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Kindergarten, also known as preschool, is an educational, play-based learning program for 3-year-old and 4-year-old children. It is delivered by a degree-qualified early childhood teacher.

Kindergarten provides children with the chance to develop their independence, confidence, social and emotional skills.

Kindergartens are funded by the State Government and can be delivered as an integrated program in a child care setting or as a sessional kindergarten program.

  • You may select three kindergartens that you would like your child to attend and put these in your application in your order of preference.

    Only choose kindergartens where you are prepared to accept a place. If you would like to visit a kindergarten, please contact the centre directly to make an appointment time.

  • Funded kindergarten programs are also offered in long day care (child care) settings. These are known as integrated kindergarten programs. The programs are led by degree-qualified teachers.

    This option is available to families who require child care and who would like access to a kindergarten program.

    Fees for integrated kindergarten programs may be different at each centre. You will need to contact each centre directly to discuss.

    More information is available on our Child care page.

Kindergarten information in your language

You can find out more about the benefits of kindergarten in your language on the State Government's Education and Training website.

Families applying from overseas

If you are applying for 3 or 4-year-old kindergarten and you are currently overseas please email  centralenrolments@moreland.vic.gov.au to discuss the application process with the Kindergarten Central Enrolment team.

Due to system security, you will be unable to apply using the online portal system.

Applying for kindergartens

3 and 4-year-old kindergarten enrolments for 2022

Not all kindergartens have vacancies in 2022. You will need to contact the Central Enrolment team to find out which kindergartens currently have places available and how to enrol. Please email centralenrolments@moreland.vic.gov.au or call  9240 2477.

3-year-old kindergarten enrolments for 2023

3-year-old applications for 2023 kindergarten are open.

Your child must be 3 years old by 30 April 2023 to apply for 3-year-old kindergarten in 2023. Children can only attend 3-year-old kindergarten once they have turned 3 years of age.

Families with children born between January and April can choose which year to start three-year-old kindergarten. These children can start in the same year they turn three, or in the year they turn four years of age.  More information on the Victorian Government website.

Before you start an application, we encourage you to read through the application documentation and fee information on this page. We also encourage you to look through our Poster of 2023 3-year-old kindergarten programs in Merri-bek (PDF). This document contains all the 3-year-old kindergartens that are part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme.

Once you are ready to start your application, you can apply online on our Childcare Registration and Kindergarten Enrolment website.

Apply online for 3-year-old kindergarten enrolment

If you would prefer to fill in a paper application form you can print and complete our 2023 three-year-old kindergarten application form (PDF). Paper forms can also be picked up from a Council Customer Service Centre or from the kindergarten you are interested in. All paper application forms need to be returned to one of our Council Customer Service Centres, located in Coburg, Brunswick, and Glenroy. You can find the details for these centres on our Contact us page.

You can email centralenrolments@moreland.vic.gov.au if you experience any issues with your online application or have questions for our Kindergartens team.

Please note: 3-year-old kindergarten places cannot have a second year of funded 3-year-old kindergarten or be deferred.

There are also some 3-year-old kindergartens that are not part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme. You can see these kindergartens on the 2023 list of 3-year-old sessional kindergartens that are not part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme (PDF). For the kindergartens on this list, please contact the kindergarten directly to find out about enrolling for 2023.

4-year-old kindergarten enrolments for 2023

4-year-old applications for 2023 kindergarten are open.

Your child must be 4 years of age by 30 April 2023 to apply for 4-year-old kindergarten in 2023.

Before you start an application, we encourage you to read through the application documentation and fee information on this page. We also encourage you to look through our Poster of 2023 4-year-old kindergartens in Merri-bek (PDF).  This

document contains all the 4-year-old kindergartens that are part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme.

Once you are ready to start your application, you can apply online on our Childcare Registration and Kindergarten Enrolment website.

Apply online for 4-year-old kindergarten enrolment

If you would prefer to fill in a paper application form you can print and complete our 2023 4-year-old kindergarten application form (PDF). Paper forms can also be picked up from a Council Customer Service Centre or from the kindergarten you are interested in. All paper application forms need to be returned to one of our

Council Customer Service Centres, located in Coburg, Brunswick, and Glenroy. You can find the details for these centres on our Contact us page.

You can email centralenrolments@moreland.vic.gov.au if you experience any issues with your online application or have questions for our Kindergartens team.

There are also some 4-year-old kindergartens that are not part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme. You can see these kindergartens on the 2023 list of 4-year-old sessional kindergartens that are not part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme (PDF). For the kindergartens on this list, please contact the kindergarten directly to find out about enrolling for 2023.

What happens after you submit a kindergarten application?

  • Your application will be processed within 5 weeks of receipt. You will receive an acknowledgment email or letter confirming we have received your application. This is only sent to 'Parent/Guardian One' as listed on your application unless otherwise requested.

