Frequently asked questions
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 old’s, in a diverse environment which reflects the individual interests, voice, and uniqueness of each child.
Why is play-based curriculum important?
How is kinder different to childcare?
improves your child's health and wellbeing
assists them in developing strong social skills
encourages a love of learning
enhances children’s academic and developmental learning outcomes.
It can also set your child up for success in the 21st century by teaching them relevant skills
When will my child attend kindergarten?
To attend 3-YEAR-OLD kindergarten, your child MUST turn three (3) by 30th April in the year they attend.
To attend 4-YEAR-OLD kindergarten, your child MUST turn four (4) by 30th April in the year they attend
Your child can start school if they turn five years old by 30 April of the year they start school. Your child must be enrolled in school by the age of six, unless they have an exemption. So, if your child’s birthday falls before 30 April in the calendar year, you have a choice about whether to enrol your child in school in the year they turn five or the next year. Children learn at different rates, in different ways, and at different times. In some cases, your child may benefit from starting a kindergarten program later
When should I register my child for kindergarten?
You can register your child’s enrolment from 18 months of age. To register your child in kindergarten via Monash online portal, you will need to create an account if you haven’t already done so, and follow the prompts to submit your application.
The online system replaces the paper form of registration process. 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.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your details are correct and up-to-date at all times to allow us to process your child’s kindergarten application before the cut-off date of 30 June, in the year prior to commencing kindergarten. This will ensure that your child will be included in the allocation process.
If you are unsure whether you have an account or not, please contact the Kindergarten Support team on 9518 3530 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I still apply if I live outside the Monash zone?
We do welcome families from Glen Eira, Stonnington, Kingston and other municipalities as well as Monash. Please visit the Monash City Council website for further information or to download the application forms. The zoning requirements are decided by Monash Council and unless there are free spaces available, priority will be given to children residing within the zone.
Ready or not? When to put my child into kindergarten
If you are unsure about the best time for your child to start a kindergarten program, please ask a teacher for advice (tel 9569 5019). Find out how the kindergarten program can support your child. You can also attend a tour of the kindergarten. As well, you can talk with your child’s Maternal and Child Health nurse, family doctor and any other professionals your child sees (for example, Speech Therapist, Physiotherapist or Pediatrician).
It is important to carefully consider which year your child will start kindergarten, because you are only able to receive one year of funded 4-year-old kindergarten to the year prior to school (unless there is significant benefit to the child’s development). It is very difficult to secure a second year of funding at your kindergarten of choice. It is recommended that your child has completed their Maternal and Child Health Centre check before starting kindergarten
What will it cost?
Operating costs for 4-year-old kindergarten sessions are partially subsidised by the State Government with the remainder covered by parents’ fees.
To balance our budget, fees are set by the Committee of Management and are based on the hours of attendance and the number of children attending the service.
State Government does not fund three year old kindergarten sessions for most students, although exceptions may apply for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders and children
known to child protection.
Kindergarten fees are pro-rated if your child commences mid-term.
Children who attend 4-year-old kindergarten will be exempt from term fees if the family hold a current:
Asylum-seeker on Bridging Visas A-F
Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander
Temporary Protection/Humanitarian Visas 447, 451, 785 or 786
Refugee or Special Humanitarian Visa 200-217
Children who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, or known to Child Protection, or referred by Child Protection to Child FIRST can go to kindergarten for free or at low cost for two years before they start primary school, usually starting when they are three years old.
Children attending Hughesdale kindergarten are not eligible for the Child Care Subsidy as of 2nd July 2018
Who owns the kindergarten?
Hughesdale Kindergarten is a not-for-profit organisation, managed by a voluntary Parent Committee. The building and grounds are owned by Monash City Council.
Can I view Hughesdale kinder?
If you would like to see our kindergarten in action, please contact the Kinder on 9569-5019 to arrange a tour. 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
- How will the educators work with you to support your child’s learning?
- How will the educators include your child’s interests?
- What opportunities will there be to discuss your child’s progress?
- 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?
- Is there a waiting list for places? Do you need to pay a deposit to enrol or to be put on the waiting list?
How are offers determined?
Hughesdale has recently reviewed and revised current enrolment processes, please see the Kindergarten Handbook and Enrolment Policy for further information regarding enrolments.
