Our long day care centre can offers a full day of education and care, including a kindergarten program. For 2023 the Government has announced a $2,000 Free Kinder subsidy if your child attends a Kindergarten within a long day care program (which is how we work). Over the past decade, the Victorian Government is investing $5 billion to introduce funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Funded Three-Year-old Kindergarten is now available across Victoria, which means an extra year of playing, learning and making friends for Victorian children.
So in 2023, if you enroll in Wombats for a funded kindergarten place, you will receive $50 per week during school terms (approx 40 weeks) to offset your daily funded kinder fee. Further information can be found at https://www.vic.gov.au/give-your-child-the-best-start-in-life.
Our teacher-led kindergarten program is integrated with additional hours of education and care. This means the Kinder program is part of the overall childcare program and runs within the Centre hours of 8am. to 6pm. Our funded 3 year old program runs Mon to Thurs and we recommend that children have at least 2-3 days bookings if they are doing funded kinder.
A quality kindergarten program will have more of an impact for children who start at age three rather than four. The benefits are even greater for children who are in vulnerable circumstances. The evidence also shows that two years are better than one when it comes to early learning. Research shows that play-based learning is a powerful way to support children’s development. These benefits last into the school years and beyond.
Individual choice plays a very important role in our program, especially in terms of the development of each child’s self-confidence. We encourage the children to try as much, or as little, as they choose, and we respect their need for flexibility, often changing, or adding to the program, as the children require. We take a socio-cultural approach to children’s learning. This acknowledges that:
· The whole child-including their development is shaped by the peers and adults, interactions, and environments around them.
· Children are active creators of knowledge-they construct and modify their understanding
through their experiences and social interactions.
· This approach ensures that the three-year-old child engages in a play based learning
curriculum, but also acknowledges the teachers and educators as expert learners, initiating, collaborating, and responding to what’s occurring in each child’s learning.