Kindergarten FAQs

girl doing craft at kinder

1. Does Council run any local kindergartens?

No, Council does not directly manage any kindergartens. In Hobsons Bay, sessional kindergartens are managed either by a voluntary parent committee of management or by an early years management provider (not-for-profit early years organisation). Kindergarten programs that are run from long day care settings are managed mostly by private business owners.  

Council administers the Kindergarten Central Registration Scheme for sessional kindergartens and many of the Early Years Services operate from Council owned buildings. Registration for kindergarten programs run in long day care settings is managed by the long day care centres directly. 

2. Do I have to be a resident to register?

No, you do not have to be a resident or rate payer of Hobsons Bay to register for a kindergarten in the municipality. Priority is, however, given to our residents and rate payers therefore placement of non-residents cannot be guaranteed. Consideration may be given if you work or study in Hobsons Bay or your child currently accesses another early years service within the municipality. We encourage you to also apply for a place in your local municipality.

3. Is there a closing date for registrations?

No, you can register at any time for 3-year-old kindergarten from the age of 1 year and for 4-year-old kindergarten from the age of 2 years, but it is important to note that places are limited, particularly in some areas. For this reason, it is important to register as early as possible, particularly if you have specific preferences. As a guide, ideally your child’s registration should be completed before 31 May in the year before they will attend kindergarten, to be eligible for a first-round kindergarten offer.

4. What happens if I don’t get my first preference?

Every effort is made to place your child at the kindergarten of your choice but sometimes services fill before all children can be allocated. If you are not offered your first preference, you can choose to decline the offer and wait for an alternate offer. There is no guarantee that a subsequent offer will be a place at your first preference.

When a service has more children waitlisted than available places, some families will not receive a first-round offer and will remain waitlisted for a place in the second round. If a place does not become available at your first preference, you will be offered an alternate place for consideration. You can contact the Kindergarten Central Registration team if you wish to discuss further by emailing or calling 9932 1534.

5. What if the kindergarten session times I have been offered don’t suit?

You can email for consideration in the next round of offers. Again, there is no guarantee of placement at your new preferred centre. 

6. Can I change my preferences or details?

It is the responsibility of families to notify Hobsons Bay City Council in writing of any changes to personal details including your preferred kindergartens. You can update this information at any time. You can log into the online parent portal or email

7. What support can kindergarten educators offer to meet my child's needs?

We recognise that all children grow and develop at different rates and that each child has different needs, abilities and interests. Council is committed to ensuring that all children can participate in a quality kindergarten program.

The information collected on your registration form enables us to support families and children who require additional assistance with the transition into kindergarten and during their time there. It is widely recognised that the earlier children are able to access appropriate support, the better the outcomes. There are a number of supports which may be available to children with additional needs including Kindergarten Inclusion Support (KIS) Funding and the Pre school Field Officer Service.

If you would like to discuss your child’s needs further or find out more about how your child can be supported at kindergarten please email

8. What if I am considering a second year of 4-year-old kindergarten for my child?

Kindergarten is an important step in a child’s learning and development. Parents/guardians need to make an informed choice about the year they expect their child will attend school, in order to enrol their child at kindergarten the year before. This is particularly important for children born before 30 April. When considering a second year of kindergarten, it is important to note that a second year of kindergarten is only granted in exceptional circumstances. Eligibility criteria must be met and a request submitted to the Department of Education (DE) by your child’s kindergarten teacher, so you will need to discuss any concerns you have about your child’s development early.

For 3-year-old kindergarten, there is no provision for a funded second year.

9. When does kindergarten start for the year?

The exact date your child will attend depends on which group your child is in and you will be advised of this by your kindergarten provider.

You will also receive all the information you need about your child’s start at kindergarten including orientation dates and what to bring before your child commences.

10. My child is not immunised, can he/she still attend kindergarten?

Under the No Jab, No Play legislation all children are required to be age appropriately immunised before placement at kindergarten can be confirmed. You will be asked to provide a current Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register as evidence that your child is:

  • fully vaccinated for their age

  • is on a recognised catch up schedule if they have fallen behind with their vaccinations

  • has a medical reason not to be vaccinated

A grace period may apply for disadvantaged or vulnerable families. More information is available at

11. How are local families experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage supported to access kindergarten?

The Kindergarten Central Registration Scheme uses the Department of Education (DE) Priority of Access guidelines when allocating kindergarten places. Priority of Access gives vulnerable and disadvantaged families priority at their preferred kindergarten wherever possible.