FAQ

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Still deciding?

Does my child have to attend kindergarten?


The Victorian kindergarten program is a one to two-year pre-school program for children before they enter primary school. Kindergarten is not compulsory in Victoria, but it does help children to develop social, mental, and physical skills in preparation for school. In 2010, 95% of eligible Victorian children attended kindergarten. Victoria offers a range of kindergarten options. Hughesdale Kindergarten is committed to providing a stimulating learning program for three to five-year-olds, in a diverse environment which reflects the individual interests, voice, and uniqueness of each child.




When should I register/wait-list my child for kindergarten?


You can register your child’s enrolment from 18 months of age. To register your child in kindergarten, go to the Monash Parent Portal. You will need to create an account if you haven’t already done so, and follow the prompts to submit your application.

Families can enrol, pay the administration fee and view their application details from home at any time. You can login to update your details and change your kindergarten preference at any time up until the application close date.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your details are correct and up-to-date at all times to allow Monash City Council to process your child’s kindergarten application in the relevant allocation rounds.

If you are unsure whether you have an account or not, please contact the Monash Council Kindergarten Support team on 9518 3555 or e-mail kinderenrolments@monash.vic.gov.au.




At what age can my child attend kindergarten?


To attend 3-year-old kindergarten, your child must have turned three (3) before 30th April in the year they attend. If your child turns 3 AFTER the start of Term 1 (but before 30th of April), they will not be able to attend kinder until they have turned 3.
To attend 4-year-old kindergarten, your child must have turned four (4) before 30th April in the year they attend.

This usually means that if your child’s birthday falls before 30 April in the calendar year, it will have flow-on effects of having some choice about your child starting school in the year they turn five, or the next year when they turn six (depending on when they started kindergarten). Children learn at different rates, in different ways, and at different times. If your child falls under this category, they may benefit from starting a kindergarten program later.

Please note that your child must also be enrolled in primary school by the age of six unless you have applied for an exemption.




My child is old enough to attend, but are they actually ready?


If you are unsure about the best time for your child to start a kindergarten program, please ask one of our teachers for advice by calling us on 9569 5019. Some details about expectations for your child can be found in "Is Your Child Ready for 3-Year-Old Kinder?" section on the Enrolments page as well as in Our Programs. You can also see the kindergarten environment through our Virtual Tour. Additionally, you may speak directly with your child’s Maternal and Child Health nurse, family doctor and any other professionals your child sees (for example, Speech Therapist, Physiotherapist, Paediatrician).

It is important to carefully consider which year your child will start kindergarten, because your child is only able to receive one year each of funded 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten before starting school, and all children will be expected to transition through to the next year unless there is significant benefit to the child’s development by repeating 4-year-old as assessed by kinder teachers and liaising with any early childhood professionals that are involved.




Can I visit Hughesdale Kinder?


If you would like to see our kindergarten in action, please view our Virtual Tour or Contact Us to arrange an in-person tour, although this may be limited by the COVID situation. This is a great way to get a ‘feel’ for each program, to ask questions and to share information about your child.

What to look for when you visit a service

  • Were you made to feel welcome? High-quality kindergarten programs are based on a partnership between families and educators. Did the educators ask questions about your child and your family?
  • Are there a variety of fun and challenging learning opportunities that celebrate the cultures of the children who use the service?
  • Do the indoor and outdoor areas offer the children stimulating learning experiences – for example, the opportunity to explore and discover new things? Is there space for the children to play with others or alone? Are there spaces where children can go to be quiet?

Have your questions ready. Examples may include:
  • How will the educators work with you to support your child’s learning?
  • How will the educators include your child’s interests?
  • If your child has additional needs, how will the service support you and your child?
  • How does the program encourage positive behaviour?
  • What will happen if your child becomes unwell or upset?
  • What is the service’s rating against the National Quality Standard (part of an Australia-wide quality system of education and care services)? Can you see the written assessment?
  • What is the waiting list for places like?




Does my child need to be immunised?


Following the ‘No Jab, No Play’ legislation, all parents/guardians seeking to enroll their child into Hughesdale kindergarten will be requested to provide evidence that the child is:

  • Fully immunised for their age; or
  • On a vaccination catch-up program; or
  • Unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons
Please note that ‘Conscientious Objection’ will not be an exemption.

