Children of school age attending a kindergarten program

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Parents/guardians planning to enrol their child in a kindergarten program must obtain an exemption from attending school if their child will turn six years of age (compulsory school age) before or while attending their first or second year of funded kindergarten.

Parents/guardians are responsible for seeking this exemption by applying to the Department of Education and Training using an Exemption from school due to attendance in a kindergarten program form.

First year of funded kindergarten

A parent/guardian may apply for an exemption from school for a child turning six before or during their first funded year of kindergarten if one or more of the following circumstances apply:

  • the family has moved from interstate or overseas where the school entry age criteria are different from those in Victoria
  • the child's early education has been delayed due to chronic illness, disability or development delay
  • the child is a refugee/asylum seeker who has suffered trauma and would benefit significantly from a year of kindergarten before enrolling in school
  • the child has not been able to access kindergarten previously due to transient family circumstances
  • other special considerations

The parent/guardian is required to obtain written confirmation from a relevant professional (e.g. kindergarten teacher, medical practitioner or an allied health professional) verifying the reason for exemption and why it is in the child's best interest to attend kindergarten rather than commence at school. A copy of this written evidence and any other written advice that supports the child's exemption from school must be attached to the Exemption from school due to attendance in a kindergarten program form.

Second year of funded kindergarten

A parent/guardian may apply for an exemption from school for a child turning six before or during their second funded year of kindergarten if a Declaration of eligibility for a second year of funded kindergarten has been submitted by the early childhood teacher in the Kindergarten Information Management system (KIM). This Declaration confirms the child is eligible for a second funded year of kindergarten because an assessment by an early childhood teacher has identified developmental delays in two or more key areas of development.

Exemption application process

The completed Exemption from school due to attendance in a kindergarten program formstong> must be forwarded by the parent/guardian to the Area Executive Director of the relevant Department of Education and Training regional office by 1 November in the year before the child turns six.

The Department will provide written confirmation of the decision to the parent/guardian following consideration of the request.

The parent/guardian must provide a copy of the Department's decision to the child's kindergarten service as evidence of eligibility for kindergarten per capita funding.

Please note that the nominated parent/guardian has the option to withdraw the school exemption request.

Download forms

More information

For more information about how to declare eligibility for a second year of funded kindergarten in the KIM system, see: Kindergarten Information Management and the Kindergarten Funding Guide

For information for parents/guardians, see: Kindergarten programs

For any other information please contact your local Department regional office