    Please check carefully that all details in your application are correct. If you do not receive any communication within six (6) weeks, email centralenrolments@moreland.vic.gov.au or phone the Kindergarten Central Enrolment Officers on 9240 2477.

Find a kindergarten near you

You can find a kindergarten that is close to where you live or work using the map on our Find local kindergartens and childcare page.

On this page you will need to type your address into the search field, and select from the filters whether you would like the map to any or all of the following:

  • child care centres
  • kindergartens
  • occaisional child care

Once you have done this click the 'search' button and the map will show the kindergarten or child care options close to your address.

Kindergarten application fees

There is a non-refundable application fee of $25 per child when you enrol. This is an administration fee and does not contribute to your kindergarten fees.

  • You will not need to pay the non-refundable kindergarten application fee if:

    • your child identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
    • your child is identified on the birth certificate as being a multiple birth child (triplets or more)
    • your child is listed on a Health Care Card or the child's Parent/Guardian has one of the Fee Subsidy Cards listed below

    Fee Subsidy Cards that qualify for this fee exemption include:

    • Health Care Cards
    • Pensioner Concession Cards
    • Bridging Visas A-E
    • Department of Veterans Affairs Gold or White Cards
    • Emergency Rescue Visas (Subclass 203)
    • Global Special Humanitarian Visas (Subclass 202)
    • Humanitarian Stay Visas (Subclass 449)
    • In-Country Special Humanitarian Visas (Subclass 201)
    • Protection Visas (Subclass 866)
    • Refugee Visas (Subclass 200)
    • Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (Subclass 790)
    • Temporary Humanitarian Concern Visas (Subclass 786)
    • Temporary Protection Visas (Subclass 785)
    • Woman at Risk Visas (Subclass 204)

Kindergarten fees and State Government funding

  • The State Government provides funding to all 3 and 4-year-old kindergartens in Victoria. This funding contributes towards the cost of running 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten programs and keeping fees as low as possible. This funding does not go to the child or the parent/guardian. 

    Term fees are different at each kindergarten. You will need to check with each individual kindergarten about their fees. If your child holds a health care card or the parent/guardian has one of the government fee subsidy cards or a visa, your child can attend a kindergarten program for free or at a lower cost.

    You will need to contact your preferred kindergarten to discuss their fee policy. For a list of fee subsidy cards or visas, please refer to the Kindergarten Application Fee section on this page.

    4-year-old kindergarten

    4-year-old kindergarten is funded for 15 hours per week. Children can only access one funded 4-year old kindergarten program at one venue only.

    Please consider your child’s age and development when choosing when to start 4-year-old kindergarten.  A second year of 4-year-old kindergarten can only be considered if there are concerns about a child’s development. This requires an assessment by the kindergarten teacher.

    3-year-old kindergarten

    3-year-old kindergarten is funded for only 5 hours per week.  Children can only access one funded 3-year-old kindergarten program at one venue only.

    Children cannot attend a second year of funded 3-year-old kindergarten.

  • Early Start Kindergarten (also known as ESK) is a funded two-year 4-year-old kindergarten program. It is available to children who turn 3 years of age by 30 April in the year they are enrolled to attend the program.

    ESK can be accessed by:

    • Children whose families have been assisted by Child Protection or are in an Out-of-Home Care arrangement
    • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children
    • Refugee and asylum seeker children who meet the special visa criteria

    For more information email centralenrolments@moreland.vic.gov.au or call 9240 2477.

What are the requirements for a kindergarten application?

  • Kindergarten applications require you to:

    • Complete an application for each child
    • Include all relevant supporting documentation in your application
    • Ensure that your child’s name is written as it appears on their birth certificate, passport, or Australian Immunisation History Statement
    • Have the application completed and signed as the parent and/or guardian
    • Provide a copy of any court order, intervention order, or parental/guardian order in place in relation to the child’s custody with your application
    • Provide supporting documents if you are the child’s guardian but not the parent

    The Kindergarten Central Enrolment team will only discuss information regarding your child with the person/s listed as a contact in the application.

    Please note: your application does not guarantee your child a place in that kindergarten.

Supporting documents for kindergarten applications

  • You will need to provide proof of the child's age through the child’s birth certificate, passport, Australian Immunisation History Statement, or immigration document.

  • You will need to provide proof that the child lives in Merri-bek. This can be done by providing recent document with your name and street address, such as your:

    • Rates notice
    • Property contract of sale (section with name of purchaser and address)
    • Rental lease agreement
    • Utility bill
    • Driver licence
    • Home or car insurance receipt
  • If you do not live in Merri-bek, you will need to provide us with proof of your link to the City of Merri-bek (the municipality). This can be done in the following ways:

    • If you work or study in Merri-bek, a letter or invoice from your employer or education provider, or a copy of your student card.
    • If you have a child who attends a child care centre in Merri-bek, provide a copy of a fee invoice from the service provider.
    • If you have a child that attends a school in Merri-bek, provide a copy of a fee invoice from the school which includes your child's name and address.
  • If the child is an asylum seeker you will need to provide a copy of a visa or immigrant document.

