Australian Capital Territory: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as preschools or early learning centres
  • are for children who turn four years old by 1 May in the year before starting school
  • are mostly government owned and run
  • 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
  • are for children who turn four years old before 1 August in the year before starting school
  • mostly operate as stand-alone services – for example, as community preschools or services delivered by non-state schools – or as preschool programs in long day care or early learning centres
  • might be offered as school-based programs attached to government-run primary schools
  • usually charge fees, which are set by providers
  • sometimes offer flexible hours for working parents.

For more information, visit NSW Department of Education – Preschool.

Northern Territory: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as preschools
  • are normally for children who turn four years old in the year before starting school, although there are exceptions for children who live in very remote areas
  • are mostly attached to schools
  • are mostly government owned and run
  • 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
  • are for children who turn four years old by 30 June in the year before starting school
  • operate as either stand-alone services, or in long day care centres run by community organisations or non-government schools
  • mostly operate close to, or on, school sites
  • have fees, which are set by providers
  • offer some remote and distance education services.

For more information, visit Queensland Government – About approved kindergarten programs.

South Australia: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as preschools, kindergartens, early learning centres or centres for early childhood development and parenting
  • are for children who turn four before 1 May in the year before starting school
  • are mostly government owned and run but can be run by community or private organisations
  • can be stand-alone services or located in schools or alongside other early learning services
  • have no fees when they are government owned, but some ask for a voluntary contribution levy
  • offer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children access to preschool from three years of age.

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

Tasmania: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as kindergartens
  • are for children who turn four years old before or on 1 January in the year before starting school
  • are mostly government owned and run
  • have no fees
  • are located in schools and linked to the school system.

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

Victoria: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as preschools, kindergartens or preschool programs in long day care centres
  • are for children who turn four years old before or on 30 April in the year before starting school
  • are mostly run as stand-alone centres
  • have fees
  • are often managed by parent committees
  • are offered as mobile services in remote areas.

For more information, visit Victorian Department of Education and Training – Kindergarten programs.

Western Australia: preschool services

Preschools:

  • are known as kindergartens
  • are for children who turn four years old before or on 30 June in the year before starting school
  • are mostly government owned and run
  • operate within schools and in the community
  • offer bus services
  • have no fees.
The Australian Government provides funding to all states and territories to ensure all children have access to early childhood education, particularly in the year before they start school. There might still be a fee, and your local preschool can tell you about the fees it charges.