Types of kindergarten programs

There are different types of kindergarten programs your child can go to.

Four year old kindergarten

This is also called "funded kindergarten". The government will help the kindergarten with the cost of your child attending for 15 hours each week. This helps keep your kindergarten fees low.

It's the most common type of kindergarten program. It's usually for children who are in the year before they start school.

Early Start Kindergarten for three year olds

Early Start Kindergarten gives eligible children 15 hours of free or low-cost kindergarten a week.

To be eligible, your child must be three by 30 April in the year they'll start kindergarten, and:

  • your child is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • your family has had contact with Child Protection (or been referred by them to Child FIRST).

Enrol in Early Start

You can enrol your child by contacting a kindergarten near you. Ask to access Early Start.

You can also contact us or contact your local council.

If your child has used Early Start they can get free or low cost four year old kindergarten as well.

Other kindergarten programs for three year olds

Many councils, community groups and some child care centres offer kindergarten for three year old children.

Check your local council’s website or search for a kindergarten near you.

Generally, these programs are not funded by the government if they aren't part of Early Start.

Koorie Kids Shine program

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children can also access free kindergarten through the Koorie Kids Shine program.