Fun Summer Activities for Kids in Melbourne

Funded 3-year-old and 4-year-old Kindergarten Programs

3-year-old kindergarten and 4-year-old kindergarten are two of the most important, fun and exciting years for both parents and children. With an environment designed for learning and experienced teachers to help guide and assist, children begin to grow from dependence to independence and, as their characters develop, they begin to find their place in the world. Children make friends, develop new interests and parents often find they have a thriving new personality at home eager to try new things and contribute to daily activities.

Below, you’ll learn much more about the Victorian Kindergarten Program. If you’re learning about kindergarten for the first time you’ll want to start with the FAQs.

Next, you’ll find information about the kindergarten program here at Choklits Surrey Hills and Ringwood. Even if you don’t intend to enrol your child at Choklits this section will give you lots of hints on what to look when looking elsewhere. 

And, if you’d like to skip to the specific details of a particular year’s program at Choklits scroll to the bottom of this page for our open letters, you’ll find every year under the title “Continually evolving”.

Kindergarten FAQs…

What is kindergarten?

Kindergarten is a program for young children for the 2 years before they start school, delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher. The two offical names are 3-year-old kindergarten and 4-year-old kindergarten, but often referred to as preschool.

Funded Victorian Kindergarten programs are based on the EYLF (Early Years Learning Framework) and play-based learning.

Who can attend kindergarten?

Kindergarten is for all children. The educators will help your child get the most out of the programs, and can assist and support your child where necessary. This includes children who have learning difficulties and for disabled children too.

How old does my child need to be?

Children usually attend 4-year-old kindergarten in the year before they start school.

To begin school, your child must turn 5 by April 30th in their first year. And, they must be enroled at school by the time they turn 6 unless an exemption applies. Therefor, if your child’s birthday is on or before April 30th, you have the option to enrol them to start school in the year they turn 5 or the year they turn 6. As children learn differently and at different speeds, each child’s situation should be considered individually, usually in consolation with their 4-year-old-kindergarten teacher. Some children do attend 4-year-old kindergarten twice.

Children usually attend 3-year-old kindergarten in the year before they attend 4-year-old kindergarten. 

Subject to some factors including available places, early learning and child care centre’s allow children who turn 3 by April 30th (and 4 by April 30th) to start with their respective kindergarten friends at the beginning of the year. Sessional kindergartens normally require children to turn 3 before starting 3-year-old kindergarten (and 4 before starting 4-year-old kindergarten) so depending on age they won’t be eligible for the full year.

What is the difference between sessional kindergarten and kindergarten at an early learning or child care centre?

All kindergarten programs are based on the government approved EYLF to ensure the basics are covered for every child. If government funding is available to attend the program, you know they are meeting this minimum standard.

After the basics are met, however, there are big differences is the learning experiences children have access to at each kindergarten.

The most obvious one is the hours you can attend. Sessional kindergarten runs for 15 hours each week, usually over 3 different sessions. Early learning and child care centres typically deliver kindergarten programs everyday for set hours. For example, a child care centre may open at 7am and close at 6pm, delivering the kindergarten program everyday from 8:30am-3pm.

As the kindergarten program delivered by early learning and child care centres is over many more hours they are typically a lot more comprehensive and include more experiences like excursions and community participation. 

Sessional kindergarten programs don’t typically include meals which are standard in almost all early learning and child care centres, so you will be required to provide your own food.

Going further, the number of extra activities and quality of the meals served are different between centres too. Visiting centre’s websites and social pages will help gain an understanding of their offerings, and asking about all these aspects when visiting centre’s is an important follow up step too.

When do I need to enrol?

You should start thinking about kindergarten well in advance of your child’s start date. Many programs, especially popular ones with exceptional reputations, fill up more than 12 months in advance. Obviously, the earlier you start looking, find a program and register, the more chance you have of getting your first choice. Programs operating within early learning centres often only accept kindergarten enrolments from children attending prior to their eligible kindergarten year which means it’s even more important to apply for a place as early as possible.

Is kindergarten free to attend?

