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Birthdate, Starting Kindergarten and Kinder “Readiness”

When do I apply for kindergarten?
Your child can be registered with the  Monash City Council central registration scheme for Emmanuel Kindergarten from 18 months of age. Please visit the Monash City Council website for further information or to download the application forms, http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/Services/Children-Family/Kindergartens. Other wise contact the Council on (03) 9518 3530.

Can my child attend three-year-old kindergarten if they turn three years old just after the April 30th cut-off?
No. Children must have turned three years of age on or before 30 April in the year of attendance to be eligible for the three year old kindergarten program.

sandpitCan my child attend four year old kindergarten if they turn four years old just after the April 30th cut-off?
No. In Victoria, preschool or kindergarten is the year before school entry according to the eligibility guidelines set out by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). Children are eligible to attend kindergarten if they turn four years of age on or before 30 April in the year of attendance. For more information, see section 3. Programs for Four year olds in the Victorian Government’s Victorian kindergarten policy, procedures and funding criteria 2015.

My child turns three midway through the first term of kinder – can they start kinder at the beginning of the kindergarten year with the other children?
No. Children must be three years of age before commencing the program. For example, if your child turns three on April 15th, then they can commence kindergarten on April 15th, not before.

My child is too young to start the three year old kinder session. Can I attend the kinder session with them until they have turned three years of age?
No. The Children Services Regulations 2009 section (53) regarding ratios between staff/children stipulate that for children under three years of age, a ratio of staff per child is 1:4. In contrast, for children over three years of age, the ratio of staff per child is 1:11. Therefore, if a child under the age of three was to attend a kindergarten, an additional staff member would be required. This scenario is not practical under the current organisational model.

My child is considered ‘young’ for their kinder year level. How do I know if they are ready to start kinder?
Children born between January 1 and April 30 may be considered ‘young’ in comparison to the other children in their year level (this applies to kindergarten as well as school).
Making a decision about whether to send your child ‘young’ or whether to from wait another year before attending a kindergarten program is difficult for parents, we understand this.
When thinking about this, it is best to think carefully about when your child is likely to be ready to start school (i.e. whether they will be better off turning five or six in Prep) and therefore when is the best time for the child to be able to have an enjoyable kindergarten experience.
Many parents are under the false understanding that, should their child not be ready for school after one year of four year old kindergarten, that their child will automatically receive a second year of funded kinder. A child will only be eligible to receive a second year of funded kinder if they are assessed as having at least two areas of significant developmental delay that are not age related i.e. If the child is exhibiting behaviour/s that is/are deemed consistent for their ‘young’ age they will not fit the funding criteria.
To receive the funding for a second year, your child’s kinder teacher has to, through specific guidelines, identify genuine developmental delays and to complete an assessment in conjunction with an independent Preschool Field Officer. They may seek help from other early childhood development professionals.
For more information about kindergarten and school readiness, refer to the DEECD’s Transition: A Positive Start to School Resource Kit.
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Enrolment process

I don’t live in Oakleigh can I still apply?
Yes. We welcome children and their families from all areas. Most of our families live in Oakleigh, Hughesdale, Huntingdale, Clayton, Chadstone, Clarinda, Oakleigh South and East Bentleigh.

I live outside of the City of Monash can I apply?
Yes. We welcome families from Glen Eira, Stonnington, Kingston and other municipalities as well as Monash. Please visit the Monash City Council website for further information or to download the application forms, http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/Services/Children-Family/Kindergartens. Other wise contact the Council on (03) 9518 3530.

tricycleHow do I know my application has been received?
You will receive email correspondence confirming receipt of your enrolment application.

Do I need to put in separate applications for three and four year old kindergarten?
You will fill in forms separate enrolment forms for each year of attendance at three year old and four year old kindergarten, however you only need to apply to council once.

When will I know if my child has a kindergarten place?
Positions are allocated in the year before your child is due to attend kindergarten. You will be contacted between July and September. You will either receive an email of offer for your child or an email informing you that your child has been added to the waiting list. If your child is not offered a place in the first instance, you may be contacted with a second or third round offer (this includes offers for children who had not been offered their first group preference in first round offers). Please refer to Important Dates.

Can my child attend four year old kinder if they did not attend three year old kinder?
Yes.

What do I do if I want to change my preferred four year old group?
If your circumstances change after you accept a place please contact the Emmanuel Kindergarten Enrolment Officer by email. If you wish to change your group preferences please note that while we try to accommodate everyone, a late change of preferences may place your child on a waiting list for that group if it is already full. In this situation, talk to the enrolment officer about the best course of action.

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Funding

Will my child receive government funding to attend kindergarten?

Three-old-kindergarten is self funded and receives no government subsidy.
Four-year-old kindergarten is receives partial government funding for up to 15 hours per week.
There is a Kindergarten Fee Subsidy for Eligible Families:Parents holding a current Commonwealth Health Care Card/Pensioner Concession Card/Visa A-F/Visa 447, 451, 785, 786/Visa 200-217, or DVA Gold Card are entitled to a fee rebate from the DEECD. The amount of the rebate will be deducted from the total fees payable on a per term basis. To be entitled to this discount, the Fees Officer must sight and record the type of card and expiry date. This procedure must be repeated each time the card is renewed.

