Children of school age attending a kindergarten program

Parents and guardians planning to enrol their child in a kindergarten program must obtain an exemption from attending school if their child will turn six before or while attending their first or second year of funded kindergarten.

They must apply to the Department using an "Exemption from school due to attendance in a kindergarten program" form.

First year of funded kindergarten

A parent or guardian may apply for an exemption if one or more of the following circumstances apply:

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

The parent or guardian must obtain written confirmation from a relevant professional (e.g. kindergarten teacher, medical practitioner or an allied health professional) verifying the reason for the exemption and why it is in the child's best interest to attend kindergarten rather than start at school.

A copy of this written evidence and any other written advice that supports the child's exemption from school must be attached to the exemption from.

Second year of funded kindergarten

A parent or guardian may apply for an exemption if their child turns six before or during their second funded year of kindergarten if their early childhood teacher submits a declaration of eligibility for a second year of funded kindergarten. This must be submitted through the Kindergarten Information Management system (KIM).

The declaration confirms the child is eligible for a second funded year of kindergarten because an assessment by an early childhood teacher has identified developmental delays in two or more key areas of development.

Exemption application process

Parents must submit their exemption form to the executive director of their region (via the regional office) by 1 November in the year before the child turns six. For regional offices, see: Regions

The Department will provide written confirmation of the decision once the request has been considered.

The parent or guardian must provide a copy of the Department's decision to the child's kindergarten service as evidence of eligibility for kindergarten per capita funding.

They also have the option to withdraw the school exemption request.

Exemption form

More information

For more information about how to declare eligibility for a second year of funded kindergarten in the KIM system, see: Kindergarten information management and the Kindergarten funding guide

For information for parents/guardians, see: Kindergarten programs

For any other information please contact your local Department regional office