Department program

Kindergarten for all three year old children

The Victorian Government is investing $5 billion over ten years so that every child in the state will have access to two years of kindergarten.

This means that an extra year of play-based learning will be added to Victorian children’s education. The learning is led by a qualified teacher.

Victoria will be the first state or territory in Australia to introduce a funded kindergarten program for three year olds. Funded kindergarten means the government will help the kindergarten service with the cost of your child attending. This helps keep your fees low.

Roll out schedule

Funded kindergarten for three year olds will become available in stages.

In 2020, three year olds in six council areas will be able to access up to 15 hours of kindergarten. These areas are:

  • Buloke
  • Hindmarsh
  • Northern Grampians
  • South Gippsland
  • Strathbogie
  • Yarriambiack.

In 2021, families in the following 15 council areas will also have access to the program:

  • Alpine
  • Ararat
  • Campaspe
  • Central Goldfields
  • Colac-Otway
  • Corangamite
  • East Gippsland
  • Glenelg
  • Hepburn
  • Indigo
  • Loddon
  • Murrindindi
  • Southern Grampians
  • Towong
  • West Wimmera.

These first roll-out areas have been chosen because they already have the capacity and facilities to meet local demand.

From 2022, every three year old in the state will have access to at least five hours in a qualified kindergarten program.

The hours will then increase into the full 15-hour program by 2029.

Options available now

There are some kindergarten options for three year olds available now. Generally, these options aren't funded by the government.

Funded kindergarten is already available for four year olds.

Learn about the different types of kindergarten to find options.

Benefits of attending kindergarten

Research shows that quality play-based learning is a powerful way to support children’s learning and development. The benefits last into the school years and beyond.

Evidence also shows that two years are better than one when it comes to early learning. Taking part in a quality kindergarten program at an earlier age leads to even more positive effects on child development. It has even more benefits for children who need extra support or are in vulnerable circumstances.

Where to go to kindergarten

Kindergarten programs for three year olds will be available in both long day care centres and sessional or “standalone” kinders. This is the same way that kindergarten for four-year-olds is available now. Find out how to choose a kindergarten.

Fees and funded kindergarten programs

The commitment to subsidise kindergarten will mean fees are kept as low as possible.

Subsidies for three year old kindergarten program will work the same way as they do for four-year-old kindergarten. See how much kindergarten costs for costs and subsidies.

We will support long day care centres so they can teach quality kindergarten programs with qualified staff. This will ensure all Victorian children get the benefits that come with early learning.

Further information

More information about kindergarten for three year olds will be available from 2019 as the roll-out plan develops.

See our child care and kindergarten section for information on enrolment, fees and service quality.