Kindergarten services offer an early childhood education program to help prepare your child for the transition to school. There are currently seven (7) sessional funded kindergartens offering FREE Kindergarten from 2023.


What is Kindergarten?

Kindergarten is an important step for young children and it is highly recommended that all children attend a kindergarten program.  Most children attend a Funded kindergarten program in the year before school, usually when they are four years old, however research has shown that two years are better than one when it comes to early learning and as such it is recommended for children to attend a 3 year old program as well as the 4 year old program. 

Kindergarten is a play based educational experience led by a qualified teacher.  It is beneficial in building confidence, enhancing social skills and expanding physical abilities.  Children learn to share, be self-aware, understand feelings as well as learning about literacy and numeracy, in the form of reading stories and counting objects.

Kindergarten also has benefits for families ~  It provides an opportunity for families to meet and make community connections.  Provides access to support for children with special needs and access to other community services and early intervention programs.

To find out more about how Kindergarten can assist your child, please visit: Education & Training

Free Kindergarten from 2023 

From 2023, the Victorian Government is making kindergarten programs free for three and four-year-old children saving you and your family up to $2,500 per year for their program. Free Kinder is a critical component of the Victorian Government’s Best Start, Best Life reform.

Participation in the free kinder initiative is an opt-in decision made by individual services, it is important to check with your preferred kindergarten provider to ascertain whether they are participating in this initiative.

All GPSC operated kindergarten services are participating so you will not be required to make any fee payments for three and four-year-old kinder programs from 2023.

Best Start Best Life Banner


One funded kindergarten program at one service at any one time!

Children can only be funded for a kindergarten program at one service at any one time and only for one year in the Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program and one year in a Four-Year-Old Kindergarten program (unless your child is assessed as being eligible for a second year of Four-Year-Old Kindergarten by your child's kindergarten teacher)

Kindergarten Services in Golden Plains Shire
GPSC operated Kindergartens (Bannockburn, Inverleigh, Meredith, Rokewood & Teesdale)

Bannockburn Kindergarten

Waitlist now for Bannockburn Kindergarten

Inverleigh Kindergarten

Waitlist now for Inverleigh Kindergarten

Meredith Kindergarten

Waitlist now for Meredith Kindergarten

Rokewood Kindergarten

Waitlist now for Rokewood Kindergarten

Teesdale Kindergarten

Waitlist now for Teesdale Kindergarten

Enquires and assistance with bookings for council operated Kindergartens can be made by calling Bannockburn Family Services Centre (03) 5220 7230 or email: [email protected]

GPSC Kindergarten Sessions 2024

Community Kindergartens operated by ECKA (Haddon & Woady Yaloak)





Privately operated Childcare (Bannockburn only)


Not for Profit service

Nurture Learn & Play




Needing a service outside of the Golden Plains Shire
Important Information
How do you know if your child is ready for kindergarten?

Children develop and learn in different ways. Talk to your Maternal and Child Health nurse or qualified early years teacher to help you decide. 

The Victorian Government website-external site has resources to help you decide when to start kindergarten.

When should I enrol my child?

You should think about enrolling your child in a three-year-old kindergarten program when they turn two-years-old. Most services have an enrolment process that opens the year before your child starts a kindergarten program. This usually runs between February and April (this may be later in initial roll-out areas).

Some families may want to think about kindergarten even earlier, when they are considering where to send their child to long day care.

You might want to ask if your preferred long day care centre provides a four-year-old kindergarten program, and if it is planning to provide a three-year-old kindergarten program.

What is the difference between a sessional and long day care kinder?

Children can attend a Kindergarten program at either a long day care (childcare) centre or at a standalone (sessional) kindergarten.

A long day care centre can offer a full day of education and care, including a kindergarten program. The teacher-led kindergarten program is integrated with additional hours of education and care.

At a standalone (sessional) service, a kindergarten program will only operate on certain days and at specific times. These days and hours are set by the kindergarten service and are delivered during the four (4) Victorian school terms.  This usually equates to 40 weeks of the year.  To view the school term dates please visit the school term dates and holidays in Victoria webpage.

No matter where your child goes to kindergarten, teachers and trained educators will lead the program.

Deciding where to send your child will be based on a variety of factors, including services available in your community, and what works best for your family and your child.

Different settings

Three (3) year old Funded Sessional Kindergarten
  • Children must have turned three (3) by 30th April in the year of enrolment to be eligible to attend a three-year-old funded kindergarten program.
  • Children are not permitted to commence at the kindergarten until they are three (3) years of age.  
  • Children will only be able to access one year of government funded three-year-old kindergarten.
  • Children accessing three-year-old kindergarten will transition to four-year-old kindergarten the following year.
  • Children must be enrolled in only one (1) funded kindergarten program

Still unsure when to send your child to three-year-old kindergarten?  Why not try this handy calculator.

Four (4) year old Funded Sessional Kindergarten
  • Children must have turned four (4) by 30th April in the year of enrolment to be eligible to attend a four-year-old funded kindergarten program.
  • Children meeting the criteria for a second year of four-year-old kindergarten will be eligible to access one additional year of kindergarten prior to starting school.

Still unsure when to send your child to four-year-old kindergarten?  Why not try this handy calculator.

Priority of Access

The Department of Education and Training (DET) Priority of Access (POA) Criteria will be applied when assessing all enrolments.  

Children with additional needs, children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, Asylum Seeker and Refugee families with an appropriate visa, children known to Child Protection and/or children applying for a 2nd year of kindergarten are considered a high priority for inclusion in a funded kindergarten program.  

The following community context will be applied to enrolments at Golden Plains Shire operated Kindergartens

  • Child has attended a three-year-old program on the same site as their first preference for four-year-old Kindergarten.
  • Home address falls within the same suburb (see post codes attached) as the first preference Kindergarten or is the closest funded Kindergarten to parent/guardian residence at the time of application.
  • The parent/guardian works, studies, or has children attending formal or informal childcare for two or more days or the child has a sibling attending the local Primary School.
Immunisation History Statements

An Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register is the only documentation accepted by early childhood education and care services for the purposes of confirming a child’s enrolment in their service.


Contact us

If you have any questions regarding the waitlist process please contact us via email [email protected]

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