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Free Three-Year-Old Kinder

All three and four-year-old children across Victoria can now access Free Kinder at participating services. Free Kinder is funded by the Victorian Government. In 2023, families can access Three-Year-Old Kindergarten programs for between 5 and 15 hours per week.

Who is eligible?

All Victorian children are eligible for Free Kinder programs.

Families do not need a Health Care Card or Australian Citizenship to access Free Kinder.

What's available?

Free Kinder Program in a sessional kindergarten

For families with children attending Three-Year-Old Kindergarten programs at sessional kindergartens, Free Kinder means there will be no charge for programs (5-15 hours per week) at participating services. 

Free Kinder Program in a Long Day Care Setting

Families with children enrolled in Three-Year-Old Kindergarten programs at participating long day care services receive a fee offset of up to $2,000 per child for a 15-hour program. 

Families with children enrolled in a Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program of less than 15 hours will receive a pro-rata amount.

 Most families will still pay some fees for their child’s attendance across the week, depending on the number of days attended. The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) should also be considered to reduce the financial cost for the family.


At age two start a conversation so the family can be supported to plan for their child's transition into kinder. 

At age three (if the child turns 3 between 1 January and 30 April):

Children can commence Three-Year-Old Kindergarten this year, or the following year. Due to staff requirements, some services may ask that children start attending kindergarten only after they turn three years old.

At age three (if the child turns 3 after the 30 April)

Children can commence Three-Year-Old Kindergarten the following year. Use this starting age calculator to assist families find out what year/s their child is eligible for kindergarten. Note that when children start kindergarten directly relates to the age they will start at primary school.

How to access?

Contact the local council and ask the early years team about Three-Year-Old Kindergarten in a child’s area.  


Find a Kinder is an online map that can be used to search for Victorian government funded kindergarten programs nearest to a family. Services can be contacted directly via details on the map to ask about their programs, individual enrolment process and to check if they are delivering Free Kinder. If additional support is required to connect a child experiencing vulnerability with kindergarten, contact the local council or Early Childhood Improvement Branch for assistance.


It's important to continue to enrol eligible three-year-old children in Early Start Kindergarten (ESK), even if Free Kindergarten is available at the service. This guarantees that ESK eligible children can continue to access a 15-hourkindergarten program, informs the provision of additional supports, such as School Readiness Funding (SRF), and provides the maximum available funding to help families attend.


The Department of Education has multiple resources available to support families to access Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. These resources are available in plain English and have also been translated into multiple languages.