By Raising Children Network
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Play preschooler drawing outside
 
Each Australian state and territory has a different approach to preschool. The names of preschool services also vary from state to state.

Australian Capital Territory: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as preschools
  • operate close to, or on, school sites. In newer areas, preschools are often run next to child care centres
  • have no fees, but usually have a voluntary contribution levy.

For more information, visit ACT Government – Preschool matters.

New South Wales: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as preschools
  • usually charge fees, which are set by providers
  • are mostly operated as stand-alone kindergarten services – for example, community kindergartens or services delivered by non-state schools
  • might be offered as school-based, fee-free programs run by the Department of Education
  • sometimes offer flexible hours for working parents.

For more information, visit NSW Government – Preschool.

Northern Territory: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as preschools
  • are run by the Department of Employment, Education and Training
  • have no fees
  • sometimes offer flexible hours for working parents
  • might offer bus services in some areas.

For more information, visit NT Government – About child care services.

Queensland: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as kindergartens
  • have fees, which are set by providers
  • operate as either stand-alone kindergarten services, or as long day care centres
  • mostly operate close to, or on, school sites.

For more information, visit Queensland Government – Kindergarten programs.

South Australia: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as child parent centres, which operate within schools
  • are also known as kindergartens, which operate independently
  • have no fees, but some kindergartens ask for a voluntary contribution levy
  • might offer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children the opportunity to access extra hours.

For more information, visit SA Government – Preschool and kindergarten.

Tasmania: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as kindergartens
  • have no fees
  • are linked to the school system.

For more information, visit Tasmanian Government – Kindergarten.

Victoria: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as preschools and kindergartens
  • are mostly run as stand-alone centres
  • have fees
  • are often managed by parent committees
  • are sometimes offered as programs in long day care centres, where they must be run by qualified kindergarten teachers if government funded
  • are offered as mobile services in remote areas.

For more information, visit Victorian Government – Kindergarten programs

Western Australia: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as kindergartens
  • operate within schools and day care centres and as independent centres
  • offer bus services
  • have no fees.

For more information, visit WA Department of Education – Kindergarten.

The Child Care Benefit can help to cover the cost of preschool, as long as children are fully immunised. In January 2016, the Australian Government introduced a ‘No Jab, No Pay’ policy. This means that if a child isn’t fully immunised, parents can’t get the Child Care Benefit. A free national immunisation catch-up program is available for all children. For more information, go to Australian Government Department of Social Services – No jab no pay.
 
 
 
  • Last updated or reviewed 16-09-2016