Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions about kindergarten
Kindergarten is an important part of young children’s growth and development and attendance is strongly recommended for all children. Attending kindergarten improves children’s health and wellbeing, supports their development, helps them to develop strong social skills and encourages a love of learning.
Children who go to a kindergarten program are more likely to be independent and confident and to make a smooth transition to primary school.
Kindergarten aims to support children’s learning and development, social skills, emotional skills, language, literacy and numeracy skills, self-awareness and respect for others, ability to make new friends and exposes them to new ideas and concepts.
Our high quality kindergarten programs will offer your child a range of learning experiences and activities that are both stimulating and fun. Your child’s learning and curiosity about their world will be encouraged through different experiences and activities, such as exploring the natural world, being exposed to new ideas and solving problems.
Your child will have the opportunity to:
- develop their social and communication skills by forming relationships and friendships with other children and taking part in group activities and cooperative play
- express their creativity through dance, music and art
- increase their independence and develop an identity that is strong in culture and community
- develop the skills and knowledge that they need for reading, writing and mathematics
- increase their problem-solving skills and their understanding of the world around them.
Kindergarten is for all children and is inclusive of all children. If your child has a disability or needs additional help with their learning and development, the educators will work with you to ensure that the program and learning environment meet the needs of your child.
Some of our centres also include bush and beach kindergarten sessions, so that children learn to care for and learn from the natural world around them.
Children who turn six at any time during the kindergarten year need to be exempt from attending school. Parents/guardians must complete an exemption form and attach any evidence with it. Exemption from school forms can be found by searching going to kindergarten if your child is six years old at www.education.vic.gov.au. You are required to provide a copy of your child’s exemption from school form with your child’s registration.
Children are required to move onto four-year-old kindergarten after a year of three-year-old kindergarten.
If eligible, a child may have a second year of four-year-old kindergarten.
There may be a small number of children for whom a second year of kindergarten is appropriate. Your child may be eligible if:
- your child’s teacher has found they have developmental delays in at least two key areas of learning and development, and
- your child will have better outcomes through a second year of kindergarten than going to school.
If the teacher believes your child has a developmental delay in two or more key areas and would benefit from a second year of kindergarten, they will talk to you about your options and if you agree, they will complete a Declaration of Eligibility for a second year of funded kindergarten. They will send the declaration to us (the Department). You will also get a copy.
If your child turns six in their first or second year of four-year-old kindergarten, you must get an exemption from school.
All Meli kindergartens provide an inclusive program for all children. Parents and carers are encouraged to provide details of any additional needs or medical requirements your child may have, in the relevant section on the Meli Kindergarten Registration Form. Meli can then work to ensure families and children have access to available assistance to ensure a smooth transition into kindergarten programs for every child.
Under the ‘No Jab, No play’ legislation that came into force on 28 February 2018, children are required to be fully vaccinated for their age before they can be enrolled in a kindergarten program.
Conscientious objection is not an exemption.
To have your child’s enrolment confirmed, you need to provide:
• a current immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register, and
• the statement must show your child is up to date with all vaccinations that are due for their age. Or they’re up to date with the vaccinations they’re able to receive.
This is known as “No Jab No Play”.
The immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is the only document accepted for enrolments. Letters from GPs or local councils are not accepted.
You can find out more about No Jab No Play on the Better Health Channel.
Parents and carers can print a copy of their child’s Immunisation History Statement from their myGov account or:
• call the AIR on 1800 653 809
• visit a Medicare or Centrelink office.
Families who do not hold a Medicare card must call the AIR to request an immunisation history statement. A translating and interpreting service is available by calling 131 450, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.45pm
There are no fees for children to attend kindergarten. As of 2023, 3 and 4 year old kindergarten is free.
If a family no longer requires a kindergarten place during the kindergarten year, Meli must be provided with written notification that the position is no longer required.
Feedback and complaints regarding the enrolment processes can be referred in writing to the Team Leader, Kindergarten Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If a complaint cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, it will be referred to the Kindergarten Services Manager, Meli, for consideration and review.
No child shall be disadvantaged when parents/guardians make a complaint. All feedback will be accepted and responded to in a cooperative and reasonable manner that seeks a satisfactory resolution for all parties.
For a copy of the Meli Complaints and Grievances Policy please click here.
Meli collects personal information to comply with the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 and Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010, and also for purposes of registering your child in the Meli Kindergarten Central Enrolment System.
Meli considers it is necessary and important to collect this information to ensure that appropriate information is registered for your child.
This information will be used for Meli administrative purposes and will be provided to relevant Meli educators for the enrolment of your child at the kindergartens listed in this handbook. This information will not be disclosed to any other party except as required by law.