Children of School Age Attending Kindergarten

If your child will turn six years of age (compulsory school age) before or while attending their first or second year of funded kindergarten, your child must be exempted from attending school.

School exemption process for children attending their first year of kindergarten

If your child will turn six before or during their first funded year of kindergarten, you may apply for an exemption from school if one or more of the following circumstances apply:

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

You are 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 your child's best interest to attend kindergarten rather than commence at school. 

School exemption process for children attending a second year of kindergarten

If your child will turn six during their second funded year of kindergarten, you may apply for an exemption from school if a Declaration of eligibility for a second year of funded kindergarten has been submitted by the child's early childhood teacher in the Kindergarten Information Management system.  This Declaration confirms the child is eligible for a second funded year of kindergarten because the teacher has identified the child has developmental delays in two or more key areas.

It is advised that you check with the child's kindergarten service that the Declaration has been submitted.

What you need to do

As the parent/guardian, you are responsible for seeking this exemption from the Department.

You must complete an Exemption from school due to attendance in a kindergarten program form. Please ensure that you attach a copy of any written evidence with the form if required.  To download the form, see:

This exemption request is to be submitted to the Area Executive Director of the relevant Department regional office by 1 November in the year before the child turns six.

To locate your local Department regional office, see:

What happens next?

You will receive written confirmation of the Department's decision following consideration of the request.

You 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 you have the option to withdraw the school exemption request.


Further information

For information about attending a second year of funded kindergarten, see: