Department for Education is responsible for
providing preschool education programs in a range of government funded
centres including kindergartens, school-based preschools, integrated
centres and children's centres. These sites provide an education program for children in the year before full time school as well as to other children who are 'deemed' eligible preschool enrolments.
The Preschool enrolment Policy identifies groups of children who may wish to enrol on preschools and clarifies their eligibility for resource entitlements.
Children are entitled to access four terms of preschool in the year before they start school. There is one intake at the beginning of each year for children who turn four years of age before 1 May. Children are entitled to attend 15 hours per week (30 hours per fortnight).
In addition the following group of children are also eligible preschool enrolments and may commence throughout the year:
- Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Children and Children under Guardianship of the Minister (may start after their 3rd birthday)
- Gifted and Talented
- Interstate and Overseas Transfers
Early entry may be considered for chiildren, who are considered to be in one or more of the following groups two terms prior to commencing full-time preschool:
- Children with additional needs and/or disability
- Children with emerging English as an additional language or dialect\
- Children who are at significant risk due to family circumstances
Directors/principals may negotiate early entry when:
- Additional time at preschool is likely to significantly improve a child's learning and developmental outcomes, AND
- The preschool has the capacity within its current resources, AND
- Consultation has occurred between the director/principal, centre
staff, parents and where applicable, personnel from the district, such
as preschool support program, bilingual support program, and/or
specialist agencies (such as Department of Families and Communities or Children, Youth and Women's Health).
For more information refer to the DECD website, Starting Preschool and the Preschool Enrolment Policy.