Questions & Answers

Is Kindergarten compulsory in Victoria

The Victorian kindergarten program is a one to two-year preschool program for children before they start primary school. Kindergarten is not compulsory in Victoria but most children attend at least the second year (four-year-old kindergarten). Kindergarten helps to develop a range of skills that will benefit all children as they commence their learning journey.

What is Sessional Kindergarten

Three and Four-year-old session kindergarten is an educational, play based learning program delivered by a degree qualified kindergarten teacher. The Victorian State Government through the Department of Education (DE) partially funds both programs with the outstanding amount made up of term fees paid by the family. The funding goes directly to the kindergarten/MEYM to assist with the costs of running the programs. The funding does not go to the child or the parent. In 2023 the government has announced there are no fees.
Sessional kindergarten runs with the school terms so we are closed during the Victorian School Term Breaks.

What will my child experience in a kinder program

Young children learn about the world through play. It gives children the opportunity to use their imagination and practise important skills. It helps their social and emotional development and wellbeing. Children will use play to build upon their language skills and learn about numbers and patterns and they also learn about how to get along with others, share, listen and magage their emotions. Teachers and educators help children become curious, creative and confident about learning. Research shows that play-based learning is a powerful way to support children’s development. All kindergarten programs work with the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework which makes sure that the programs are appropriate for children’s ages, needs and interests. A child who has attended two years of a kindergarten prgram will, on average, have better cognitive and social skills when they start school including better development in language, pre-reading, early number concepts, non-verbal reasoning, independence, concentration and social skills.

When should my child commence Kindergarten

To be eligible to attend three-year-old kindergarten your child must turn three by 30 April in the year they attend kindergarten. Note that children cannot commence in the program until on/after their 3rd birthday. Families with children born between 1 January and 30 April need to make an informed decision about which year they would like their child to in a 3yo kinder program as children will only receive ONE year of 3yo and ONE year of 4yo funded kinder before commencing at Primary School. No children are eligible for a second year of funded 3yo kindergarten.

To be eligible to attend four-year-old kindergarten your child must turn four by 30 April in the year they are to attend in the 4yo program. Children are eligible for ONE year of funded 4yo kindergarten only (unless in exceptional circumstances where a child is observed to display delays in key outcome areas of learning and development, a second year of funded Four-year-old Kindergarten may be considered in the best interest of the child). This will be assessed by a Teacher and likely a Pre-School Field Officer/Early Childhood Intervention professional.

How do I register my child for kindergarten

Merri-bek Council take our initial registrations on our behalf. You will need to contact Merri-bek Council Central Enrolments or visit their website for details on how to register your child. 2024 Registrations open from 3 April 2023 in the year before your child will commence in the program. They charge a $26 fee to register.
Children currently enrolled in one of our 3yo programs for 2023 do not have to register for a 4yo place for 2024 as the position will automatically roll over into a 4yo position (unless you wish your child to attend an alternative kinder).

What is the difference between MEYM and Merri-bek City Council

We (MEYM) are a not-for-profit Early Years Management organisation that is responsible for the operational management of six kindergartens in the City of Merri-bek. The kindergartens we manage are Gowanbrae Children’s Centre, Lake Park Kindergarten, Moomba Park Kindergarten, Newlands Preschool, Oak Park Kindergarten and Turner Street Kindergarten. We (MEYM) will manage the following enrolment process, sending you enrolment and orientation documentation and communications throughout your enrolment.
Merri-bek Council take only our initial registrations and advise if a position is available at one of our services.

I have registered my child with Council – what happens next

Merri-bek Council will advise if there is a place for your child at your requested MEYM kindergarten. If your enrolment is for the following year, you will receive an email offer from The Enrolment Officer at Merri-bek Early Years Management where you may indicate which kindergarten program you prefer. Following, the Enrolment Officer at MEYM will email your allocated program along with an enrolment form for your completion. For more details contact

Does my child need to be immunised

Yes, you will need to provide an up to date Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) upon enrolment. This is the ONLY form of documentation acceptable. For further information please click here
If you dont immunise, in addition to the possibility of your child falling sick at kinder, you may be putting children and staff at risk of getting sick. To enrol in kindergarten your child needs to be up to date with immunisations; or be on a suitable catch-up schedule; or have an approved medical exemption. Conscientious objection to vaccination is not a valid reason for exemption. For more information on vaccinations please visit No Jab No Play legislation and Immunisation Requirements.
If you have a Medicare card you can access your child’s Immunisation History Statement through your Medicare online account through mygov. If you dont have a Medicare card please all the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 or visit a Medicare Service Centre.

Medical Action Plans

If your child has been diagnosed with Asthma or Anaphylaxis or has allergies you will be required to provide an approved individual medical action plan for your child signed by the medical practitioner who is treating your child. The medical action plan will be on display at the service so that all staff are aware and a copy will be stored on your child’s enrolment record.

