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2025 Sessional Kindergarten

Free sessional kindergarten

The Victorian State Government has made 3 and 4-year-old sessional kindergarten free. This means you are no longer required to pay fees for your child to register or attend sessional kindergarten.

Can I apply for kindergarten from overseas?

If you are applying for 3 or 4-year-old kindergarten and you are currently overseas, please email  centralenrolments@merri-bek.vic.gov.au to discuss the application process with the Kindergarten Central Enrolment team. You can still apply via a form however due to system security, you will be unable to apply using the online portal system.

What are the requirements for a kindergarten application?

  • Kindergarten applications require you to:

    • Complete an application for each child
    • Include all relevant supporting documentation in your application
    • Ensure that your child’s name is written as it appears on their birth certificate, passport, or Australian Immunisation History Statement
    • Have the application completed and signed as the parent and/or guardian
    • Provide a copy of any court order, intervention order, or parental/guardian order in place in relation to the child’s custody with your application
    • Provide supporting documents if you are the child’s guardian but not the parent

    The Kindergarten Central Enrolment team will only discuss information regarding your child with the person/s listed as a contact in the application.

    Please note: your application does not guarantee your child a place in that kindergarten.

What documents do I need to include with my application?

  • You will need to provide proof of your child's age by attaching a copy of your child’s birth certificate, passport, Australian Immunisation History Statement, or immigration document to your kindergarten application.

  • You will need to provide proof that your child lives in Merri-bek. This can be done by providing a recent document with your name and street address, such as your:

    • Rates notice
    • Property contract of sale (section with the name of purchaser and address)
    • Rental lease agreement
    • Utility bill
    • Driver licence
    • Home or car insurance receipt
  • If you do not live in the City of Merri-bek you will need to provide us with proof of your link to the City of Merri-bek (the municipality). This can be done in the following ways:

    • If you work or study in Merri-bek, a letter or invoice from your employer or education provider, or a copy of your student card.
    • If you have a child who attends a child care centre or a school in Merri-bek, provide a copy of a fee invoice from the service provider.
    • Non-residents with no link to Merri-bek can apply for kindergarten. 
  • If you or your child is an asylum seeker you will need to provide a copy of a visa or immigrant document.

  • If you or your child has refugee status, then you will need to provide a copy of their ImmiCard.

    You can find out more about ImmiCards on the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs website.

  • If your child has additional needs, then you will need to provide a copy of a support letter from a medical professional or community health service about these needs.

  • If there is any court order, intervention order, or parental/guardian order in place in relation to the child’s custody, you will need to provide a copy of an intervention, parental or custodial order document.

What are the participating and non-participating kindergartens in Merri-bek?

We encourage you to look through our poster of 2025: 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten programs in Merri-bek (PDF). This document contains all the 3 and 4-year-old kindergartens that are part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme.

You can select up to 3 kindergartens that you would like your child to attend and number these on your application in your order of preference.

Only choose kindergartens where you are prepared to accept a place. If you would like to visit a kindergarten, please contact the centre directly to make an appointment time.

There are also some kindergartens that are not part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme. You can see these kindergartens on the list of 3 and 4-year-old sessional kindergartens that are not part of the Merri-bek Central Enrolment Scheme (PDF). 

For the kindergartens on this list, please contact the kindergarten directly to find out about enrolling for 2025.

Start my 2025 sessional kindergarten application

Applications for 2025 are open for 3-year-old and 4-year-old kindergarten.

We encourage families to apply online by 30 June for your application to be considered for the August offers round. All applications received during this time period are processed in points and proximity order not in date received order.

Families with children born between January and April can choose which year to start 3 or 4-year-old kindergarten. Deciding which year to start is important as it will impact when your child will begin school.

If you have checked your child's age eligibility for 3 or 4-year old kindergarten in 2025 and the kindergarten you have chosen is participating with the Merri-bek Kindergarten Central Enrolment Scheme you can apply online on our Kindergarten Enrolment portal.

Apply online for kindergarten in 2025.