The government subsidises kindergarten programs to help with the running of the kindergarten programs and keep the fees as low as possible. Each kindergarten provider charges a fee to attend which covers the shortfall between the government funding and the cost of delivering the program and service.

Each centre’s offering is different and therefor charge different amounts in attendance fees. The child care subsidy is also available to qualified families who attend long day care (early learning and child care) centre’s.

What types of kindergarten programs are available?

There are a few different names when it comes to kindergarten, but they basically mean the same thing. Kindergarten is often called preschool, kindy, kinder and others.

In 2022, the government introduced 3-year-old kindergarten (along with the kinder tick) in addition to the exisiting 4-year-old kindergarten program which helped simplify the differnt names. 

What is the Kinder Tick?

The Kinder Tick is a logo early childhood service providers can display to help families find and choose a kindergarten program that best suits their families needs.

If a kindergarten displays the Kinder Tick you can be sure-

  • The service operates a kindergarten program led by qualified teachers
  • The program delivered is play-based
  • The program is approved and funded by the Victorian Government

How do I choose a kindergarten program?

The best way to find the kindergarten that’s right for your child and your family is to begin with the end in mind.

There are many different kindergarten programs and experiences offered, so after you get a basic understanding (in the initial stage Google is your best friend) you should start to think about your family’s own needs. 

Does your child have specific interests you’d like to encourage? Would you like your child to be at a kindergarten with an outdoor focus? Is a big play ground important? Is it important they begin to learn a second language? For convenience, will your choice be confined to a certain area? Have your friends or neighbours recommend anywhere?

It goes without saying that parents want a safe and hygienic environment for their children, after that, the choice is yours.

You should make a list of the different aspects of kindergartens you like and then go and visit them. Get to know the teachers, ask lots of questions and observe what you see.

Do the teachers make you feel comfortable? Is the centre a place you’d like your child to learn in? 

Normally, parents and careers make their final choice based on safety and comfort. When you visit centres ask yourself, how comfortable will I feel leaving my child here, in the care of these teachers?

What are the benefits and advantages for children who attend kindergarten?

Kindergarten is an important fundamental step in children’s learning journey and strongly recommended for all children.

From general health and wellbeing to developing independence and strong social skills, research shows kindergarten helps developmentally in many areas of life required for a smooth transition to primary school.

Importantly, kindergarten is often the place children discover a lifelong love of learning.

ringwood early learning centre - Choklits

The Choklits Kindergarten program…

In our large, purpose-built rooms at Choklits, we offer two programs for our children. A 3-year-old kindergarten and a funded 4-year-old funded kindergarten class. Our team collaborates together to share the spaces at different parts of the day. Often, the 3-year-old and 4-year-old classes separate during the morning and come together in the afternoon.

We believe the value and benefits of collaborative learning are key in setting children up for their transition to school. The environment is a more holistic and child-responsive curriculum practice that considers the understandings, capabilities and dispositions that children need for the future.

We have found that because of the mixed age group, the younger children benefit from the positive models of older children, often aspiring to their levels of capability. At the same time, the older children rise to the expectations of the younger children and teachers, are more responsible and enjoy having opportunities to lend and use their expertise. 

The advantage of working together with children for more than one year enhances continuity of learning and the forming of positive relationships between educators, children and their families. 

Co-learning is the way of the future which, as we are learning, will include the need for lots of resilience and adaptability. We realise we cannot predict the careers they will have, but what we can predict is the skills and dispositions needed to have lifelong success.

music incursion at Choklits Child Care

The Basics

You’ll notice the Victorian Kinder Tick is displayed at Choklits because we are accredited to deliver a funded program for both 3 and 4-year-olds. We are fortunate to have two Kindergarten Teachers, Jaya Kasavaraj and Elena Ermakova who hold Bachelor’s of Education and are approved with the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

Both the Choklits 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten programs run each day from 8:30am to 4:30pm, 52 weeks a year. The hours before and after each program will be dedicated to additional education and play in line with the Early Learning Centre environment.

Our kindergarten program is developed from the National Early Years Learning Framework and The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework. 

