Kindergarten

Kindergarten programs are developed as an early educational program that considers your child’s needs and interests within the context of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework and has an emphasis on a play-based approach to learning.

Kindergarten provides a supportive environment in which children can develop skills and increases children’s confidence and independence. It fosters creativity, discovery and a desire to learn.

Kindergarten offers for 2017

Four-year-old kindergarten offers for 2017 need to be in Thursday 30 June
Offers for four-year-old kindergarten places in 2017 will be offered in the week commencing Monday 11 July.
Offers for three-year-old pre-kindergarten in 2017 will be offered in the week commencing Monday 8 August.

Applications received after Thursday 30 June will be processed in subsequent rounds, in the week commencing 25 July for four-year-old kinder placements and Monday 22 August for three-year-old kinder placements.

All applications are submitted online. Offers will be sent via email; with parents to confirm their child’s offer by responding via the online portal. Those without email will be posted their offer but may be delayed pending Australia Post delivery timelines.

Council will be hosting three Kindergarten General Information sessions to help parents to decide which year their child should attend; all families are welcome and will gain beneficial general information as well. They will be held at Cardinia Shire Council Civic Centre, 20 Siding Avenue Officer on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 17 May, 10–11am
  • Thursday 16 June, 2–3pm
  • Wednesday 13 July, 7–8pm

(No RSVP required)

Kindergarten information session content presented

Timeline

  1. Parent registers kindergarten preferences online via 'Kindergarten Portal'.
  2. Council Central Enrolment Team process registrations; request any outstanding document/s information.
  3. Thursday 30 June 2016 is the last applications processed prior to 'Allocation of kindergarten offers'.
  4. Council runs allocations via automated system and alerts families to log in to action offer.
  5. Families respond to offer within deadline.
  6. Council advises kindergartens of received offers and placed children.
  7. Kindergartens contact families to finalise enrolment paperwork and secure place for 2017.

Processing allocations

  • ‘Complete applications’ and any changes of preferences received up to; and including Thursday 30 June 2016 will be processed and included in the initial allocation on Monday 11 July 2016 – funded year prior to school and Monday 8 August 2016 – pre-kinder.
  • Subsequent offers and applications processed after Thursday 30 June will be allocated ongoing; Monday 25 July for funded year prior to school and Monday 22 August – pre-kinder.

Allocation offers

  • Places are allocated via a computer generated selection process based on information provided by you on each individual application form.
  • Where there is a higher demand than number of places available for first preferences, weightings will be applied to each application received for the relevant kindergarten(s).
  • Where weighting is the same; a randomised computer allocation is applied.
  • 'Kindergarten Central Enrolment Policy and Procedure – 2016'

Your responsibilities

  • Kindergarten registration portal reminders have been sent for you to review and update the information (circumstances and preferences).
  • Notification via email or post to respond to offer by Friday 22 July 2016 – funded year prior to school and Friday 19 August – pre-kinder.
  • Book in for key ages and stages three-and-half-year-old maternal and child health check.

Offer choices

  • Accept the place you have been offered
  • Accept and wait (if this is not your preferred centre) accept the offer and remain on the waiting list for your preferred centre (guarantees a kindergarten place). You are not disadvantaged by already having a position and staying on the waitlist for your preferred centre.
  • Decline and Wait – (if this is not your preferred centre) decline the offer and remain on the waiting list for your preferred centre (this option does NOT guarantee a kindergarten placement for your child).
  • Defer the place you have been offered until 2018 – with an option to enrol in a pre-kinder program ($25 application fee is applicable – you will be contacted by Council).
  • Decline the offer – a kindergarten place is no longer required.

Decisions around deferral

  • The decision to defer a child should be based on a child's individual needs and development.
  • The decision to defer must be made prior to commencing at kindergarten. Advice can be sought from professionals such as MCH nurse, GP and educators.

Links

Kindergarten responsibilities

  • The kindergartens will provide an information pack to you after the initial offer process is complete and numbers confirmed.
    (about mid–late August for funded kindergarten year prior to school and mid–late September for pre-kinder)
    *Contact your Kindergarten COM/Cluster directly if you have not heard anything by the above timelines.
  • Enrolment forms/contact information
  • Immunisation certificates (required no jab no play)
  • Information sessions
  • Groups/session times/days;see below
  • AGM and committee information

Any further kindergarten fees/deposits are discussed and payable to the Kindergarten from this point - not Council

Further information

If further information/advice is required, you can contact:


Group sessions (subject to change)
Kinders Together
Best Chance (Arena)
Beaconsfield Kindergartens Guide only
Gembrook -contact centre
Cockatoo - Contact Centre

Enrolment

Enrolment for community based kindergartens within the shire is centrally managed by Council under the Kindergarten Central Registration Policy and Procedures (Word, 136KB) which:

  • simplifies the process of kindergarten enrolment process for families
  • supports cluster managed and community managed kindergarten providers
  • applies an equitable and fair process for families seeking kindergarten places
  • informs Council’s early year’s services and infrastructure planning.
  • offers kindergarten places fairly and equitably
  • is developed on the basis of local community needs, promoting local connection and continuity of learning
  • prioritises families who are Cardinia Shire residents/ratepayer
  • supports children who meet 'high priority' criteria.

Benefits to the community and Council
What are the benefits of this event/program/service/works/initiative? Why is it notable or good for the community/Council?

  • Kindergarten is important for children aged three years and over.
  • It ensures equitable and fair allocation to kindergarten places across Cardinia Shire.
  • Council’s online portal is a simplified, one-stop process for families.
  • The portal saves time and stress for families when enrolling their children and will ensure everyone has access to the same system.
  • Parents now have only one point of contact for all kindergarten enrolments.
  • The central enrolment system is also beneficial for Council by providing information so we can meet the needs of our growing community.

High priority children and families
We support the Department of Education and Training (DET) policy direction that prioritises the inclusion of children with additional needs, children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, Asylum seeker and refugee families with an appropriate Visa and children known to Child Protection. Families that demonstrate that they have a child in one of these categories will be allocated to a kindergarten program as a high priority.

This policy provides the framework for a kindergarten central enrolment application process incorporating Victorian Government allocation and funding criteria that:

Boosting Aboriginal participation in kinder

A new campaign is underway to boost the numbers of Aboriginal children taking part in three- and four-year-old kindergarten programs. For more information visit the Victorian Government website.

Kindergarten placement timeline

Four-year-old kindergarten
First round offers for four-year-old kindergarten start mid-July the year before your child’s year of attendance. As positions are accepted and declined, new offers will be made on an ongoing weekly and/or fortnightly as places are available/required; until all children have been given the opportunity to attend a community kindergarten program. There is no guarantee that you will be offered your first preference.

Three-year-old pre-kinder
First round offers for three-year-old kindergarten start mid-August the year before your child’s year of attendance. Three-year-old programs are only offered after your kindergarten has confirmed their four-year-old group numbers to ensure there is space to provide a three-year-old-program.

Please note that Beaconsfield kindergartens do not offer a three-year-old program. Beaconsfield Community House offers a teacher-qualified program for three-year-olds. You will need to apply directly to Beaconsfield Community House to enrol in this program.

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