Universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten is being delivered in stages, focusing first on regional and rural Victoria.
In 2020, services in six local government areas started delivering 15 hours of funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten programs. These areas are:
- Northern Grampians
- South Gippsland
This year, services in an extra 15 local government areas are delivering up to 15 hours of funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten programs. These areas are:
- Central Goldfields
- East Gippsland
- Southern Grampians
- West Wimmera.
In 2022, three-year-old children across the rest of the state will have access to five hours in a kindergarten program led by a teacher. This will increase to 15 hours per week by 2029.
Hours of delivery
From 2023, all providers will be able to choose how many hours of funded Three-Year‑Old Kindergarten they deliver per week, with a minimum of five hours and a maximum of 15 hours. Providers will be funded for the hours they choose to operate.
This choice will depend on available workforce, capacity and community preferences, and is consistent with the approach in the 2020 and 2021 roll-out areas.
The goal of this roll-out will be to have all services delivering 15 hours of funded Three-Year‑Old Kindergarten a week by 2029.
Benefits of up to 15 hours of kindergarten
Service providers delivering up to 15 hours per child from 2023 will have a range of benefits, including:
- providing families with greater access to more hours earlier in the roll-out schedule, which will have the best impact on children's learning and development
- allowing providers to be more responsive to the varied needs of communities across the state
- creating more certainty to support long‑term infrastructure planning.