To obtain a copy of an Immunisation History Statement for your child, contact Medicare via:

To view the immunisation schedule (what vaccines are due at what age) see the National Immunisation Program Schedule, or speak to your doctor.

Overseas immunisation records will not be accepted
Children who were vaccinated overseas must attend a doctor/ immunisation nurse to have their overseas immunisation record assessed and will be offered any catch-up immunisations as required. You will need to provide the kinder with an Immunisation Status Certificate before your child can attend kindergarten.




Does my child need to be toilet trained before commencing kinder?


We respect each child is individual and develops at his/her own rate. We encourage families to have begun toilet training and will work to support your child’s development to promote a positive outcome.

Children do have toileting accidents on occasion, which are managed sensitively and discretely by educators. We ask each family to keep a complete change of clothes in their child’s bag in case children require changing. They’re also handy for when your child becomes thoroughly immersed in water play outside!




My child has anaphylaxis. How is this managed by Educators at Hughesdale Kindergarten?


Children with allergies and anaphylaxis must have a current alert page, signed by a doctor, displayed at Kindergarten, along with any medication which is to be used if a child is exposed to their allergen/s.

An unassigned EpiPen is also kept at the kindergarten.

Risk minimisation plans are completed for all children with anaphylaxis, allergy and asthma and copies are given to families. All staff have current first aid qualifications and participate in annual updates for anaphylaxis and asthma management. Please consult our Policy section.




How does Hughesdale Kindergarten provide for children with additional needs?


We provide education and care for children with a diverse range of needs and abilities. Educators will support your child's specific needs, utilising additional training, resources and educators to implement an inclusive program.

We can also apply for funding to support children with additional needs in kindergarten. This funding can be used to provide staff training, purchase equipment or services, or to employ an additional assistant at the kindergarten.

Applications for assistance can be done in the year prior to attendance at the kindergarten. Orientation and transition programs can be organised at the kindergarten with specialist advice sought. If you have a child that may be eligible for this assistance, please indicate this on your application form.




How many other children will my child be with in a session?


We have 26 children per 3-year old session, and 27 children per 4-year old session, with three qualified educators for each session.




Why is play-based curriculum important?


Play-based learning is a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects, and representations.

Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise, and imagine. When children play with other children, they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems, and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn.

Play is widely recognised as the best learning tool for children. It is valued, respected and supported by all staff at Hughesdale Kindergarten and part of the Belonging, Being & Becoming: Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.




My child is enrolled for 3 year-old kinder in the year that they turn three, but I’ve changed my mind. Can I defer?


Yes, you can defer your child’s place. After discussion with your child's educator, you MUST withdraw from the program before the end of the first term when the Government Data Collection counts the child as attending for the year. This allows you to access another funded 3 year-old kindergarten position the following year. You can discuss the deferral process with the enrolment officers at Hughesdale Kindergarten if you require further information.





Kindergarten sessions

What food do I pack?


Most children will need to bring a snack and water bottle to Kinder every session (and lunch if your session includes this). Your teacher will chat with you about this at the welcoming session for your group in early February.

Hughesdale Kinder has a Nutrition and Active Play policy that outlines our guidelines for healthy eating at Kinder. A brief summary and examples of healthy snacks can be found below.

We promote healthy eating choices. No junk food or cordial is to be brought to the preschool. If we find that children enrolled at the preschool have an allergy to eggs or wheat, we will request that no egg cartons or cereal boxes be brought into the preschool.

Hughesdale Kinder aims to be allergy aware. There are children each year who are enrolled at our Kinder who have allergies to nuts and other foods. These allergies can be life threatening. Consequently, no food items containing nuts should be brought into the Kinder. This includes peanut butter and Nutella. Should other foods need to be excluded in a particular year we will let you know at the start of that year.

Every child’s appetite and tastes vary; however examples of healthy and nutritious snack and lunch items include:

  • Sandwich

  • Cheese

  • Fruit

  • Rice crackers

  • Wrap

  • Vegetables

  • Dry Biscuits

  • Yoghurt


Please do not send chips, chocolate or lollies to preschool for snacks and lunch. The children will learn that these are ‘sometimes foods’ and we will reserve ‘sometimes foods’ for special occasions during the year. If you're keen for more ideas, there are many options available here.




What happens if my child hurts themself at kinder?


Educators all have current First Aid Certificate. If your child has a minor accident (e.g. a small cut or graze), they will be comforted, and an educator will clean the wound and apply appropriate first aid. Details of the incident will be entered in the Accident Illness and Injury Book and when you collect your child you will be told of the incident and asked to sign the book to confirm you are aware of the incident and its treatment.

If the accident is more serious, the parent, carer or guardian is contacted immediately. If necessary, an ambulance will be called and a staff member will accompany the injured child to hospital if the parent/guardian/carer has not arrived. All serious incidents are also reported to the appropriate Local and State Government authorities, in line with our Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy.




What is being SunSmart (with hats and sunscreen)?


Hughesdale Kindergarten is a SunSmart kinder and our Sun Protection policy was written in consultation with the Cancer Council Victoria’s SunSmart Program.

Does my child need to bring a hat?
All children must bring a hat for outside play in Term 1 and Term 4 as per our SunSmart policy. Children will bring and take their hats home each day. Children without a hat must play in the shade.

Do I need to apply sunscreen to my child before they come to kinder, or will my child’s teacher apply sunscreen at kinder?
We ask that children come to kinder with sunscreen already applied. As children in our 4-year-old program will be at kinder for longer than 4 hours on some days, teachers will reapply sunscreen. Hughesdale Kindergarten currently uses the Cancer Council brand of sunscreen. If you have a brand of sunscreen that you would prefer to be used on your child, please provide the teachers with a bottle, clearly labelled with your child’s name.




What is the drop-off / pick-up procedure?


There is an attendance book in the foyer (or located on a table outside the gate during COVID procedures) of the Kinder that needs to be signed when you drop off or collect your child.

After drop-off, children will place their lunch box and drink bottle on the trolley, place their bag in their locker and then begin free play.

Parents are encouraged to say goodbye to their child and leave. We find if parents hang around too long then it is harder for the child to settle in.




Can anyone collect my child?


On your enrolment form, it is imperative that you include anybody who will be involved in dropping off or collecting your child from Kindergarten. We need this authorisation in writing to operate according to the Children’s Services Regulations 2020.

If someone other than yourself, your partner, or persons you have authorised on the enrolment form is collecting your child, it is important to notify a staff member, and write the name of the person in the sign-in book. Under no circumstances will any child be allowed to go home with someone who has not been authorised to do so. If staff do not recognise the person collecting your child, they must show photo ID (e.g. driver's licence).

Please note: At least two authorised persons must be identified on the enrolment form. Children will not be released to unauthorised people or to people under the age of 16.

Staff must be notified about any custody issue or court orders that may affect the collection of the child and who is authorised to collect the child on that day. If staff are concerned that releasing a child to the parent/guardian, or a person authorised to collect the child, could put the child at risk, they will seek an opinion from another staff member and/or Committee Members before making a decision.

Once a staff member releases the child into the care of the parent/guardian or carer picking up the child, the child’s supervision is the responsibility of the parent/guardian or carer even if they are still on the premises.




What are the expectations for kinder duty?


We really appreciate parents helping us with our sessions and working with the children, typically once per term for each family where possible. Helping on Kinder Duty involves staying at Kinder for the session and assisting the children at particular activities. We may ask you to work with the children at an activity that requires adult supervision, help read stories or assist with puzzles. Shortly before we eat we ask you to help tidy up so we can prepare for the children’s morning/afternoon tea or lunch. We will give you more details on the day.

Who can help on Kinder Duty?
We require one parent to stay on at each session. Grandparents, aunts and uncles are also welcome. We ask you to apply for a Working with Children Check. General Information can be found at the Working with Children website and applications submitted here.

Can I bring younger siblings with me when I am on Kinder Duty?
Toddlers/siblings are welcome when parents are on duty, provided you understand that you are totally responsible for them. Any non-kinder children also need to be signed in and out.

We really appreciate your help and the children think it’s so special having you stay. It is a great opportunity to see your child in the kinder environment and meet some of their friends.




Are uniforms compulsory?


Our kinder has logo-printed t-shirts and jumpers for purchase, but it is optional whether your child wears them. However, the uniform is quite handy if you do not want your child’s regular clothes to be paint, glue or grass-stained! There are also bucket hats available to purchase.

Uniforms can be purchased directly from the kinder in a variety of ways: at the AGM/Information Session before your child starts at the kinder, at orientation sessions at the beginning of the kinder year, through the teachers at the end of a session etc. The uniform proceeds are used by the Parent Committee to fund purchases to benefit your child’s kinder experience.