Choklits kindergarten program 2020 young girl with hat

The Choklits Kindergarten Program

  • Promotes children’s development across the Early Years Learning and Development Framework
  • Is planned for and run by qualified kindergarten teachers.
  • Provides families with progress reports about their child and opportunities for formal family/teacher interviews twice a year.
  • Provides a yearly calendar of events including special days and educational visits.
  • Supports a kindergarten to primary school transition program including the preparation of a transition statement for each child in collaboration with the parents. We also facilitate visits to their school of choice during the year.
  • Prepares each child to be a confident learner for the next phase of their life – Primary School.
part of the 2020 kindergarten program - excursion to library

Benefits

Attending kindergarten at Choklits offers many benefits for both children and parents.

  • Children who are already attending the centre stay in familiar surroundings and with friends they have known for some time
  • Children have the benefit of being part of a small group
  • Parents can take advantage of the extra hours that long day care offers, enabling them to work or attend to other responsibilities, confident their child is receiving the kindergarten curriculum and being cared for
  • Running a full program five days a week offers even greater flexibility and support for families
  • Although not a requirement at Choklits, we love and encourage as much family participation as our families need

Please feel free to contact us and talk to the educators in the Kindergarten room at any time. We are happy to talk to you and discuss the program and answer any questions.

Choklits Painting part of the kindergarden program 2020

The Choklits 3-Year-Old Kindergarten Program

  • A focus on group activities including how to be a part of the group, building confidence in communicating in a group, and sharing ideas.
  • Dramatic play which children in this age group are typically passionate about so we provide the children with lots of opportunity to explore, whether it be animals, families or super heroes.
  • Weekly excursions to the library at the Salvation Army for additional literacy education, beginning in term 4
  • Loose part play where the children learn how to use a range of thinking and problem solving skills to use and utilise the materials provided in innovative ways.
  • Structured routine times such as group learning times, meal times, and rest time, plus
  • All the incursions the 4 year old kindergarten program includes, listed below.
The Importance of Reading to children

The Choklits 4-Year-Old Kindergarten Program

  • Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) second language program, we are currently learning Chinese
  • Extension of our music program which runs throughout the term including school holidays
  • The Choklits Activate Sports program, where the sessions are tailored to be age appropriate and run separately from the younger Choklits children
  • Weekly excursions to the library at the Salvation Army for additional literacy education
  • A monthly excursion to Estia Health Aged Care Home
  • A weekly yoga session, plus
  • Many other events and visits throughout the year including drama and wild animal incursions, Road Safety Awareness, Water Safety Education, free dentist and hearing check-up, pet awareness activities, indigenous education incursions and spontaneous excursions.
Sustainability at Choklits Child Care

Meet the Choklits Kindergarten Team

We are very proud of our all our Educators and the fantastic work they do for all our early learners here at Choklits. To meet our entire team click here. Some of our staff even have video messages waiting for you!

Elena Emakova Choklit Child Care
Jay Kasavaraj | Educator | Choklits Pre-Kindergarten Room
Danielle Wasserfall Choklits Child Care
Cassandra Godfrey Choklits Child Care
Sam Choklits Pdf 300x300

The Choklits Kindergarten Program 

We love documenting and reflecting on our kindergarten program, the lessons we learn and the education and experiences we provide. We have produced many videos and written many blogs on our program activity. To review what a day in the life of our kindergarten program may look like for your child, please click here for videos and here for blogs.

Continually evolving 

Our kindergarten program is continually evolving. If you’d like to skip to specific details of a particular year’s program, please visit these pages-

Choklits Kindergarten Program, 2020

Choklits Kindergarten Program, 2021

Choklits Kindergarten Program, 2022

For further information please see the following helpful links

https://www.acecqa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-02/belonging_being_and_becoming_the_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf

https://www.learningpotential.gov.au/articles/is-your-child-ready-for-big-school

https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/school-learning-environments-and-change/future-focused-learning-and-teaching/learning-dispositions

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/childhood/parents/kindergarten/allaboutkinder.pdf

				
					
				
			
Choklits Kindergarten Programs
Choklits Child Care

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