information about yourself and any other parents, carers or guardians in your child’s life
- details of people who can collect your child
- information about their medical health and immunisation status.
There are a range of things you can do to prepare your child for kindergarten:
- talking to your child about what to expect
- reading to your child every day
- encouraging your child to be independent by giving them time by themselves
- packing a change of clothes for your child and labelling all belongings
- encouraging your child to dress themselves, so they can manage tasks like taking their jumper on and off
- having practice runs taking your child to the kindergarten before their first day
- coming up with a goodbye ritual. At first you may want to stay to make sure your child feels secure, but once they settle in, a short goodbye encourages independence
- keeping kindergarten staff informed of changes in your child's life that might affect their experiences at kindergarten.
No jab, no play
More information about 'No jab, no play' including questions and answers is available through the Department of Health and Human Services, see: No jab, no play - frequently asked questions.