Our Kindergarten Programs
We offer 3 & 4 yo Kindergarten!
Research shows that two years of quality kindergarten are better than one!
Every child deserves the opportunity to have the best start. That’s why at Hastings Childcare & Community Kinder we offer funded Three-Year-Old & Four-Year-Old Kindergarten Programs!
In a kindergarten program, qualified teachers support children by offering them a range of learning experiences and activities that are both stimulating and fun. Your child’s learning and curiosity will be encouraged through experiences and activities such as exploring the natural world, being exposed to new ideas and solving problems. Just like with Four-Year-Old Kindergarten, Three-Year-Old Kindergarten programs will be tailored to meet the needs of children. Qualified teachers support children’s learning and development through play-based learning. Play-based learning is how young children learn best. It helps them to build important skills such as language, maths and science concepts, how to manage their emotions and get along with others. Children also develop their imagination, curiosity and a love of learning when learning through play. Talk to us about how to enrol today.
What will my child experience at Kinder?
Young children learn about the world through play. It gives children the opportunity to use their imagination and practise important skills. It also helps their social and emotional development, and wellbeing.
In a kindergarten program, children use play to build their language skills and learn about numbers and patterns. They also learn how to get along with others, share, listen, and manage their emotions. Teachers and educators help children become curious, creative and confident about learning.
The Kinder Tick
Our Kindergarten programs are endorsed by the State Government and have received the Government's Kinder Tick of approval.
When you see the Kinder Tick, you can be confident:
The program will be led by a qualified teacher
Children will benefit from play-based learning
The kindergarten program is funded and approved by the Victorian Government
The program complies with government guidelines and the National Quality Framework
Why two years of Kinder are better than one!
¹E4 KIDS, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE ²EFFECTIVE PRE-SCHOOL, PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROJECT, DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION, UNITED KINGDOM ³A SMART INVESTMENT FOR A SMARTER AUSTRALIA, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS & THE FRONT PROJECT
What makes our programs different?
Some Kinder's offer bush or beach kinder programs however these can get repetitive and boring. Our community Kinder is both beach and bush kinder rolled into one plus more! Each fortnight the kinder children alongside their educators and our wonderful volunteers embark on an excursion to explore the local community areas. This includes beach, bush & foreshore areas as-well as a whole array of local businesses/areas such as:
High On Fruit
The Bays Retirement Village
Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association
Each fortnight we also journey down to our Local Mornington Peninsula Library to promote literacy and language development. This program is a fantastic way for the children to learn outside their usual classroom environment & practice crucial safety skills such as walking on the footpath, looking for cars when crossing roads & what to do if they get lost. Our community initiative is also fantastic for hands on learners as venues are chosen to tie in with what the Kinder's have recently been learning about! For example when we were writing letters to Santa we visited the post office, when we’re learning about food production we visited Hawkes farm and when we learnt all about sea animals we visited Balnarring Beach.
Spanish language lessons through ELLA
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program -Food education through a hands-on approach to teaching children of all ages about growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal, delicious food straight fresh from garden to table. It also teachers children about caring for environment & sustainability through activities such as composting and looking after a worm farm.
We also teach positive food education through regular group cooking classes!
To ensure the best quality formal Kindergarten Program we employ highly experienced and qualified Kindergarten Teachers. As a result, our programs are rated as 'Excellent'. Additionally our programs are taught in a small class where each child receives the one on one attention they need to thrive & can build strong meaningful relationships with their teachers & peers. Furthermore, we follow a School Readiness curriculum which ensures that their transition to school is as smooth as possible.
Experienced Teachers, small classes & school readiness curriculum
Speech Pathology & Occupational Therapy
School readiness refers to the fine and gross motor, language and communication, self help and emotional competence, cognitive (pre-literacy and numeracy) and play skills that children require before starting school. To help support all children our service works in collaboration with Peninsula Health to provide Speech Pathology & Occupational Therapy support.
These sessions are run within the school terms and allow Allied Health Specialists time to work alongside our Kindergarten teacher to develop strategies to best support children who may be experiencing any physical, cognitive, behavioural, social, communicative or functional limitations/difficulties.
This can include those with difficulties such as
understanding and using language to effectively communicate
writing their name, drawing pictures & gripping a pencil
cutting with scissors
waiting their turn
self help such as
taking off shoes and socks
feeding themselves, opening drink bottles ect
going to the toilet independently
Frequently Asked Questions
What age can my child start Kinder?