If you would prefer to fill in a paper application form you can download and complete our 2025 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten application form (PDF). Paper forms can also be collected from a Council Customer Service Centre or from a participating kindergarten. Paper application forms can be returned with supprting documents to one of our Council Customer Service Centres, located in Coburg, Brunswick, and Glenroy or you can email the form and documents back to our team . You can find the details for the Customer Service Centres on our Contact us page.

  • Your child must be 3 years of age by 30 April 2025 to apply for 3-year-old kindergarten in 2025. Children can only attend 3-year-old kindergarten once they have turned 3 years of age and can only receive one year of 3-year-old funding.

    If your child is attending 3-year-old kindergarten this year in 2024, including at a child care centre, you will not be eligible to apply for 2025.

    Children cannot do two years of 3-year-old kindergarten.

  • Your child must be 4 years of age by 30 April 2025 to apply for 4-year-old kindergarten in 2025. Children will only receive one year of 4-year-old-funded kindergarten.

    If your child is attending 4-year-old kindergarten this year in 2024, including at a child care centre, they will not be eligible for a second year of 4-year-old kindergarten.

    A second year of 4-year-old kindergarten can only be considered if there are concerns about a child’s development. This requires an assessment by the kindergarten teacher.


Check the age calculator to see which year your child can attend.

Kindergarten age calculator

Date is not stored beyond this session

 

Calculate when your child can attend kindergarten based on their date of birth.

Kindergarten options

Calculated for a child born on

Year Age at January Kindergarten program
3 years and 1 months 3-year-old
4 years and 1 months 4-year-old
5 years and 1 months 5-year-old

Your child is eligible to start 3-year-old kindergarten this year or wait until next year.

If they start 3-year-old kindergarten this year they will be when they start school in . This may make them younger than many of their peers.

Your child is eligible to start 3-year-old kindergarten this year.

Your child will be when they start school in . .

Your child is eligible to start 3-year-old or 4-year-old kindergarten this year.

Your child is eligible to start 4-year-old kindergarten this year. Attending 4-year-old kindergarten is recommended as research shows it supports better learning outcomes.

If they start 4-year-old kindergarten this year they will be when they start school in . This may make them younger than many of their peers.

Your child is eligible to start 4-year-old kindergarten or school this year. Attending 4-year-old kindergarten is recommended as research has shown it supports better learning outcomes.

If they start school this year they will be when they start school in . This may make them younger than many of their peers.

 

Further information and frequently asked questions about kindergarten applications

  • You can email centralenrolments@merri-bek.vic.gov.au if you experience any issues with your online application or have any questions for our Kindergarten Central Enrolment team.

  • Your child's immunisation records must be up to date before they can attend kindergarten unless they have an immunisation exemption.

    You must show a copy of your child's up-to-date Australian Immunisation History Statement schedule to the kindergarten they are attending. Kindergartens cannot accept an immunisation book or letter from your doctor.

    You can get your child’s Immunisation History Statement by signing in to the MyGov website through the Services Australia website

    The Immunisation History Statement will show us if your child is:

    • fully immunised for their age
    • on a vaccination catch-up program
    • unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons

    You can find out more by calling 1800 653 809 or on the Victorian Government Department of Health website.

    Families who do not hold a Medicare card must call the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 to request an Immunisation History Statement. A Translating and Interpreting service is available on weekdays from 8:30am to 4:45pm if you call 131 450.

    You can email immunisation@merri-bek.vic.gov.au for advice on immunisation and getting your Immunisation History Statement.

  • Your application will be processed within 5 weeks of receipt.  You will receive an acknowledgment email confirming we have received your application.

     If there are errors in your acknowledgement email, or you have not received any communication from Merri-bek City Council within 6 weeks of applying, please contact the Kindergarten Central Enrolment team via email centralenrolments@merri-bek.vic.gov.au or call 9240 2477.

  • Merri-bek City Council’s Kindergarten Central Enrolment Scheme has designed a priority system to allocate applications in a simple and fair way. We do not manage kindergartens in Merri-bek. We have an agreement with the participating kindergartens to process applications for them. Each kindergarten can only accept a certain number of children into their groups, due to their licensing agreement.

