Kindergarten is an important step for your child. Through kindergarten children learn skills they will build on throughout life.
How much does kindergarten cost?
The Victorian government provides funding to services to contribute to the cost of running a funded kindergarten program, which helps keep fees for four-year-old kindergarten as low as possible.
Services often charge families fees to help meet the cost of running kindergarten programs. Fees are set by individual services and can vary depending on how many hours your child attends, group size and extra costs such as excursions.
How can I access free or low cost kindergarten for children in the year before school?
Your child may be eligible for free or low-cost kindergarten through either the:
- Kindergarten fee subsidy, or
- Early Start Kindergarten extension grant.
These are offered as part of the Victorian Government's commitment to provide all children with access to a high-quality kindergarten program in the year before starting school.
Kindergarten fee subsidy
The kindergarten fee subsidy allows children to access up to 15 hours of kindergarten delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher in the year before school for free or at low cost.
Your child is eligible in any of the following circumstances:
- if your child identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
- if your child is identified on their birth certificate as being a multiple birth child (triplets or more). or if your child holds or has a parent or guardian who holds, one of the following:
- a Commonwealth Health Care Card
- a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card
- a Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card or White Card
- Refugee or Asylum Seeker visa (200-204, 786 or 866)
- Bridging visas for any of the above Refugee or Asylum Seeker visas
If your family or child has a humanitarian or refugee visa listed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection which is not included in the above list, your child may still be eligible for the kindergarten fee subsidy. Please speak to your kindergarten service for more information.
For more information, see:
Early Start Kindergarten extension grant
This grant offers free or low-cost kindergarten to eligible three year old children up to 15 hours delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher in the year before school.
Your child is eligible for the Early Start Kindergarten extension grant if they are not eligible for the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy and they:
- previously accessed an Early Start Kindergarten grant
- participated in an Access to Early Learning program in the previous year, or
- identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
For more information, see:
How do I apply?
You can talk to the staff at your kindergarten service about your child's eligibility, and show them your concession card, visa, birth certificate or other relevant document.
Your kindergarten service will apply for the kindergarten fee subsidy or extension grant on your behalf. The payment will be made directly to your child's kindergarten and will allow your child to attend up to 15 hours a week for free or at low-cost.
You can apply for the fee subsidy or extension grant at any time during the year, even i f your child moves to another kindergarten.