Why is kindergarten important?

Kindergarten is an important part of your child’s educational development and prepares them for school. It’s not just about reading, writing and maths skills. It's also about learning valuable social and emotional skills. Kinder can even build your child's awareness, confidence and self-esteem. This early education provides a vital foundation for your child’s future success in life.

The Victorian Government recognises the importance of kindergarten and has introduced the Free Kinder program to help give every child a great start in life. Free Kinder provides funding for up to 15 hours of kindergarten per week for three and four-year-olds.

3 and 4-year-old kinder

The Y Victoria offers high quality, play-based kindergarten programs to enable young minds to flourish. We teach fundamental language, literacy, and numeracy skills along with social and emotional learning which helps prepare children for school and future success in life. Our caring and qualified educators tailor programs to your child’s individual needs and interests to ensure they thrive and meet key developmental milestones.

Types of kindergarten programs

Kindergarten is a one to two-year preschool program for young children before they start school. Kinder is a child’s first formal education and is a program delivered by qualified early childhood teachers.

We offer 3-year-old and 4-year-old kindergarten programs at all our locations.

There are two main types of kindergarten: integrated kindergarten and sessional kindergarten.  

Integrated kindergarten Vs. sessional kindergarten

Integrated kindergarten takes place within long day care services, and is sometimes called 'long day care kindergarten'.


This is distinct to sessional kindergarten programs which operate specific days with session start and finish times.

Sessional kindergarten

Sessional kindergarten is offered on set days and times and is based on local community needs and in partnership with local government. The Y offers sessional kindergarten in two locations: Derrimut and Mernda. Our sessional kindergarten hours operate between 9:00am and 2:00pm on specific days. View the location page for specific times.

Integrated kindergarten (Long day care kindergarten)

Integrated kinder provides families with additional hours of care in the morning and afternoon outside of the kinder program. This makes integrated kinder a popular choice for active and working families.

The Y provides integrated 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten programs at all our 17 early learning centre locations across Melbourne and Victoria and one location in NSW.

Our Victorian kinder programs run for 40 weeks during the school term, from 9:00am – 2:00pm each day.

Kindergarten benefits

Benefits of integrated kindergarten at the Y

  • Our centre services are open between 6:30am and 6:30pm
  • The Y provides kindergarten programs each day, Monday - Friday between 9:00am and 2:00pm. You can choose which kinder day suits you and your child best.
  • Drop off and pick up your child any time during the opening times.
  • One easy drop off and pick up – siblings are able to attend the same centre for child care or another kinder program.
  • Everything your child needs for the day is included in the daily fee - the kinder program, plus all nutritious meals and snacks 
Boy outside holding magnifying glass up to his eyes with girl next to him

Get school ready with the Y

Our kindergarten program follows the national Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) developmental concepts of ‘belonging’, ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ and we adapt these to the learning and developmental needs of your child.

At the Y we tailor our monthly kindergarten activities plan to suit your child’s interests and learning styles, set learning goals with parents, and provide regular feedback to parents on these areas.

Our kinder curriculum focuses include: 

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Maths
  • Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Effective communication skills
  • Togetherness and teamwork
  • Self-confidence and autonomy
  • Active learning skills
  • Project work

Our passionate educators inspire and help instil positive and healthy attitudes to learning.

  • Is my child eligible for kindergarten?

    Your child needs to turn 3 or 4 before April 30 to enrol on 3 or 4-year-old kinder for that year.

  • Kindergarten fees and the kindergarten fee subsidy

    We're participating in Free Kinder, which means that there are no kindergarten fees for sessional kinder at our Derrimut and Mernda centres. The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) does not apply to sessional kindergarten fees.

    The fees for integrated kindergarten are charged on a daily rate and paid fortnightly at the Y. The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is available to be applied to these integrated three and four-year-old kindergarten daily fees. You can also receive Free Kinder funding for integrated kindergarten.

    View the location page for kinder fee information for your preferred centre, or learn more about Free Kinder.

  • Is kindergarten free?

    Yes, we’re participating in the Victorian Government’s Free Kinder program.

    This means you can currently get up to 15 free hours of three and four-year-old kindergarten each week – saving you up to $2500 over the calendar year.

    Find out more about Free Kinder.

    From 2025, Four-Year-Old Kindergarten will gradually transition to Pre-Prep, with programs across Victoria increasing from 15 to 30 hours each week by 2032.

    Check out the government Pre-prep website for more details.

The Y Victoria is dedicated to providing high quality early learning kinder program for Victorian families. We have kindergarten programs at 17 early learning centres across Victoria. Use the button below to find a kindergarten in your area. 

Find a kindergarten program