    First priority allocations 

     Children attending 3-year-old kindergarten

    Children who attend 3-year-old kindergarten will be given priority to be transferred into the same 4-year-old kindergarten program for 2025, without you having to reapply. 

    Council will contact all 2024 3-year-old placed families by email in March to check if you want your child to attend the same kindergarten for 4-year-old. If you agree, your child will automatically be transferred over. You will be sent a confirmation email and will not have to reapply.

    If you want your child to attend a different 4-year-old kindergarten in Merri-bek for 2025, you will need to complete a new application. Your child’s name will be placed on the waiting list until allocations are done in August and you will not be guaranteed a place at the kindergarten you choose.

    If you cancel your child from the 3-year-old program, your child will not be transferred to a 4-year-old kindergarten program. If you want your child to attend the same 4-year-old program after you have cancelled, your child's name can go back on the waiting list. You will not be guaranteed a place in this kindergarten.

    If your child is allocated a 3-year-old kindergarten place from July onwards and there is no place in the 4-year-old kindergarten program, your child’s name will go on the waiting list as a priority until a place becomes available.

    Priority of access children

    The Victorian Government has Priority of Access guidelines to allocate kindergarten places. The following children are given priority:

    • Children known to Child Protection
    • Children in an Out of Home Care arrangement, including foster care or kinship care
    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children
    • Asylum seeker and refugee children
    • Children with additional needs
    • Early Start Kindergarten (ESK): this gives eligible children 15 hours per week and up to two years of 4-year-old kindergarten. To be eligible, your child must be three years of age by 30 April 2025, is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, refugee or asylum seeker or the family has had contact with Child Protection.

     If your child meets the Priority of Access guidelines but the kindergarten you have chosen is full, your child’s name will go on the list as priority until a place becomes available.

    Second priority allocations 

    Families who apply between 2 April and 30 June will be processed in points order and proximity between a kindergarten and Merri-bek address.

    • Families who are Merri-bek residents or ratepayers will receive 100 points.
    • Non-Residents of Merri-bek with a parent or guardian who works or studies in Merri-bek or has other children attending school or child care in Merri-bek will receive 50 points.
    • Children who are twins, triplets, quadruplets or more will receive 40 points.
    • Children who have a sibling attend their first kindergarten preference between the years of 2021 and 2024 will receive 30 points.
    • Non-Residents who do not meet any of the above criteria can still apply however will receive no points on their application.

    Third priority allocations

    Applications received from 1 July will not be given any points or proximity and will be placed in date of received order. 

    These applications will be processed after August and will be offered places where available or placed on a waiting list.

  • Your application form does not guarantee your child a kindergarten place. Council has an agreement with the participating kindergartens and Early Years Managers to accept and process kindergarten applications for them. The kindergarten or their Early Years Manager will let Council know how many places can be offered to families.

    For applications received between 2 April and 30 June 2024:

    Communications will be sent by the end of August. An email will be sent to the person listed as parent/guardian1 on the application.  This email will let you know if your child has been offered a place or is on a waiting list.

    For applications received from 1 July 2024:

    Communications will be sent from September onwardsAn email will be sent the person listed as parent/guardian1 on the application.  This email will let you know if your child has been offered a place or is on a waiting list.

  • Merri-bek City Council does not manage kindergartens or arrange group session times.

    In September we send kindergartens the details of children who have accepted a place with them. If you have accepted a place, the kindergarten will contact you before the end of December with information about the days and times your child will attend.

  • If your child is offered a 3 or 4-year-old kindergarten place for 2025 but you decide they should not go to kindergarten until 2026, you can defer their enrolment. This means the place is reserved for your child and you do not have to apply again next year.

    You will be unable to defer your child’s place once they have started at the kindergarten.

    Please email centralenrolments@merri-bek.vic.gov.au or call  9240 2477 to discuss deferring your child’s kindergarten place.