Medical Action Plans must:
Be completed by your doctor, stamped and signed with a review date that is 12 months after the date the plan was developed.
Must be in colour and include a recent colour photo of your child
Must have family emergency contact details fully completed including name and phone number
Must specify the name of medication and dosage required and medication must be in date

A risk minimisation plan will be completed in consultation with your Teacher.
Children cannot attend the service without the completed action plan and medication detailed on the plan. It is your responsibility to ensure the medication supplied is in date. Action plans that do not meet the requirements will need to be re-completed by your doctor. Kindergarten staff are unable to amend action plans.
Click here to download the appropriate Medical Action Plan:
To download the new Asthma Action plan, and read more information see:
To download the Anaphylaxis Action pan, and read more information see:

 More information is available at

Do I need to register my currently enrolled 3yo child into the 4yo program

If your child is currently enrolled in a 3yo MEYM Kindergarten program your place will automatically roll over into the 4yo program at the same kindergarten and you will not have to re-register with Merri-bek Council UNLESS you wish to attend a different kindergarten for 4yo. Note that, if your child is currently enrolled in an MEYM 3yo kindergarten program and you cancel your current enrolment you will have to re-apply to Council for the 4yo kindergarten program.

My child is enrolled – how do I change or cancel my kindergarten program

To change your kindergarten program once enrolled please contact the Enrolment Officer at MEYM at

To cancel your kindergarten program you must put this in writing giving 14 days notice to noting that if you are currently enrolled in a 3yo kindergarten program and cancelling, you will need to re-apply with Merri-bek Council for a 4yo kindergarten position.

Can my child have a second year of 3 or 4yo kindergarten

It is important to consider when your child will commence kindergarten. Victorian State Government Policy states that children are only eligible for ONE year of 3yo kindergarten and ONE year of 4yo kindergarten. If your child is born between January and April you may choose for your child to attend in the following year. Children cannot commence in the kindergarten program until they have turned 3 years old.
A second year of funded 4yo kindergarten MAY be considered and children will only be eligible to receive a second year if they are assessed by a qualified Teacher/Preschool Field Officer as having at least two areas of significant developmental delay that are not age related. If the child is exhibiting behaviour/s that is/are deemed consistent for their ‘young’ age they will not fit the funding criteria. If your child is eligible please contact the MEYM Enrolment Officer at for a Second Year Registration Form which will need to be completed and returned to the Enrolment Officer at MEYM.

Our Teachers and our Programs

MEYM kindergarten programs are led by fully qualified, professional and experienced kindergarten teachers who hold a bachelor degree. They are supported by fully qualified, professional and experienced educators who hold a Diploma or Certificate III qualification. Our educational staff have enjoyed working in our community for many years and have built a strong community network. They work together with families and have access to resources and services and specialist staff in order to support children in fostering successful learning and development creating a smooth transition into school. Teachers incorporate cultural relevance into their programs and many of our centres have a Nature Play/Bush Kindergarten program.
Our kindergarten programs are play-based programs allowing your child to explore, experiment, discover and solve problems in imaginative and playful ways. The teacher encourages children’s learning and inquiry through interactions that aim to stretch their thinking to higher levels.

What are the benefits of mixed age programs

MEYM provides multi-age groups at some of our services, which bring together children aged three to five years old offering a unique opportunity for learning and development. Educators adapt the curriculum and their teaching strategies to support individual children’s development and maximise the educational benefits for the group.

Mixed-age programs can support younger children build their confidence as they engage and interact with children of the same age and older peers. Play across mixed age groups is often more complex as older children extend younger children’s ideas or younger children follow the ideas suggested and contribute to the play supporting language development and the opportunity to develop more sophisticated social skills.

Who do I contact at MEYM

For all Enrolment/program/orientation/cancellation/kinder tour enquiries contact the MEYM Enrolment Officer at
For all queries on Fees contact the MEYM Finance Officer at

Can I book a Tour of the Kindergarten

Please visit our Book a Tour via our website and nominate a date you wish to attend and a teacher will be in touch with you to confirm your booking or arrange an alternative time.
Upon attending a tour you are agreeing that you will only attend if you are in good health and upon arrival, sign in and out of the services Visitors Book. Please remember to stay with the tour host at all times. Only families who have registered for a tour through MEYM website may attend the tour on your given date. Please respect that teachers and children are busy at work and play and as such the length of tour time will be kept to a brief minimum so please plan to be on time. It may help to have a list of questions ready to ask the teacher.
Upon booking a tour we may use the information you provide, including your name, phone number and email address to contact you with booking information or in the event of cancellation. Tour bookings can be cancelled by emailing

What will it cost

In 2023, free kindergarten programs will be available for 3 & 4yo children at a Merri-bek Early Years Management service and therefore program fees will not be charged to families.

The Victorian State Government through the Department of Education (DE) funding goes directly to the kindergarten/MEYM to assist with the costs of running the programs. The funding does not go to the child or the parent.

Children attending an MEYM kindergarten are not eligible for the Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate.

Please visit our Fees Information for details on charges/concessions and view our Fees Policy

Information for Concession Card holders

MEYM is required to collect a copy of your concession. Please note that although we will email you a reminder when your concession card is due to expire, it is your responsibility to ensure that you provide us with an updated concession card.