Parents urged to enrol children in kindergarten for 2025

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Representative image // Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

families across Victoria are encouraged to enrol their children in kindergarten for the 2025 school year, emphasising the critical role early childhood education plays in providing the best start in life.

Minister for Children, Lizzie Blandthorn has highlighting the importance of timely enrolment, as many kindergartens close their registration for the upcoming year on 30 June.

In a statement on Wednesday, Minister Blandthorn the Free Kinder initiative has been widely adopted across the state. With 97 percent of funded kindergarten services participating, around 140,000 children each year attend kinder at no cost, saving families up to $2,563 in fees per child annually.

“Kindergarten is a crucial step in a child’s early development, offering significant educational and social benefits,” said Blandthorn. “With Free Kinder, Three-Year-Old Kinder, and now Pre-Prep, we’re making early childhood education more accessible and giving more children the best start in life.”

Children attending Three-Year-Old Kindergarten receive between 5 to 15 hours of play-based learning each week, while Four-Year-Old Kindergarten offers 15 hours weekly. The state’s investment and enthusiasm for early education have resulted in approximately 89 percent of eligible children participating in Three-Year-Old Kindergarten last year. Over 80 percent of kindergarten services now offer a full 15-hour-per-week program, surpassing the scheduled roll-out timeline.

Starting next year, children in Ararat, Gannawarra, Hindmarsh, Murrindindi, Northern Grampians, and Yarriambiack will be the first to enrol in the newly introduced Pre-Prep program. This program, led by qualified teachers, will provide children with more hours of quality play-based learning in the year before they start school. As the roll-out continues, four-year-old children will be eligible for 16 to 30 hours of kindergarten each week.

Research highlights the effectiveness of play-based learning in supporting child development. Two years of quality kindergarten, beginning at age three, have a more substantial impact compared to starting at age four, with even greater benefits for children needing additional support.

Families can find local kindergarten services by contacting their local council or visiting vic.gov.au/kinder.


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