The following children are eligible for attendance in the funded four-year-old kindergarten program:
- children who have been granted approval to receive funding for a second year of kindergarten
- children who were eligible to attend in the previous year, but deferred or withdrew from service on or before the last day of Term 1.
- children who turn four years of age by 30 April in the year they will attend kindergarten
- children turning six years of age at kindergarten who have been granted an exemption
Priority of Access - When demand exceeds availability, our priorities applications based on:
- date of application received
- children who have received funding for a second year of kindergarten
- children who were eligible to attend in the previous year but deferred or withdrew from the service on or before the last day of Term 1
- families experiencing vulnerability as evidenced by referral from family support
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
To view 4 year old kindergarten priority of access guidelines visit the Monash Council website at https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/Services/Children-Family/Kindergartens/Enrolment
3 and 4-year-old places will be offered in June/July in the year prior to commencement of kindergarten. Subsequent offers will be made until all kindergartens are full and/or all children on the list have been offered a place.
Confirmation of kindergarten place & group session is confirmed via email in September the year prior to attending.
My child turns 3 halfway through the first term of kinder. Can they start kinder at the beginning of the kindergarten year with the other children?
No. Children are only eligible for attendance in the three-year-old program provided they have turned three prior to commencement. In 3 YO kindergarten, if your child has not turned three by the start of first term (but must turn 3 by the 30 April), you can either:
- stay on the waiting list and if a place becomes available you will be notified, or
- secure your child’s place by payment of the first term’s fees, but your child may not attend until he/she has his/her third birthday
Do I still need to enrol my child for 4 yo kindergarten if my child already attends 3yo kindergarten?
Yes, if your child attends three-year-old kindergarten you are still required to register for 4 year old kindergarten. Your child does NOT get automatic entry into 4 year old kindergarten if attending 3 year old kindergarten.
Can my child have a second funded year of 4-year-old kindergarten?
It is important to carefully consider which year your child will start kindergarten, because you are only able to receive one year of funded 4-year-old kindergarten to the year prior to school (unless there is significant benefit to the child’s development). It is very difficult to secure a second year of funding at your kindergarten of choice. It is recommended that your child has completed their Maternal and Child Health Centre check before starting kindergarten.
Can my child have a second funded year of 3-year-old kindergarten?
As three year old kindergarten is not funded you are welcome to re –enrol for a second year in consultation with your kindergarten teacher.
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 (later in the year) to provide evidence that the child is:
fully immunised for their age; or
on 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 on either:
Telephone on 1800 653 809
Visit your local Medicare office
To view the immunisation schedule (what vaccines are due at what age) go to www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au and search ‘immunisation’, 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 immunisation as required. You will need to provide the kinder with an Immunisation Status Certificate before your child can attend kindergarten.
For further information about No Jab No Play, visit https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/immunisation/vaccination-children/no-jab-no-play/frequently-asked-questions
Does my child need to be toilet trained before commencing kinder?
There is NO expectation that your child must be able to use the toilet prior to starting Kindergarten.
To support ease of toileting, we ask that your child attends Kindergarten in pull ups if they are not yet able to use the toilet independently (rather than nappies) as this will help to transition to underwear and when learning to use the toilet. ‘Training underwear’ is also great when starting out (as it is thicker and more absorbent.
Learning to use the toilet is a significant milestone in your child’s life. It is one that is achieved in a supportive and trusting environment. There is no ‘set age’ at which a child learns to use the toilet and it will be different for every child. Research informs us that typically, children are between 18 months and 3 years before they are developmentally mature enough to recognise the urge to use the toilet. The key is to not decide for your child. The secret is to wait for signs that your child is ready to start using the toilet, rather than determine this for them. Some children get the knack quickly, while others need adult patience and support.
While there is no ‘right time’ to start learning to use the toilet, look out for the following indicators:
- has dry nappies for several hours at a time – this shows they are able to store wee in the bladder
- is becoming interested in watching others go to the toilet (this can be awkward or make you uncomfortable at first, but is a good way to introduce things)
- tells you (or shows obvious signs) when they do a poo or wee in their nappy – if they can tell you before it happens, that’s also a good sign they are ready to transition to the toilet
- begins to dislike wearing a nappy, perhaps trying to pull it off when it’s wet or soiled
- has regular, soft, formed bowel movements
- can pull their pants up and down and is becoming more independent when it comes to completing tasks
Working together to support your child to learn to use the toilet is critical. We encourage the following strategies:
- To support ease of toileting, we ask that your child attends our Kindergarten in pull ups if they are not yet able to use the toilet independently (rather than nappies) as this will help to transition to underwear and when learning to use the toilet. ‘Training underwear’ is also great when starting out (as it is thicker and more absorbent.
