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3yo Kindy - Explain how it works

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#1 Demera

Posted 12 March 2020 - 11:31 AM


Could I ask for an explanation of how 3yo kindy works?  

My daughter turns three in a couple of weeks (March 2020).  Our council area does not yet have subsidised 3yo kindy so that program does not apply to her.

She attends daycare, and one of her friends has turned three and gone into the kindy program.  I asked an educator about it and was told only selected children have been offered the program.   When my daughter turns three, she will progress from the Juniors room to the Pre-Kinder room at daycare, but as I understand, not into any kinder program.

I've tried to look up eligibility for three year old kinder, but there's only information about a funded program for eligible children (must be Aboriginal/TSL or contact with Child Protection). I guess the friend may be in the program due to this reason?

Is it possible for my daughter to do kinder that we pay for?  Maybe there's no way to do it in our council area?  

Or, is it just my child care and should I try to enroll her for 3yo kinder externally at a standalone kindergarten?

I'm trying to avoid a bit of awkwardness by asking the Child care because my daughter is very upset about not being with her best friend any more. I realise I may need to ask them, but EB may be able to arm me with a bit more knowledge before I do.

#2 ~Kay~

Posted 12 March 2020 - 11:37 AM

Which state are you in?

#3 Demera

Posted 12 March 2020 - 11:44 AM

Sorry, Victoria.

#4 smilinggirl

Posted 12 March 2020 - 11:58 AM

3 yo kinder is not funded, so therefore parents pay full fees unless they are subsidised for the reasons you listed above. I am not sure how it works in childcare but in my experience some children combine going to childcare and then also going to a different community or council run kinder in the same week.

This works if you or someone in your family has the flexibility to pickup/drop off for the sessional kinder which doesn't have any flexibility around hours ie. it will be 5 hours per week usually across two days.

#5 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 12 March 2020 - 12:07 PM

The only issues with standalone 3 year old kinder are-
It's only for a limited time each week, so two 2.5 to 3 hour sessions per week, often during daytime school hours. Also like school, they do terms, so there's school holidays.
So if you are relying on daycare hours for work it makes it difficult. Standalone preschools were mostly used by people who hsd a stay at home parent, grandparent carers or one little boy at mine was doing family daycare and the carer came with 3 other kids to drop and pick up on those days.
I also had my child in daycare and that daycare only offered 4 year old kinder with a qualified kinder teacher between 9am and 4.30pm daily. That was subsidised. The number of kids was limited by the ratios and only having 1 teacher qualified, once they got full, those kids who didn't attend 4- 5 days per week were put in a non- kinder class.
There was no 3 year old kinder offered.

My council area required us to " book in" after our child turned 2 and nomiate 2 kinders we wanted at a centralised admin. We then were offered a place according to the cut off birthday date.  Any vacancies are filled from a waiting list.

#6 AllyK81

Posted 12 March 2020 - 12:07 PM

We are in Vic.

Our daycare centre had the 3 and 4 year old kinder built into long day care.

Our Council did offer both 3 and 4 year old kinder programs so check your Council website. Enrolments were done in June for the following year.

We never used any external kinder for DS. DD 'skipped' 3 year old kinder and went into the 4 year old kinder room (perhaps what your DDs friend has done?). This was because she was bright and wanted the extra stimulation.

This year she is at an ELC in a K - 12 school 5 days a week doing another year of 4 year old kinder. It is a more structured program.

3 year old kinder isn't essential - I saw it as more for children were not in long day care as an opportunity to socialize and play. I think you probably just need to ask the centre.

#7 PuddingPlease

Posted 12 March 2020 - 12:23 PM

My sense is that if your child attends daycare sessions then they do not need to attend a specific three year old kinder program. Child care centres are already required to provide a play based curriculum (I believe) and that is basically all a kid would be doing in a 2-3 hour weekly 3YO kinder session. Happy to be corrected but I think 3YO kinder is probably more essential for kids who do not attend daycare to prepare them for the group environment prior to starting 4YO kinder the following year.

#8 *redshoes

Posted 12 March 2020 - 12:32 PM

Here is the latest information on funded 3yo kinder rollout in Vic.


#9 Demera

Posted 12 March 2020 - 01:10 PM

Thanks.  I'm unsure what 3yo kinder entails, so if she's doing 2 days a week of daycare she's probably getting enough from that anyway. It's just that if it were possible for her to do it I'd like her to, especially as she'll be in the bracket of going to school when she's 4, turning 5, so I'd like to prepare her as much as possible before school.

