How much is the kindergarten application fee?
There is a non-refundable application fee of $26 per child when you register for kindergarten. This administration fee is payable upon applying and does not guarantee your child a place at a kindergarten. You do not need to pay the application fee if you have one of the following exemptions.
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 attends the ESK (Early Start Kindergarten) program
Or, if you have one of these Fee Subsidy Cards that qualify for this fee exemption:
- 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)
- Immi Card
- In-Country Special Humanitarian Visas (Subclass 201)
- Protection Visas (Subclass 866)
- Refugee Visas (Subclass 200-204, 786 or 766)
- Resolution of Status Visa (subclass 851)
- Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (Subclass 790)
- Temporary Humanitarian Concern Visas (Subclass 786)
- Temporary Protection Visas (Subclass 785)
- Woman at Risk Visas (Subclass 204)
Can I apply for kindergarten from overseas?
If you are applying for a 3 or 4-year-old kindergarten and you are currently overseas, please email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
How to apply for the 2023 sessional kindergarten?
Not all kindergartens have vacancies in 2023.
Please contact the Kindergarten Central Enrolment team before applying for 3 or 4-year-old kindergarten in 2023 to find out which kindergartens currently have places available and how to enroll.
This is important because there is a non-refundable registration fee of $26 when you apply if you do not have one of the approved fee subsidy cards.
Your child must be 3 years of age 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 old.
If your child is attending 3-year-old kindergarten elsewhere, including at a child care centre, you will need to cancel that kindergarten place to transfer the funding to the new kindergarten you are applying for.
If your child attended 3-year-old kindergarten last year (2022) you cannot receive another year of 3-year-old kindergarten. Children cannot do two years of 3-year-old kindergarten.
Your child must be 4 years of age by 30 April 2023 to apply for 4-year-old kindergarten in 2023.
If your child is attending 4-year-old kindergarten elsewhere, including at child care, you will need to cancel that kindergarten place to transfer the funding to the new kindergarten you are applying for.
If your child attended 4-year-old kindergarten last year (2022), they will not be eligible for a second year unless the teacher has deemed them eligible and completed the second-year application through the Department of Education and Training (DET).
What are the participating and non-participating kindergartens?
You can see which kindergartens are part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme in our 2023: 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten enrolment poster (PDF).
If you are interested in one of these kindergartens, you will need to contact the Kindergarten Central Enrolment team to discuss if there are places available.
There are also kindergartens that are not part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme. You can see them in this list of 3 and 4-year-old sessional kindergartens that are not part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolments scheme (PDF).
Please contact these kindergartens directly if you want to enquire about vacancies and how to enroll.
Choosing a kindergarten
As not all kindergartens still have vacancies in 2023, we ask for families to please contact the Kindergarten Central Enrolment team to discuss availability at your preferred kindergarten before applying.
If a kindergarten is full, you can still apply however you will need to wait until a place becomes available. A place will only become available if there is a cancellation or change to the group's capacity.
When you contact the Kindergarten Central Enrolment team, they will discuss with you which kindergartens have availability and which session times they can offer you.
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 your child's age by attaching a copy of your child’s birth certificate, passport, Australian Immunisation History Statement, or immigration document to your kindergarten application.
You will need to provide proof that your child lives in Merri-bek. This can be done by providing a recent document with your name and street address, such as your:
- Rates notice
- Property contract of sale (section with the name of purchaser and address)
- Rental lease agreement
- Utility bill
- Driver licence
- Home or car insurance receipt
If you do not live in the City of 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 or a school in Merri-bek, provide a copy of a fee invoice from the service provider.
- If you are a non-resident of Merri-bek you can still apply for kindergarten.
If you or your child is an asylum seeker you will need to provide a copy of a visa or immigrant document.
If you or your 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 your 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 email@example.com for advice on immunisation and getting your Immunisation History Statement.