Greater Shepparton City Council advises parents, guardians and carers that kindergarten and pre-kindergarten registrations are now open for 2022.
Residents are encouraged to use the online registration form on Council’s website to register their children to ensure they are ready to commence next year.
This is the second year registrations have been taken online in a bid to streamline the process for families.
Council Team Leader Children’s Services Jackie Vibert encouraged all parents and carers to register their children for pre-kindergarten (two years before school) and kindergarten (year before school), as it is a crucial step in children’s development.
“Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten bring new challenges for children along with plenty of learning opportunities, lots of fun and social interaction with other children and adults in a play-based environment,” she said.
“Both programs are extremely flexible and are tailored to suit the specific needs of each child to ensure their skills are developed at their own pace.”
Kindergarten is a one-year program for children ahead of beginning primary school. It is available for all children across Greater Shepparton who are turning four by 30 April 2022.
There are currently 36 kindergarten programs offered across the municipality, with a variety of locations and programs available to suit the individual needs of children and their family.
As of 2022, 3-year-old kindergarten, or pre-kindergarten will be funded by the Victorian Government for five hours a week. In 2023 the number of funded hours will be increased to 15 for services that are able to support these hours.
Ms Vibert said Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten was free or low cost, for families that meet the eligibility criteria.
“If you are unsure if your child is ready for kindergarten or pre-kindergarten it is always a great idea to make time to visit the provider of your choice and discuss your child’s readiness to commence,” she said.
“Professional and expert advice is available both at the service and from your Maternal Child Health Nurse.”
While parents can register their child for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten by visiting Council’s website, calling Council is also welcomed. Ms Vibert encouraged parents and carers to phone to discuss the process to ensure those, particularly with first time attendees, were fully informed.
“It is important parents find a centre that offers a program that suits their child and their family’s needs,” she said.
“While Council try to accommodate requests for particular centres, this is not always possible. If parents do not receive a place at the centre of their first preference they can accept a place at an alternative centre or wait and see if a space at their preferred site becomes available.”
Council facilitates kindergarten registrations for most funded kindergarten programs in Greater Shepparton. Registration forms are currently available on Council’s website.