  • If the child has refugee status then you will need to provide a copy of their ImmiCard. You can find out more about ImmiCards on the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs website.

  • If the child has additional needs then you will need to provide a copy of a support letter from a medical professional or community health service about these needs.

  • If there is any court order, intervention order, or parental/guardian order in place in relation to the child’s custody, you will need to provide a copy of an intervention, parental or custodial order document.

What are the immunisation requirements for kindergarten attendance?

  • Your child's immunisation records must be up to date before they can attend kindergarten unless they have an immunisation exemption.

    You must show a copy of your child's up-to-date Australian Immunisation History Statement schedule to the kindergarten they are attending.

    Please note: kindergartens cannot accept an immunisation book or letter from your doctor. You can get your child’s Immunisation History Statement:

    The Immunisation History Statement will show us if your child is:

    • fully immunised for their age
    • on a vaccination catch-up program
    • unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons

    You can find out more by calling 1800 653 809 or on the Victorian Government Department of Health website.

    Families who do not hold a Medicare card must call the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 to request an Immunisation History Statement. A Translating and Interpreting service is available on weekdays from 8:30am to 4:45pm if you call 131 450.

    You can email cd-immunisation@moreland.vic.gov.au for advice on immunisation and getting your Immunisation History Statement.

How kindergarten places are allocated

The Kindergarten Central Registration System has been designed to be simple and fair. We do not manage kindergartens in Merri-bek. We have an agreement with the participating kindergartens to process applications for them. Each kindergarten can only accept a certain number of children into their groups, due to their licensing agreement.

Applications received between 1 March and 31 May will be prioritised based on a points and proximity system. During this time period, the date you apply will not affect your kindergarten application.

Applications received from 1 June will be processed in order of the date of received and no points will be given. 

If you apply between 1 March and 31 May, your application is given points as follows:

  • Families who are Merri-bek residents and/or rate payers will be allocated 100 points.

  • If the child attends a 3-year-old program at their first preferred kindergarten they will be allocated 70 points.

  • If other children in the family attend or have attended the first preferred kindergarten between 2019 and 2022, the child will be allocated 20 points.

  • If more than one child is attending kindergarten (e.g. twins, triplets, step-siblings or children of same age with same legal guardian), these children will be allocated 40 points.

  • If you are not a resident of Merri-bek but are linked to the suburb including working or studying in Merri-bek as a parent/guardian, or if you have other children who attend school or child care in Merri-bek, you will be allocated 50 points.

Priority groups and reserved places at kindergartens

  • In accordance with the Victorian Government's Priority of Access guidelines, kindergarten places prioritise the following:

    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children
    • Children with additional needs
    • Children at risk or known to Child Protection or an Out-of-Home Care arrangement
    • Children of refugee or Asylum seeker status
    • Children who qualify for Early Start Kindergarten (ESK), which gives eligible children 15 hours of free or low-cost kindergarten a week. You can find out more about ESK by calling 9240 2477 or on the State Government's Education and Training website.

When will my child be offered a place at a kindergarten?

  • The 'Parent/Guardian One' (as listed on your application) will be advised by email or mail if their child has been offered a place or placed on the waiting list.

    If you are offered a place you will have 7 days to accept and respond. If there are no places available at your preferred kindergarten, we will let you know of places available at other kindergartens. You may choose one of them or remain on a waiting list. If you wish to change your kindergarten preference after places have been offered, you can contact us to enquire about availability.

    See the sections below for when to expect to receive a notification from us.

  • By the end of August: Families are notified if their child is offered a place or on a waiting list.

  • From September onwards: Families are notified if their child is offered a place or on a waiting list.

What happens after you accept a place at a kindergarten

In September we send kindergartens the details of children who have accepted a place with them. If you have accepted a place, the kindergarten will contact you before the end of December with information on fees and the days and times your child will attend.

Deferring a 4-year-old kindergarten placement

If your child is offered a 4-year-old kindergarten place for 2023, but you decide they should not go to kindergarten until 2024, you can defer their enrolment. This means the place is reserved for your child and you do not have to apply again next year.

Kindergarten Outreach Support Program for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) children and families

The Kindergarten Outreach Support Program for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) children and families offers support to enrol children into 3-year-old and 4-year-old kindergarten, assist to address engagement barriers, support transition and ongoing participation in education.

The Outreach Team links families to other early childhood support in your local area. You can find out more information on the Kindergarten Outreach Support Program for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) children and families flyer (PDF).

Our Outreach Workers speak some local languages and have interpreters available on request.

Preschool Field Officer Program

We want all children to be able to take part in and enjoy their learning. We can provide support if your child needs extra assistance during their time in kindergarten.

The Preschool Field Officer Program is available for any child enrolled in a state-funded kindergarten who has developmental or additional needs.

You can learn more about this program on our Children with additional needs page.