What should my child bring to kinder?


A school bag that's big enough to bring home any artwork they make, as well as:

  • A lunch box containing healthy morning / afternoon tea, and a nutritious lunch if your child is in a 4-year-old session.
  • A drink bottle containing water.
  • A change of clothes (comfortable “old” clothes are preferred.) Our Kindergarten takes no responsibility for stained clothing, for example paint, texta, dirt etc.
  • A hat for Terms 1 and 4.
Please ensure all property, including shoes are marked with your child’s name. While every care is taken, no liability can be accepted for lost or damaged property.




Will my child go on excursions?


Excursions and incursions provide effective and worthwhile opportunities to extend our program. Sometimes adult support is needed if we want to take children outside the kindergarten. No child will be taken outside the kindergarten without written permission from parents. Planned excursions & incursions are funded from the cost of education and are inclusive of term fees. Some typical excursions are: Community walks, visits to Hughesdale Art Show, post office, public parks, music incursions, animal incursions, etc.




How else can parents get involved?


We feel strongly about the importance developing strong relationships with families and the community. In addition to kinder duty, there are many ways to get involved at Hughesdale Kindergarten including spending time helping in the program, donating materials, volunteering your skills (e.g. coming in to play an instrument, sharing a love of cooking or gardening), being part of the Kindergarten Committee of Management etc.




Will I have the opportunity to discuss my child with the teacher / educators throughout the year?


We communicate with families in a variety of ways both formally and informally throughout the year. Staff will also send regular emails and post information in the foyer about what experiences the children have been engaging in and what skills are being developed. If you would like more feedback, we encourage families to make a time with the teacher to catch up either by phone, over email, or in person. Both three-year-old and four-year-old families are offered a time mid-year to meet formally and discuss where their child is at, as well as their ‘school readiness’.




Does Hughesdale Kindergarten offer extended hours of care?


As we are a sessional Kindergarten, with groups running each day, we are unable to offer extended care. Children only attend for their group’s allocated session times each week.




How do educators manage separation anxiety?


Educators at Hughesdale Kinder have a lot of experience at supporting families with children who experience separation anxiety. We aim for children to feel comfortable and gain a sense of belonging in the preschool environment. Educators will implement strategies such as:

  • Having a parent spend time at kinder with their child to gain a sense of familiarity and comfort. When you feel it is time to leave, please let a staff member know so that we can offer comfort and support to the child.
  • Encouraging a ‘special’ item from home to provide the child comfort.
  • Ensuring parents say goodbye and letting the child know when their parent will be returning, for example "I am going now, I'll be back before lunchtime".
  • Supporting children to recognise their emotions and manage them in appropriate ways.
  • Accommodating for any additional individual needs that educators can undertake as able.

Please feel welcome to discuss settling and separation with the staff. It can also be a difficult time for parents, as it can be the first time you have had to leave your child.





How will know what is happening throughout the term?


Communication / connection is essential for providing information between the kindergarten and families. We use email reflections and learning journals as a primary means of sharing information.

Drop off and pick up times can provide an opportunity to have a quick chat regarding your child. Please be mindful though that sometimes there is limited time to talk. On kinder duty there is more chance for discussion about your child’s progress. However, should you require a longer time to discuss anything with your child’s teacher, please feel free to make a time to meet with them. You can also email your child’s teacher, or call them, if you need to talk. If you have a concern, please share it immediately so it can be dealt with promptly to avoid causing you or your child any undue anxiety.

Our Marketing Officer will distribute a monthly kindergarten newsletter. Please be sure to read it carefully as it is full of important information such as news, messages from the teachers, policy updates, and dates of upcoming events. This information is generally shared by email but if you require a hard copy, please ask. General notices are placed on the notice boards next to the sign-in book and just inside the foyer. Any letters, permission slips etc. will be placed in your pockets located in the foyer or on the fence at pick up times.






General questions

Which feeder schools do most children go to?


Every year is different. Most commonly we feed to Hughesdale, Murrumbeena, and Oakleigh South Primary Schools but frequently several children go to other schools such as Sacred Heart (Oakleigh), St Patrick’s, St Peter's and a few private schools.




How can I raise a complaint or grievance to the Committee?


Please contact the Hughesdale Kindergarten President and Vice President with any complaint or grievance you have about our service using the form on our Contact Us page.





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