It’s important families understand when their child starts at kindergarten directly relates to the age they will start at primary school. When enrolling at Three-Year Old Kindergarten we encourage families to plan ahead and consider this.
Childrens learning and development does not follow a straight line – Each child learns differently throughout their early years.
Deciding when your child should start school is a decision best made when your child is closer to primary school age. For this reason, there won’t be a second year of funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten available. All children in a Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program will move onto Four-Year-old Kindergarten the following year.
A second year of funded Four-Year-Old Kindergarten will be considered when a child shows delays in key areas of learning and development. Services will notify and work alongside parents or guardians if this is the case.
For more information, please visit the ‘Best Start, Best Life – Give you child the best start’ initiative by the Victorian Government.
Practical Information for Parents
Learn about children’s developmental milestones.
Understand what to expect from an early childhood education and care service.
What can be done at home to encourage your child’s learning and development.
What are the different types of education and care services.
Find services and learn about their ratings, fees, vacancies and inclusions.
Learn about different types of kindergarten programs and initiatives.
Kindergarten is an important step for young children and is strongly recommended for all children.
Research shows that kindergarten improves children’s health and wellbeing, helps them to develop strong social skills and encourages a love of learning.
Children who go to a kindergarten program are more independent and confident and are more likely to make a smooth transition to primary school (Prep). Kindergarten programs provide a good foundation for children, on which they will build and develop through primary school and beyond.
A high-quality kindergarten program will offer your child a range of learning experiences and activities that are both stimulating and fun. Your child’s learning and curiosity will be encouraged through experiences and activities, such as exploring the natural world, being exposed to new ideas and solving problems.
Your child will be able to:
- learn to work with others and make friends through group activities and cooperative play
- express their creativity, for example, through dance, movement and art
- build their communication skills by listening to and having conversations with the educators and other children
- develop the skills that they need for reading, writing and mathematics.
A broad experience
Attending a kindergarten program provides an opportunity for your child to learn about their world alongside other children. By attending a kindergarten program, your child will develop a range of life skills, including:
- working with others in a group by listening to, and respecting the ideas of others
- sharing and handling conflicts with other children
- building self-awareness and confidence through play-based exploration
- developing new relationships with adults
- making new friends
Kindergarten provides a safe and supportive place for your child to explore their capacity for learning through play. Children learn at different rates, in different ways and at different times.
When attending kindergarten, your child will have the opportunity to:
- develop independence by taking part in the routines of the program
- extend their vocabulary and communication skills
- develop and enhance their reading and writing skills
- begin to explore numeracy and science
- develop future learning and enquiry skills by exploring different ways of learning and problem solving
Children learn more quickly in their first 5 years of life than any other time. Kindergarten provides children with an environment that encourages and supports their development. Kindergarten gives your child the opportunity to explore the world and gives them a solid foundation to learn the skills that are required for Primary School.
Kindergarten provides opportunities to:
· Develop communication and literacy skills
· Develop independence and responsibilities to gain confidence and a feeling of self-worth
· Learn social skills such as listening and respecting other people’s ideas
· Build self-awareness and respect for others
· Learn to be creative
· Experience maths, social studies and science
· Use technology
· Discover the joy of learning
· Make new friends
Children learn these skills through a play-based curriculum where they are able to make choices and share in decision making.
Children are provided with the opportunity to develop caring relationships with adults as well as friendships with other children. The best outcomes for children are achieved when kindergarten staff and parents work in close partnership.
Support for parents
Kindergarten gives families and carers the opportunity to get to know other families. Talk with kindergarten staff to get help with any concerns about your child and to celebrate your child’s achievements. Attending kindergarten can also assist families whose child may need extra help. Through links to other local early childhood services kindergarten staff can help families to access a range of early years support services.
Supporting the transition from kindergarten to school
Attending kindergarten will help your child develop the skills necessary to flourish at school. All children attending a kindergarten program in the year before school will receive a Transition Learning and Development Statement.
Transition to school is not a point-in-time event, but an experience that extends from before the end of the kindergarten program and into the Prep year.
Your child’s Transition Learning and Development Statement will help your child’s Prep teacher to get to know your child before they start the new school year and to plan curriculum to support your child’s learning and development when they start school.
All children can attend kindergarten
Kindergarten is for all children. If your child has a disability or learning difficulty, the educators will talk with you about how the program and environment can support your child.
If you need support to enroll your child in a kindergarten program or to find a program that suits your family contact your local council.
There are a range of things you can do to prepare your child for kindergarten:
• Talking to your child about what to expect. Parents and Guardians can read, download and/or print the kindergarten handbook for their chosen service via the ‘Our Centres’ page for more information to assist with their explanation.
• Reading to your child every day.
• Use the ECKA website ‘Our Centres’ page to show the child the photos, 3D tours and videos we have of the service.
• Packing a change of clothes for your child and labelling all belongings.
• Encouraging your child to be independent. For example, dressing themselves, so they can manage tasks like taking their jumper on and off.
• Having practice runs taking your child to the kindergarten before their first day.
• Coming up with a goodbye ritual. At first you may want to stay to make sure your child feels secure, but once they settle in, a short goodbye encourages independence.
• Keeping kindergarten staff informed of changes in your child’s life that might affect their experiences at kindergarten.
Yes, the Victorian Government’s new No Jab, No Play law requires all Victorian children to have a record of immunisation to be enrolled in childcare and kindergarten, unless they have a medical reason.
For more information, including what you need to do if your child is or is not fully immunised, please visit the No Jab, No Play – Better Health Channel website by the Victorian Government.