The daycare only has one Kinder room, and one Pre-kinder room (for three year olds).  

The friend has just turned three and appears to be in the Kinder room all day. I don't know if it's a 4yo program and she's been put in there specially, of if they actually offer a 3yo program.

Going to a standalone kindy possible but not ideal and I wouldn't go to that trouble if there's no huge advantage over attending normal daycare.

It's the same set up here, that you register for Kindy with the council when they are only about 1yo to get a spot at a council kindergarten.  I planned to use the daycare kindergarten, and they told me I didn't need to do anything as she would go into it automatically, so I hadn't made any further enquiries until the friend left the room and I started to wonder what was going on. Previously they'd made efforts to keep the three girls who are close friends together, so I was confused when they didn't do it again this time.  I got the impression the educator was being discreet when she told me that 'only selected children' were offered the program so I haven't been comfortable asking lots of questions.

#10 alias grace

Posted 12 March 2020 - 01:11 PM

My 3yo (Nov b'day) DD is in a 3yo kinder program at a LDC.  The kinder program runs from 8.30am to 4.30pm each day whilst the Centre hours are 6.30am - 6.30pm.  DD's class has a number of children who turn 3 between Jan and Apr '20.  Her 3yo kinder program is government funded but the funding does not reduce our fees - i.e. we are paying the same daily fees as when she was in the toddler room.  Rather, the government funding goes toward additional resources and extra services.

I am not sure how the system works but it may be that LDCs are only funded for a set # of places and so they need to allocate those places somehow.  If your DD is at the younger end of the cut-off date, it might be that they are allocating on a first in, first served basis to the older children?  

I would suggest speaking with your Centre Director to understand their overall plan for your DD for both 2020 and 2021 - i.e. how they expect she will progress from where she is today to FYOS in 2022, especially given that her birthday is at the cusp-y end of the school year.  Just keep it as an open conversation to find out more.  In my view, the more important aspect would be ensuring that she's in a 4yo kinder program for next year and it would be good to ensure that the Centre is on the same page as you.  

IME so far, the 3yo kinder program is a step up from DD's toddler room last year, both in terms of structure and expectations (e.g. re: independence with daily routines, etc.).  But I am confident that she'd still learn a lot (socially, cognitively, behaviorally) in a pre-kinder room if the 3yo kinder program were not available.  A stand-alone council-run 3yo kinder program does not work for us as both my DH and I work full time.

#11 Demera

Posted 12 March 2020 - 02:36 PM

Thanks Alias Grace.

#12 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 12 March 2020 - 02:59 PM

The Victorian government is moving to fund 15 hours of kindergarten per week for all 3 year olds by 2029.
It is being rolled out gradually initially in lower SES areas I think  East Gippsland is the main area this year.
To qualify for the funding a centre will have to employ a Bachelor of education teacher for the program.

In terms of whether you value it or can use it, it will depend on your family lifestyle and beliefs.
The idea that only older preschoolers benefit from qualified B.Ed's is wrong.
WE know that most brain development occurs in the younger child so it makes sense that this is where the qualified staff should be.
If you can't access sessional kindergarten then possibly your LDC will change its grouping to allow it.

We have 2 three year old groups 8 hours per week at my kindergarten, we don't have funding yet as we aren't in one of the initial areas. It works brilliantly, children are engaged in their special group and progress easily into the next year. If the child is experiencing difficulties staff are able to detect them and assist parents to address early. Parents have 2 years to connect to the centre.

Unless your LDC offers 3yo kinder then the reason the friend has moved is because of special circumstances. You were given correct information, it is targeted at vulnerable children and is there fore sensitive so you shouldn't ask about it. If your local area has 3yo groups in sessional kinder at hours you can attend you could investigate it. We had a lot of people call us last year when a local LDC changed hands and lots of staff moved on- this year we are completely full so couldn't take on anyone more

#13 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 13 March 2020 - 08:12 PM

I have a March baby and an April baby. The local kinder were not at all keen to take any kids who turned 3 after Dec 31, even though the cut off is April 30th. So you may find the local kinder reluctant.

The hours at 3yo kinder were really difficult and only work if you have a parent at home or a lot of family support. I found child care much easier to manage and having done both with different kids I wouldn't personally do 3yo kinder as well as CC.

I would just approach child care just and ask when she will move into the kinder program.

Edited by FuzzyChocolateToes, 13 March 2020 - 08:13 PM.

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