Involving children in high-quality learning activities helps both children and their families, and can improve children’s learning and development outcomes, emotional well-being, long-term educational and social outcomes, and experience in life. Children must receive those benefits when they are emotionally and socially ready for the experience.
Funded kindergarten is an Early Childhood program that:
• Is designed and administered by an Early Childhood Teacher
• Open to all Victorian children in the pre-school year
• Promotes learning and development following the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development System
• Approved service is offered.
The federal and state governments provide funding to the kindergarten in the year before school to subsidize 15 hours of kindergarten for each child.
Kids who meet the qualification criteria and identify themselves with a developmental disorder in at least two fields will have the second year of kindergarten. It should be remembered that most children are only eligible for ONE year of funded kindergarten. As of 2014, children who withdraw from a funded program once they start will not be eligible anywhere for a second year.
Types Of Kindergarten Programs
There are various kinds of kindergarten programs that your child can attend.
Program for Four-year-old kids:
It is often called a funded kindergarten program. The government will assist the kindergarten with your child’s attendance expense of 15 hours per week. That helps keep fees for your kindergarten low. Typically, it’s for kids who are in the year before they start school.
Program for three-year-old kids:
The Government of Victoria is a rolling out-funded three-year-old kindergarten. In-sessional kindergartens and long day-care centres will run kindergarten programs. These will be accessible from 2020 in some regions, and 2022 onwards around the state.
Early Start Kindergarten
Early Start Kindergarten provides 15 hours of free or low-cost kindergarten per week for eligible kids.
Your child must be three by 30 April in the year they begin kindergarten, and:
- Your child is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- Your family has been in touch with Child Protection (or referred to Child FIRST).
When your child has been using Early Start, they will also get free or low-cost kindergarten for four-year-old.
Even if there is a funded three-year-old kindergarten program available in your region, if they are young, you should still enrol your child in Early Start kindergarten. That would ensure they have access to 15 hours a week and keeping the payments as low as possible.
Importance Of Kindergarten
Your kid grows socially and emotionally at kindergarten. Through play, art, dance, music, movement, and interaction with others, their ability to think, use, and understand language and their fine motor skills will be developed.
Most significantly, your child will learn to become successful learners as they improve and expand their communication skills, gain self-confidence, learn to be imaginative, and acquire abilities that will assist them in reading, writing, and math.
Maternal and Child Health Programs and kindergarten staff provide parents with useful guidance as to when the more formal educational journey should begin. Some families can opt the year before their funded kindergarten program to enrol in Pre-Kinder.
How Do I Know If My Child Is Ready For Kindergarten?
There are many factors to consider when thinking about sending your child to kindergarten:
- Questions to ask include:
- Does your child easily separate from you?
- Your child can be understood by other people?
- Your child can express his or her needs clearly?
- Does your child have the stamina to attend and enjoy a full kindergarten session?
In case you are uncertain of your child’s readiness, please consult with a maternal-child health nurse, kindergarten teacher, or pre-school field officer. Children who turn four in the year they attend kindergarten between January and April will often struggle and will mostly be with older children.
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