- Dress your child in clothes that are easy to take off – for example, pants with elastic waistbands
- Pack LOTS of spare clothing – including additional socks and shoes. Accidents happen and that’s ok – but we need to be able to quickly and discretely support your child to change clothes so they can continue their day.
- Consistency is key – once you have committed to starting the process of toilet learning, it’s important to follow through. Changing back and forth from nappies to pants can be really confusing for a young child.
- Before introducing the toilet, it helps if you have an established routine with your child at home. This way, the new experience of using the toilet can be slotted into your normal routine.
- Teach your child the words needed for toilet training, such as wet, dry, wee, poo, ‘I need to go’. Choose words that you are comfortable with and share these with the educators, so these words can be used there too.
- Give your child lots of fibre to eat and water to drink so she doesn’t become constipated, which can make toileting difficult. Your child’s diet is the best way to handle this, rather than using fibre supplements.
- Use lots of encouragement for all efforts made throughout the whole process
- The educators will remind your child to use the toilet and will provide the appropriate support needed (with clothing, wiping their bottom etc.). Children will very often get caught up in play and not realise they need to use the toilet until it’s too late. It’s good to follow through with this at home too – Gentle reminders are enough so your child doesn’t feel pressured. Five minutes is long enough to sit on the toilet.
- Educators will teach your child how to wash their hands after using the toilet, and there will be visual cues in the bathroom too.
- Educators have a lot of patience and are trained to support children to learn to use the toilet! If your child gets upset because of an accident, educators will reassure them that it’s ok to have an accident and there’s no need to worry. Once your child is using the toilet, don’t be disappointed if there are a few accidents. Sometimes toilet training can go backwards when there is a new stress or something is troubling your child. If you feel there might be a problem or you’re worried about how your child is adapting to toilet training, check with your doctor or child and family health nurse.
Which feeder schools do most children go to?
It depends on the year. Most commonly we feed to Hughesdale, Murrumbeena, Oakleigh South Primary Schools but frequently several children go to other schools such as Sacred Heart – Oakleigh, St Patrick’s, St Peters and a few private schools.
What food do I pack?
- Lunch item: such as a sandwich/wrap/roll, pasta, soup, sushi, roti
- Snack: such as whole fruit, veggie sticks, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, a small salad, canned fruit in natural juice, reduced fat yoghurt, grainy crackers with reduced fat cheese, plain popcorn, a wholemeal fruit muffin
- Drink: a bottle of tap water is best
We promote healthy nutritious habits for lunch & snack.
We strongly encourage families not to provide ‘junk food’ such as chips, chocolates or fizzy drinks please.
Please ensure lunches are wrapped so that children can easily manage them. We also ask that you try to be as environmentally conscious as possible and where possible, use a lunchbox rather than plastic cling wrap.
Please advise the educators if your child has any relevant allergies or food and drink reactions. Lunches will not be shared between children ensuring any special requirements are met.
My child has allergies. Are there policies and procedures in place to allow them to attend?
Absolutely! The following policies have been adopted by our Kindergarten Committee and form the basis of our daily practice:
- Dealing with Medical Conditions
- Food Safety
- Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness
- Inclusion and Equity
Please consult our policy section of this website, our policy folder located in the kindergarten foyer or speak to one of our staff in relation to your child’s situation.
All our educators have current First Aid training, as well as training in the administration of an EpiPen.
What happens if my child has an accident at kinder?
Educators all have current First Aid Certificate. If your child has a minor accident (eg 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 appropriate Local and State Government authorities, in line with our Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy.
What happens if I forget to put sunscreen on my child?
We are a Sun Smart Kinder. Sunhats are mandatory for outside play in Terms 1 and 4. Sunscreen is available at kinder should you forget to apply sunscreen at home prior to the kinder session.
Educators will encourage children to re-apply sunscreen when necessary.
What is the drop off / pick up procedure?
On arrival each day, the following information needs to be recorded by the parent or guardian of the child in the ‘Attendance Book’:
signature of the person delivering the child to the Centre; and
anticipated pick up time and who will collect child.
