Kindergarten information for early services professionals

Information for kindergartens

If you are a current member of the Central Kindergarten Registration Scheme and need to update your details, email kindergarten@ballarat.vic.gov.au with the changes. Please note: it is the responsibility of kindergarten service providers to ensure their details are up to date. 

I am providing funded kindergarten programs and want to join the City of Ballarat’s Central Kindergarten Registration Scheme

I am applying to provide funded kindergarten programs and want to know more about joining the City of Ballarat’s Central Kindergarten Registration Scheme

Read our fact sheet for more information about kinders in Ballarat.

 

About the Central Kindergarten Registration Scheme

What is the City of Ballarat Central Kindergarten Registration Scheme?

The Central Kindergarten Registration (CKR) scheme is a centralised system, managed by the City of Ballarat, to allocate kindergarten places on behalf of participating kindergarten services. The scheme was established to make sure our community has access to a fair, equitable and timely system for kindergarten registrations, as well as providing vulnerable families with priority access.

Do all kindergartens participate in the CKR Scheme?

Over 30 kindergartens participate in the scheme. Find a kinder in Ballarat.

When can a child be registered for kindergarten?

Children can be registered from the start of the year before they start three-year-old kindergarten/ESK or two years before starting four-year-old kinder.

How does the City of Ballarat support vulnerable families to enrol in kindergarten?

The CKR process prioritises vulnerable families to ensure, where possible, they receive their first preference for kindergarten.

For kindergarten, first priority is given to eligible families. Eligibility criteria can be found on the Department of Education and Training’s website.

The quickest way to complete the enrolment process is online at https://kinder.ballarat.vic.gov.au. You can help families by filling out this form with them.  

You can also download the form by clicking “print form” once you’re in the registration page.   

Children in priority categories will receive written confirmation of a kindergarten place according to their preference. Families then do not need to complete a Kindergarten Placement Offer form.

 

For more information about the Central Kindergarten Registration Scheme, contact the City of Ballarat Central Kindergarten Registration officer on 5320 5720.

Information for early service professionals

At what age do children go to kindergarten?

In Victoria, children attend kinder in the two years before starting . 

Children can go to a funded, four-year-old kindergarten program for up to 15 hours per week (or 600 hours per year) if the child has turned four by 30 April in the year they will attend kindergarten.

Early Start Kindergarten for eligible children

Early Start Kindergarten (ESK) is free or low-cost kindergarten for eligible three-year-old children to attend four-year-old kinder for up to 15 hours per week. 

A child is eligible if they are turn three by 30 April the year they will start kinder, and:

  • is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; and/or
  • has had contact with Child Protection (or been referred to ChildFIRST); and/or
  • is of refugee or asylum seeker background.

For more information, visit the Education Victoria website.

Can a family delay or defer a child starting kindergarten?

Services should talk to families with children born between 1 January and 30 April and advise them to choose carefully. Children should complete a full year of kindergarten the year they start kindergarten as they are only funded for one year of four-year-old kindergarten. Families eligible for Early Start Kinder have an exception to this.

Please note, there may be some times where a child has started kindergarten and, following consultation between the child’s family and teacher, and in line with funding eligibility, the decision is made to defer enrolment to the following year.

This must occur during the early stages of Term 1 to be eligible for DET funding in the following year.

What is the cost of kindergarten?

Three and four-year-old kindergarten is partially funded by the Victorian Government, which is paid directly to the kindergarten. 

Kindergarten fees are set by the provider.

Is there help to pay kindergarten fees?

The Victorian Government has a kindergarten fee subsidy to help reduce fees for three-year-old and four-year-old kindergarten.

A child is eligible if they: 

  • identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • are a multiple birth child (triplets or more), 
  • hold, or has a parent or guardian who holds: 
    • Commonwealth Health Care Card 
    • Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card
    • Department of Veterans Affairs Card
    • Humanitarian or Refugee Visa.

Exclusions and exceptions: Not available for long day care services in receipt of Commonwealth Childcare Benefit.

When is the closing date for registration?

All families are encouraged to complete kindergarten applications by 30 June the year before a child attends kinder. Service providers are encouraged to support vulnerable families to register by this date. This helps make sure families are given their first kindergarten preference.

Applications will still be received and processed after 30 June, however applicants are advised to contact the City of Ballarat Central Kindergarten Registration Officer on 5320 5720 for help if needed.

Are there any other steps in helping families register for kindergarten?

After children have been given a place in a kinder program, the final step is for parents/guardians to complete the enrolment paperwork provided by the kinder their child will attend.

Under the ‘No Jab, No Play’ law, the kindergarten/early childhood service must get an immunisation statement, showing that the child:

  • is fully vaccinated for their age,
  • is on a recognised catch-up schedule if the child has fallen behind with their vaccinations, or
  • has a medical reason not to be vaccinated.

What happens if a child from a vulnerable family is not fully vaccinated for their age when they are about to commence kindergarten?

Under the ‘No Jab, No Play’ law, a vulnerable and/or disadvantaged family can enrol a child in kindergarten with a grace period of 16 weeks, without having provided proof of up-to-date immunisation. The grace period helps children go to kinder while their family gets information and help to complete their child’s immunisations and to get the immunisation documentation.

For more information about kinder, contact the City of Ballarat's Family and Children's Services team on 5320 5720.

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