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Is your child ready for kindergarten? Setting children up for success

To set children up for success, give them the best start by considering when your child is likely to gain the most benefit from starting school, as this will help you determine when your child's kindergarten experience should commence. 

Once a child starts 3-year-old kinder, their education journey has commenced with an expectation of moving into 4-year-old kinder the following year and then school the year after.

On this page, find the most frequently asked questions relating to kindergarten readiness, repeating and a second year of funded 4-your-old kindergarten.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although every child's development is unique, observation and research suggest that children who turn 3 between January and April can benefit significantly from waiting a year and starting 3-year-old kindergarten the year they turn 4.

Anecdotal evidence from educators in Bayside indicates that children in this age-group cohort, enrolled in the year they turn 3, are those most likely to request a repeat.  

Children enrolled in a 3-year-old program in 2022 will not be able to repeat the year in 2023. From 2022, both 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten programs will be funded by the State Government and therefore subject to funding conditions.  A repeat year will only be possible in the 4-year-old funded program and is subject to eligibility criteria based on identified delays in the child's development in two or more of the developmental domains. 

As this current year's cohort in 3-year-old kindergarten is not subject to funding conditions* a decision to repeat your child in 3-year-old kindergarten 2022 is possible. However, in making this decision, please be aware that eligibility to access a guaranteed place at the same kindergarten, is subject to a case-by-case assessment, requiring a recommendation from the child's educator. Without the educator's recommendation, you can re-apply for 3-year-old kindergarten 2022, but will not be eligible for the 'continuity' points. The registration will be treated as a 'first-timer'. 

*Note that this year's free kindergarten for COVID-19 is not related to the ongoing kindergarten funding conditions.

Repeating 4-year-old kindergarten should not be assumed as an automatic entitlement.

A repeat 4-year-old year occurs where a child is assessed by the teacher or another early childhood professional as having delayed development identified in 2 or more areas and has been approved as eligible for a second year of funded kindergarten by the Department of Education and Training.

Where a child is not approved as eligible for a second year of funded kindergarten they will not be offered a kindergarten place until all eligible applicants have been offered places. The child will need to be self-funded during the repeat year.

For information regarding repeating 4-year-old kindergarten, please visit Victorian Education website

As kindergarten places are limited in community kindergartens, a self-funded place will need to be vacated if there are no remaining places for a new enrolment who has yet to receive their first funded year. This is not an ideal scenario in the community kindergarten sector. Opportunities at Long Day Care services should be explored.

There are other options to consider if you decide to wait a year. Playgroup, occasional care and family day care are available in the Bayside area and provide opportunities to develop your child's readiness for kinder. Additionally, Long Day Care services offer unfunded childcare options.

Steps you can take

You know your child best. However, to help make an informed decision about when to start your child's education journey, you can:

  • Discuss your options with people whose judgement you trust such as your Maternal and Child Health Nurse, kindergarten educators, school teachers (especially foundation and prep) and other parents.
  • Attend kindergarten information sessions.
  • Read up on kinder readiness.

Remember that

  • Both 3 and 4-year-old programs can have children ranging from 3, 4 and 5 years old in attendance.
  • Children range in stature now and will continue to, throughout their lives.
  • Your child must be at school in the year that they turn 6 years of age, this is the compulsory school starting age. See the Department of Education and Training website for exemptions.

Would you like to discuss your options?

Please contact the Early Years team on (03) 9599 4733.