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Victoria is introducing the 'Kinder Tick'. Here's what it means for parents.

The Victorian Government
Thanks to our brand partner, The Victorian Government

The life of a parent is one of decisions. In the early days you’re choosing prams, cots and nappies, consumed by making sure you select the very best for baby. But they grow, and grow fast, and then you’re up to picking a kinder for your inquisitive little poppet (yes, it will happen that quickly).

Of course, only the best will do, but how do you choose? Until your child is already at kindergarten, you just don’t know which one will suit your child and family.

So, let me tell you about the Kinder Tick.

The Victorian Government is making this phase of our lives a little easier by developing a new kindergarten brand called the Kinder Tick, a clear identifier of Victorian Government-funded kindergarten programs in a “stand-alone” (sessional) kindergarten or long day care setting. 


Image Supplied.

 


My son attends an excellent sessional kindergarten and it’s everything we had hoped for in a pre-school – a nurturing community kinder that will enable him to thrive at primary school next year. We knew we wanted to send him there because it was the kinder his big sister attended a couple of years back.

Image: Supplied. 

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It was word-of-mouth that steered me in the direction of our kindergarten, our health nurse telling me all about the standalone kinder operating nearby. My daughter was a tiny toddler at the time, but I remembered her recommendation when it was time for my girl to start her kinder journey.

As a part-time, work-from-home mum, the sessional schedule suited us. I could be there at pick-up time, then the rest of the day was ours to enjoy together.

Close friends of mine who had their daughter in day care already made the decision to enrol at a centre that incorporated the kinder component. With care provided either side of the kinder program, it was the flexibility they needed as full-time office employees.

While our daughters had a different kinder experience, both kinder programs were led by a qualified early childhood teacher and primed our kids for a hassle-free start to primary school.

But if this is your first child, and you do not already have the connection or are new to an area, it can be very tricky to know what to do or where to go. Now when looking for a kinder program for your child that suits your family’s needs, simply look for the Kinder Tick.

The Kinder Tick is being implemented by the Victorian Government to make it easier for families to find and easily identify a funded three and four-year-old kinder learning program they can count on.

What does the Kinder Tick mean?

When you see the Kinder Tick at a long day care or sessional, stand-alone kindergarten service, 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; and 

  • the program complies with government guidelines and the National Quality Framework.

What is learning through play?

No matter where your child attends a kindergarten program, they’ll be learning through play with an early childhood teacher. Research shows that play-based learning is the best way to help young children learn, develop well and prepare for school (and that two years of kinder are better than one).

Learning about the world through play 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.

Image: Supplied. 

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Where will I see the Kinder Tick?

You can look for the Kinder Tick logo at your local early childhood education and care service, on the service or centre’s building or grounds, on their website or in their information materials. 

Independent assessments

All kindergarten programs in Victoria are independently assessed and rated under the National Quality Framework, which is a separate process. You can find descriptions of every service’s National Quality Framework rating via Starting Blocks.

The Department of Education and Training website also gives you information on how to choose a quality service. 

Long day care or a sessional kinder?

A long day care centre offers care to children from birth to school age, with many offering a funded kindergarten program as part of their service. Kindergarten programs delivered in a long day care setting provide flexibility for parents and carers by offering childcare before and after the kindergarten program. 

A stand-alone kindergarten offers up to 15 hours of a funded kindergarten program to eligible three and four-year-old children. 

In both service types, the funded kindergarten program may be available on certain days and session times set by the service. Deciding where to send your child will depend on which services are available in your area.

Funded kindergarten

In 2022, two years of funded kindergarten programs will be available across Victoria. Four-year-old kindergarten, delivered in the year before a child goes to school, is 15 hours a week of play-based learning that is available to families.

Funded three-year-old kindergarten is rolling out in stages and will be available for the first time statewide next year. From 2022, 3-year-olds across the rest of state will have access to 5 hours of a funded kindergarten program each week. The hours will then increase to 15 hours a week for 40 weeks of the year by 2029.

This year is the end of an era for us, with my youngest in his last year of kindergarten and I am taking the time to appreciate how kindergarten has helped my children grow and develop. I give the Kinder Tick a great big tick for helping families find and experience what it’s like to be part of a great kindergarten community, just like we have. 

The Victorian Government
"The Victorian Government is making it easier for families to find funded and approved kindergarten programs. For kinder you can count on, just look for the Kinder Tick. By looking for the Kinder Tick, you can be certain your child will be taking part in a kinder program that will give them their best start in life. To find out more, visit: vic.gov.au/kindertick
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