When you come to collect your child the departure time and signature of parent/guardian/authorised person collecting the child must be recorded in the same book. Hughesdale Kinder is required to collect this information by law.
Can anyone collect my child?
It is imperative that you write down on the enrolment form, any person who will be dropping off or collecting your child from Kindergarten. We need this authorisation in writing to operate according to the Children’s Services Regulations 2009.
If someone other than yourself, your partner, or persons you have authorised on the enrolment form to collect your child 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 (drivers 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 parents/guardians or carers while they are still on the premises.
Do I need a working with children check?
As parents may be aware there have been changes to the Working with Children Act 2005, these came about from the ‘Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’ and the ‘Betrayal of Trust Inquiry’.
It has been suggested that education providers like us, ask current parents, grandparents, aunties and carers (people completing parent duty) apply for a working with children check. We do understand that it may be inconvenient to get a free ‘Working with Children Check’, but it goes without saying that we all want to protect our children and do the best by them. It does not cost anything as a parent and applying for one is an easy process.
General Information can be found at: http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au
Instructions on how to apply can be found at http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/home/applications/apply+for+a+check/apply+in+victoria
Key steps in your application:
Fill in the application form and verify your identity online.
Check your inbox for an email from email@example.com with instructions on how to finalise your application at Australia Post.
Visit an Australia Post outlet, have your photo taken (at no charge to you) & submit form.
If you need any assistance with this, we are very happy to help you.
If you indicate on the form that you are volunteering for Hughesdale Kindergarten we will receive a copy of your working with children check. If you already have one please give us a copy.
Please note: if you are a parent volunteer, certain restrictions apply, even if you hold a WWCC. The Department of Education and Training (DET) instructs that while you are certainly able to accompany your own child to the bathroom, all other children must be taken to these facilities by a Hughesdale Kindergarten educator.
What to wear to kindergarten?
Casual, comfortable play clothes that are easy to wash are recommended. Remember your child is actively involved in messy activities and although protective clothing is provided, accidents can occur. Please do not wear thongs or similar footwear to kindergarten. They are not safe for activities such as climbing. Sun hats and sunscreen are compulsory when the UV rating is 3 and above. The rating will be displayed on arrival at the kindergarten. During warm weather shoulders need to be covered – no singlet tops please.
During cold and wet weather please provide a warm coat (preferably water resistant), gum boots and a hat/beanie.
Are uniforms compulsory?
No. 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 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 Orientations 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 to bring to kindergarten?
Please ensure everything is clearly named:
- Kindergarten bag/backpack that is large enough to accommodate their belongings
- Complete set of extra clothing in the bag/backpack in case of accidents and water play/sensory play
- Drink bottle (WATER only please)
- Packed lunch for sessions that do NOT contain any nuts or nut products
- Protective legionnaires or broad brimmed sun hat for warm weather and a beanie/jacket for cold weather
- Healthy snack for morning and/or afternoon tea (depending on the length of the session).
- It is advisable that children avoid bringing valuable items and special toys as if they are lost it can cause much disappointment (but comfort items are ok to support transition).
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 can parents get involved?
There are many ways parents can be involved. The Parent Committee is a fun and rewarding way to be part of the kindergarten. Regular fundraising events organised by the Committee often require extra help or support from kinder families.
We also ask that parents volunteer to take the laundry home once a week (red and green group only), which is managed by a roster in the foyer.
All parents/guardians are asked to help out at the kindergarten by doing duties each term. This gives you an opportunity to watch your child at play and participate in the program. This could be a simple as reading books, playing instruments, discussing their culture through stories and displays, cooking experiences, or arts and crafts – just to name a few The current term’s rosters are pinned up in the foyer – just enter your name on dates that suit you. Parents are welcome to bring siblings along to kindergarten when doing duty, but please remember they are your responsibility. The Kindergarten greatly appreciates the work and support given by our community to ensure a smooth and safe running of the Programme.
Annual working bees are held, social events for families are organised, and our end of year Christmas party/picnic is a fun and social way to finish the year.
Will I have the opportunity to discuss my child with the teacher/educators throughout the year?
Yes. 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 ‘school readiness’.
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 and the kindergarten.
Orientation and transition programs can be organized with specialist advice sought. If you have a child that may be eligible for this assistance, please indicate this on your application form.
If you have any more questions about the kinder programs, or our kinder specifically, please get in touch via details on our contact us page
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 about about our service using the form at the bottom of the Contact Us page.