3 year old kindergarten runs for 5 hours per week (except GEKA Orrong Road Kindergarten which runs only a 10 hours session). For timetable specifics please visit our Timetable Page
BEFORE you submit your online 3 year old Kindergarten Registration Application, please read important information below so you understand the kindergarten enrolment process.
How old should my child be when they start kindergarten?
It is usual for children to attend a kindergarten program two years before they start primary school. This is often called ‘three year old kindergarten’ and ‘four year old kindergarten’.
To be eligible to attend 3 YEAR OLD kindergarten, your child MUST turn three (3) by 30th April in the year they attend. Refer to the table below to guide as to which year your child should attend in kindergarten based on age.
|Date of Birth||Enrolments Open from 1 May (01 July in 2020)||Attend 3YO Kindergarten||Attend 4YO Kindergarten||Attend Prep (Primary School)|
|01 May 2015 – 30 April 2016||01 May 2018||2019||2020||2021|
|01 May 2016 – 30 April 2017||01 May 2019||2020||2021||2022|
|01 May 2017 – 30 April 2018||01 July 2020||2021||2022||2023|
|01 May 2018 – 30 April 2019||01 May 2021||2022||2023||2024|
Families with children born between 1 January and 30 April have a CHOICE about whether their child will commence school in the year they turn five or the following year when they turn six, and therefore whether they commence 3 year old kindergarten in the year they turn three or the year they turn four. A child will ONLY be eligible to receive a second year of 3 year old kindergarten with GEKA if they are assessed by the kindergarten teacher as having at least two areas of significant developmental delay that are not age related e.g. If the child is exhibiting behaviour/s that is deemed consistent for their ‘young’ age they will NOT fit the criteria.
It is important that children are ready to transition to school and that schools are ready to meet the needs of individual children. Therefore, it is important that from the time the child is eligible to enrol for kindergarten, parents carefully consider the best time for their child to start school, as this will help to determine the best time to start kindergarten.
Some parents are under the false understanding that, should their child not be ready for school after one year of four year old kindergarten, that their child will automatically receive a second year of funded kindergarten. A child will ONLY be eligible to receive a second year of funded kindergarten if they are assessed by the kindergarten teacher in conjunction with an independent Preschool Field Officer, as having a least two areas of significant developmental delay that are not age related e.g. If the child is exhibiting behavior/s that is deemed consistent for their ‘young’ age they will NOT fit the funding criteria.
For further advice and information regarding the right time to start kindergarten, please contact GEKA enrolments, or visit when to start kindergarten
How and when to enrol my child to 3 year old kindergarten
Applications for 3 year old kindergarten will only be accepted from 1 JULY (the year prior to your child attending 3 year old kindergarten), and any applications received prior to this will not be accepted.
To register for a GEKA 3 YEAR OLD kindergarten, complete GEKA’s ONLINE KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION APPLICATION. You can chose a first and second preference and there is a non-refundable registration fee of $30. Completing this Application will place your child on a 3 year old kindergarten waitlist and is not a guarantee of place. Due to high demand, families are encouraged to apply for 3 year old kindergarten early.
3 and 4 year old kindergarten places/applications are NOT linked, and we recommend families register for BOTH 3 and 4 year old kindergarten concurrently. Refer to our 4 year old enrolment webpage for the 4 year Kindergarten Registration Application details.
Free Kindergarten for 3 year olds
The Victorian Government subsidises fees for some children so they can attend kindergarten for free two years before they start primary school. Your child is eligible to attend free kindergarten if they are at least 3 year old by 30 April and:
- Are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, or
- Are known to Child Protection, or referred by Child Protection to Child FIRST
If your child fits either of these categories, please contact our Enrolments Team for more information.
- 3 year old kindergarten places are offered by date of application received (the time you lodge your application is not a factor). Where the number of applications received on the same day exceed places available, offers are then determined through a random ballot. Priority in some circumstances is also offered, please view the priority of access list below.
- Children who are 2 years of age at the start of kindergarten (but turn 3 by the 30 April) are required to pay full first term’s fees even though the child may not attend until they turn 3 years of age. In such instances, you may visit the kindergarten for short periods of time with your child until they turn three. This will be prearranged with the teacher.
- A request to change preference without a change of address, the application date will be based upon the date of the change of preference request received.
- The offers of place commence in June/July (due to pandemic, 2021 offers will commence in July/August) in the year prior to your child’s commencement at kindergarten. Subsequent offers will be made until all kindergartens are full and/or all children on the list have been offered a place. Places will be confirmed via email in September the year prior to attending.
Priority of access
Priority will be given to:
- Children who have been approved to repeat a second year of three year old kindergarten
- Children who were eligible to attend in the previous year but deferred or withdrew from the service on or before the last day of Term 1.
- Families who have had another child attend the kindergarten in the last five years. Sibling preference ONLY applies to applications submitted on 1 July.
- Children who have disabilities or additional needs
- Children who are eligible for the Early Start Kindergarten Program (three-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and children known to Child Protection may be eligible for this scheme). Details are available here
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