How to choose a kindergarten

Most kindergartens welcome enquiries and will organise a time for you to visit. You can see the centre, its staff and the children attending it.

If your child already goes to child care, you should go to any information sessions they run. They may also have a kindergarten program.

You can tell if your child care has a kindergarten program because they will have a current certificate on display.

Search for kindergartens near you with find a service search.

Kindergarten quality

You should consider the quality of the kindergarten program. This is rated with a system called the National Quality Framework.

Good quality kindergarten is important because it sets young children up for life.

Find out more about how to choose a quality service.

What to look for when you visit

When you first enter you will be able to tell if the kindergarten’s atmosphere is inviting or cold, relaxed or frantic.

It should be a safe and comfortable place and the children should have a choice of fun and challenging activities. You should see the teacher and other educators working confidently with the children and enjoying their company.

Information on display

The kindergarten should have information about their operations, policies and procedures on display. You can also ask them to give you a copy.

These policies should be child and family focused. They should also be sensitive to each family's cultural and social background, lifestyle and child-rearing practices.

The available information should include:

  • the education and activities program
  • the contact details of the responsible regional department office
  • the fees charged
  • the name and telephone number of the person you can contact if you have any complaints or concerns
  • their behaviour management policy
  • staff qualifications
  • their children's service licence.

Questions you can ask

To help decide if a kindergarten is suitable, ask these questions:

  • What is the quality rating?
  • Are places available for the days and hours I need?
  • Does the kindergarten operate throughout the year or only during certain times, like school terms?
  • Do they offer a funded kindergarten program?
  • What are the fees?
  • Are there any other costs on top of the fees?
  • Is there a fee to be placed on the waiting list?
  • Do they offer extended care?
  • How do they support children with additional needs?
  • What happens if my child is unwell, upset, or unsettled?
  • How are food and drink given to the children?
  • How do they give medication?

What's next

Once you find a kindergarten that meets your needs, you can find out more how to enrol and prepare your child for starting kindergarten.