Attending a kindergarten is an important step for your child. It will help them learn skills that they will build on throughout their life.
At kindergarten, your child will grow socially and emotionally. Their ability to think, use and recognise language and their fine motor skills will be developed through play, art, dance, music, movement and interacting with others. Most importantly, your child will be learning to become an effective learner as they develop and extend their communication skills, build their self-confidence, learn to be creative, and develop skills that assist them with reading, writing and mathematics.
The Department of Education and Training (DET) provides funding for children to attend one year of kindergarten in the year before school, usually when they are four years old. Most of the bestchance kindergartens also offer a three-year-old program in the year before kindergarten.
Finding a Kindergarten
Every family is different, so it’s important to think about your own family circumstances and needs when choosing a kindergarten program for your child.
To find a bestchance kindergarten in your area, see: https://www.bestchance.org.au/kindergartens/
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.
For more information about choosing a kindergarten the Department provides the following information:
- Choosing a Kindergarten Program
- How old must my child be to be funded for kinder?
- When should my child start kinder?
- Enrolling in kindergarten – Information you need to provide
Registration and Enrolment
Once you have found your preferred kindergarten, you will need to complete a registration process to be considered for allocation to that kindergarten.
bestchance manages kindergarten programs across 11 local government areas and the registration and enrolment process differs across these areas.
We can assist you to register your child through your Local Government Area
Following the relevant LGA registration and offer processes, your child will be allocated to a kindergarten. bestchance will send you information regarding enrolment and orientation for your kindergarten.
As part of the enrolment process you will be asked to provide the following information:
- your child’s name and address and details of any special needs
- information about yourself and any other parents, carers or guardians in your child’s life
- details of people who can collect your child
- information about their medical health and immunisation status
The Department of Education and Training provides the following publications and related information about kindergarten services.
- More information about ‘No jab, no play’ including questions and answers is available through the Department of Health and Human Services, see: No jab, no play – frequently asked questions.
- How Kindergarten Will Benefit Your Child – describes the key benefits and ways kindergarten helps your child’s development
- About Kindergarten – information about kindergarten and what to expect
- Kindergarten term dates are set by the Victorian Government School and kindergarten term dates
- Early Start Kindergarten – information about the program offering free kindergarten to eligible three-year-old children
Starting kinder tips
There are a range of things you can do to prepare your child for kindergarten.
Preparing for the first day of kinder
Over the summer holidays:
- be positive – talk to your child about what they will do at kindergarten
- borrow library books about kindergarten to read together
- encourage your child to dress themselves, so they can manage tasks like taking their jumper on and off
- visit the kindergarten or travel past it on your route home
- label all belongings that your child will take to kinder
- read over the family information the kindergarten provided to ensure everything is prepared
- talk to your child and establish a goodbye routine together
- establish a routine for kindergarten mornings, this could include a chart with pictures outlining the different steps for getting ready
- you can organise holiday play dates with friends or children who will be going to the kindergarten
- create a routine around sleep, five year old’s need 10 to 12 hours sleep each night, practice sticking to bedtime and wake up schedules in the weeks leading up to the start of kinder.
On the first day of kindergarten:
- talk to your child about what to expect and when you will pick them up
- follow the kindergarten’s instructions about what to bring e.g. sun hat, spare clothes
- prepare the night before, lay out clothing you both agree on and pack their bag together
- encourage your child to follow your morning routine and remind them of next steps
- talk to the kindergarten teacher about how you would like to settle your child in e.g. you may want to stay for a while
- if you are having trouble separating from your child – ask the kindergarten teacher or educators to help you
- make sure you say goodbye – disappearing quietly can cause greater distress and mistrust.
- ensure you are on time at the end of the session to pick up your child.
- be enthusiastic and positive!
- at the end of the day talk to your child about what happened during the day.