​​​​Frequently Asked Questions​

​If your child was born duringYear eligible to attend a funded kindergarten program
​​1.5.2014 – 30.4.2015​2019
​​1.5.2015 – 30.4.2016​2020
​1.5.2016 - 30.4.2017​2021
1.5.2017 - 30.4.2018​2022

​Attending kindergarten is an important step for your child. It will help them learn skills that they will build on throughout life as well as strengthening their enthusiasm for learning. Your child’s teacher will talk to you about your child and your family, and together you will develop a plan that suits your child’s individual needs. 

Our educators use the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework to achieve the best outcomes for all the children.  This Framework identifies five learning outcomes:

  • Children have a strong sense of identity

  • Children are connected with and contribute to their world

  • Children have a strong sense of wellbeing

  • Children are confident and involved learners

  • Children are effective communicators

Please talk to the staff at your local kindergarten if you would like any further information.

​Areas to consider when thinking about sending your child to kindergarten include emotional maturity and social confidence. Speak to a maternal Child Health Nurse, Kindergarten Teacher or Pre-School Field Officer if you are unsure of your child’s readiness.

​Enrolment procedures vary depending on the Kindergarten and the Shire or location of the Kindergarten.

Opening and closing dates also vary, so it is important to read local press and check with your Kindergarten. 

YMCA Ballarat manages enrolments for many of the YEYM kindergartens. See this page for more details and important dates for Ballarat YMCA managed enrolments.

Contact details to obtain enrolment information can also be found on the local Kindergarten web pages. Locate your kindergarten through this list or the "Find My Kindergarten" page.

The No Jab, No Play legislation requires that in order to finalise enrolment for your child in long day care, kindergarten, family day care or occasional care you must provide the service with an Immunisation History Statement from the AIR which that shows your child is:

What is this document used for?

This is used to finalise enrolment. To accept an offered place at a service, you must provide the service with an Immunisation History Statement.

This would usually be done within two months before your child is due to start at the service.

For more information on Immunisation History Statements, download the brochure:
Immunisation information for parents enrolling a child

Immunisation History Statements can be obtained from:

  • the myGov App - Medicare section of the myGov website
  • Express Plus Medicare mobile App 
  • The Australian Immunisation Register: Phone 1800 653 809 or email acir@medicareaustralia.gov.au
  • Your local Medicare or Centrelink Office.

 

​​The Medicare logo and Australian Government crest must be present and identifiable to be considered a valid Immunisation History Statement. For example, if the Statement is on the second page of a letter from Medicare, both pages need to be presented to the service to conform enrolment.

Families who do not hold a Medicare card must call the AIR to request an Immunisation History Statement.

A ​translation and interpreting service is available by calling 131 450, Monday-Friday, 8.30am-4.45pm.

You may be eligible for the Grace Period Exemption. Certain Criteria must be met to qualify.

​Who is eligble for the grace period?

Children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage are eligible to enrol in a service under a grace period, without having provided proof of up to date immunisation. The grace period provisions allow the family to continue to access early childhood education and care services while receiving information and assistance to get their child's immunisations up to date and to obtain the required immunisation documentation that needs to be provided to the service.

Children eligible to be enrolled under the grace period include:

  • children identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • children who hold a health care card, or whose parents hold a health care card, a pensioner concession card, a Veterans Affairs Gold or White card
  • children who are refugees or asylum seekers
  • children who are known to child protection (that is, children who have been the subject of a report under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005, or who are on a protection order under the Act, or whose families are receiving support from a registered community service, including through a referral to CHILDFIRST or through Services Connect)
  • children who are living in emergency or crisis accommodation, accommodation supported by the Department of Health and Human Services, or is of no fixed address due to family violence or the risks of family violence or due to homelessness
  • children evacuated from their place of residence due to an emergency such as a flood or bushfire
  • children in emergency care within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
  • children in the care of an adult who are not the child's parent due to exceptional circumstances such as illness or incapacity
  • children from a multiple birth of triplets or more
  • any other circumstance specified in guidelines made by the Secretary to the Department of Health and Human Services.

More information about the grace period is available here.

​Families have the option of choosing to pay kindergarten fees either by Direct Debit over 9 monthly instalments or paying the full fee upfront and in advance, unless they are eligible for the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy for the Funded Program (4-5 year olds). 

If your child is attending a Pre-Kinder Program, full fees are required from all families, as we do not receive any Government funding for these programs. 

If families elect to pay by direct debit, they may cancel this arrangement at a later date, if they decide to pay the fees in full.  For 2019 Enrolments, this means that if the Direct Debit option is chosen, no fees are required until March 2019.  Families can then pay the full amount before the year commences, cancelling out the Direct Debit agreement. 

Families not eligible for Kindergarten Fee Subsidy or free kindergarten, are required to return a completed and signed Fee Agreement Form, which is sent out when a place is offered, in order to secure a place in a kindergarten program.

The Kindergarten Inclusion Support Service offers supplementary assistance to kindergartens to support the inclusion of a child with special needs into the program. Applications are made by the Kindergarten Teacher in consultation with parents, early childhood intervention agencies and Preschool Field Officers. Applications are made in the year prior to the child starting kindergarten and strict criteria exist for an application to be made. Please speak to the Preschool Field Officer for further information on funding availability to children with special needs.

​Subsidy

  • The Kindergarten Fee Subsidy supports eligible children to attend 4 Year Old (funded) kindergarten by meeting the cost of 15 hours of kindergarten per week.
  • Kindergarten services claim the fee subsidy from the Department on behalf of the families.
  • The Department pays the kindergarten a subsidy in order to provide eligible families with 15 hours of kindergarten free of charge or at minimal cost.​

The Kindergarten Fee Subsidy is available for children attending a 4 year old (funded) Kindergarten program who meet the criteria. More information 

See the DET (Department of Education and Training) website here for more information.​

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