Children usually attend a kindergarten program in the two years leading up to their transition to beginning school. They must turn five years old by the 30th of April in the year they start school.
To attend 3 year old Kindergarten
- your child must be 3 years of age on or before April 30th in the year they wish to start.
To attend 4 year old Kindergarten
your child must be 4 years of age on or before April 30th in the year they wish to start.
Families with children born between January and April can choose which year to start at Three-Year-Old Kinder. These children can start in the same year they turn three, or in the year they turn four years of age. If this is relevant to your child please speak to our Kindergarten teacher about the best time for your child to start at Three-Year-Old Kinder.
For example, if your child is born on 14/April/2018 they have two options:
How much does Kindergarten cost?
Families accessing our integrated kindergarten program may be eligible for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) which is a government subsidy to support families. The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will reduce the amount you actually need to pay (your out-of-pocket costs).
This means that families enrolled in our long daycare can enrol their children in our integrated program and access a whole day of Kinder subsidised by the Child Care Subsidy. Depending on your Child Care Subsidy percentage & entitlements this can range but may be as low as $20 per day. To determine your estimated daily cost please speak with our admin or management team.
When do the Kindergarten sessions run?
Our Kindergarten programs run within the long day care service making it more flexible & accessible to all families. This means your child can attend anywhere from 6.30am-6pm & attend Sessional Kinder within their normal day of care. For the days our 3yo & 4yo programs currently run please contact our service.
When should I enrol?
We pride ourselves on being a small service meaning class sizes are limited. To ensure your child a position in our program it's best to contact our team as early as possible before you want your child to start. In some cases you may be able to enrol your child throughout the year however we strongly recommend enrolling as early as possible to ensure your child gets the most out of the program.
What is the difference between an integrated kindergarten program and a sessional kindergarten program?
Essentially, the only differences between an integrated (long day care) program and a sessional program are the hours offered and the available days. Sessional kinder programs will only operate during school terms whereas integrated kinder programs operate for 50 weeks each year. This means your child gets more time with qualified Kindergarten teachers in an integrated long day care program. In comparison, Sessional kinder's usually run for 3-5 hour sessions & have strict drop off and pick up times. (eg 9am-12pm or 8am-1pm). This can be difficult for busy families & means less learning time for your child with their teachers + peers.
We suggest that families decide on which type of kindergarten program best suits their family’s needs and individual circumstances.
The benefits of our integrated program is that it follows on from previous education and care programs at the service. Our educators & teachers already know your child; this means we know their strengths, interests, and learning styles – making it easier for them to tailor a program that meets their individual needs. Your child will have already formed secure relationships with familiar educators/teachers and their learning journey can continue with us from birth right up until they go to school. Your child may have already formed friendships that will continue into their kinder experience.
You can choose what works best for your family and children – the kindergarten programs themselves are the same.
Our Kindergarten programs are led by a qualified early childhood teacher and offer a play-based learning program.
Our program has the Victorian Governments tick of approval.
Our kinder programs are developed based on your child’s interests, strengths, goals and learning needs.
All Kindergarten programs including ours use the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework to guide learning outcomes, which is the curriculum for the early years of learning.
What is School Readiness, is my child ready or might they benefit from another year of 4yo Kinder?
Social and emotional developmental maturity is the best indicator of school readiness. Children should enter school ready to flourish and learn, rather than simply cope. Skills like being able to follow directions, negotiate with peers and overcome challenges are important and may be the priority at this stage.
In certain circumstances a second year of funded kindergarten maybe considered. It is important to see your Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nurse in the year before school to assess your child’s development. Many children will have had the 3.5 MCH key ages and stages visit prior to starting 4-year-old kindergarten in the year before school. Your MCH nurse may complete a Brigance assessment as part of their assessment to determine school readiness.If you have concerns around your child’s development, speak to your child’s kindergarten teacher. Our Kindergarten teachers have a degrees in child development and are skilled at assessing children’s school readiness. Often, when there are concerns, when children have two or more areas of developmental delay, and the kindergarten teacher believes the child will benefit from another year of kindergarten, a second funded year of kindergarten can be applied for. Children who turn six years of age while attending a kindergarten program must have an exemption from school granted by the Department of Education and Training. Please arrange to speak to our teachers if you have any concerns.