Going to kindergarten if your child is six years old

Children can go to kindergarten when they're six years old if they have a disability, developmental delay or it's a special situation.

If your child will turn six before or while they're in their first or second year of funded kindergarten, you must get an exemption from starting school.

If your child is in their first year of kindergarten

You can apply for an exemption from school if one or more of these circumstances apply:

  • Your family has moved from interstate or overseas where the school entry age is different to Victoria.
  • Your child's early education has been delayed due to chronic illness, disability or developmental delay.
  • Your child is a refugee or asylum seeker who has suffered trauma and would benefit from a year of kindergarten before starting school.
  • Your child has not been able to access kindergarten because of transient family circumstances.
  • Other special considerations.

You need to get written confirmation from a professional (such as a kindergarten teacher, doctor or an allied health professional) to confirm the circumstance. The professional must also explain why it's best for your child to go to kindergarten instead of starting school.

If your child is in their second year of kindergarten

You can apply for an exemption from school if a declaration form has been filled in by your child's teacher and sent to us.

The form confirms your child has a developmental delay in two or more key areas that kindergartens teach in.

You should check with your child’s kindergarten service that the form has been submitted.

What you need to do

You are responsible for getting an exemption. You must complete an exemption form and attach any written evidence with it:

Send the form to us by 1 November in the year before your child turns six.

Address it to the Area Executive Director, and post it to your closest Department regional office.

Next steps

We'll send you a letter once we have reviewed your request.

Give a copy of the letter to your child's kindergarten to confirm their eligibility.

You have the option to withdraw your request at any time.