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 subsidised kindergarten program for all three-year-olds. Subsidised 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

Subsidised 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, three-year-olds across the state will have access to at least five hours in a qualified kindergarten program led by a teacher.

The hours will then increase up to 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 subsidised by the government.

Subsidised 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 greater 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” kindergarten facilities. This is the same way that kindergarten for four-year-olds is available now. Find out how to choose a kindergarten.

Fees and subsidised kindergarten programs

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

Subsidies for three-year-old kindergarten programs 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 run quality kindergarten programs led by teachers. 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.

Find out about scholarships for early childhood professionals and funding for services​ to prepare for the roll-out.