Is my child eligible for a second year of funded four-year-old kindergarten?
To receive funding for a second year of four year old kindergarten, a child must exhibit at least two areas of developmental difficulties. Your kindergarten teacher must lodge a completed ‘Declaration of eligibility for a second year of funded kindergarten’ (Form SF06) by the end of Term Three in the year prior to the repeat year. Your kindergarten teacher may consult with the City of Monash Preschool Field Officer to discuss your child’s funding application. Please be aware that children born between January and April that are deemed ‘young’ will not be automatically granted funding for a second year of 4yo kinder. All children need to be assessed as having at least two areas of developmental delay that are not age related. (For more info please visit http://earlylife.com.au/info/parents-support-services for information on Preschool Readiness)
A child is eligible for a second year of kindergarten, if the teacher assesses the child as having developmental delays in at least two areas and that he or she will benefit from a second year of kindergarten. If required, further consultation may be undertaken with other early childhood development professionals to complete the assessment. If eligible the child’s kindergarten teacher, with the consent of, and in consultation with the child’s parent/guardians, will complete a declaration form for DEECD.

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Additional Needs

What support is available for children with additional needs?
When kindergartens include children with additional needs in their program funding for additional support may be available through the DEECD Special Education Program. Strict eligibility criteria apply to this funding (Refer to the DEECD kindergarten funding criteria). If your child has additional needs please contact us when you accept a place in our program. We can then ensure that our staff are aware and can look into what funding might be available to provide appropriate support.

My child has additional needs. When do I need to tell the kinder?
Please tell the kinder when you accept a place for the following year. This enables staff and your family to share important information about your child and allows staff to plan ahead and to ensure a smooth transition into the kinder environment. Information sharing also allows us to work with you to obtain DEECD Special Education Program funding where children are eligible so that support can be in place at the beginning of the kinder year.

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Program and curriculum

Will reading and writing be included?
Yes, but with emphasis on enjoying the process rather than on the result.

How do the teachers approach discipline?
In the early weeks some basic ground rules for the kinder environment are taught and encouraged. Listening ears, helping hands and walking feet are just a few of the behaviours you will hear about at kinder. We encourage self-control and understanding the consequences of behaviour.
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Will there be work times as well as play times?
Yes, the playground and the play room are your child’s work place. The teacher will ensure that learning is happening in both places.

Will I get reports on my child’s progress?
Yes, the teacher will frequently discuss with you how your child is progressing. Specific meeting times are available with the teacher. Please see staff to make a time for further consultations.

Are boys and girls given the same tasks and opportunities?
Yes, both sexes have available to them the whole range of kindergarten equipment and activities.

What will my child learn?
Communication, co-operation and understanding. And much, much more.

Will my child bring work home?
Yes, sometimes. Perhaps a drawing, pasting or piece of woodwork. However, many valuable activities, such as role-playing, singing, puzzles and blocks, can only be talked about.

Will the Kindergarten always be noisy and messy?
Yes, it means the children are enjoying themselves. However, quiet times are also a planned part of the program.

How will the teacher be able to teach my child as well as all the others?
The teacher plans and sets goals for individual learning and observes each child carefully, within the class, in small groups or on a one to one basis.

Can I visit the kinder and see my child?
Yes, everyone – parents, teachers and children – benefits greatly from this.

Will the teacher prepare my child for school?
Yes, the teacher will plan experiences that encourage independence and develop skills, such as listening, creative thinking, initiative, co-operation and motor skills. All much needed tools for starting school and life!

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Other

What sort of involvement is expected from parents?
Parents are welcome to get involved with the life of the kinder. There are many opportunities, from doing kinder duty, attending maintenance day, or helping with fundraising, to being on committee.
Emmanuel Kindergarten is run by a committee which includes volunteer parents and the kindergarten teachers. Volunteer parents who are on committee share responsibility for good financial management of the kinder, for enrolments, fundraising, grant applications, building and garden maintenance as well as organising social events to bring the kinder community together. Working bees are held once a term, and parents volunteer time to help with maintenance on these days. We encourage all families to attend special events like: Mothers day, the children’s Art Show, grandparents day and end of year concerts.

barsHow do you celebrate birthdays at kinder?
We recognise that birthdays are such an exciting time for kinder kids, and we always want to make our students feel special on their birthday.
As some children have allergies to cake ingredients we ask that you don’t bring cakes to kinder.
Children may celebrate their birthday at kinder by bringing a packet of jelly lollies such as snakes, jelly babies etc. (We recommend The Natural Confectionary Company brand). We have a pretend cake and we sing “Happy Birthday” and blow out the candles. This simplifies the care of children who at risk of anaphylactic reactions to foods.
Parents can bring balloons or stickers instead of lollies if they wish.

My child is at risk of anaphylaxis. What do we need to do before we start kinder?
Your child must have a signed Anaphylaxis Action Plan written by a Doctor and all staff must be trained to administer an Epipen. All medication must be at kinder each and every session or the child cannot stay for that session.

Does my child need to be toilet trained?
Yes. You are strongly encouraged to have your child toilet trained before they begin kindergarten – managing their own toileting and hygiene is an important part of a child’s independence and confidence. Where toilet training is a recent achievement our staff are willing to support and encourage within the kinder environment.
For more information read our 2016 Starting Kinder Parent Handbook.

Does my child need to be vaccinated?
By law to finalise enrolment for your child in kindergarten, you must provide the service with an immunisation status certificate that shows your child is either up to date with vaccinations for their age or on a vaccine catch-up schedule or has a medical condition preventing them from being fully vaccinated. Further information is available in the DHH parent brochure – No Jab No Play

Can we visit the kindergarten and see it in action before we sign up?
Yes. If you wish to tour our lovely kindergarten visitors are welcome throughout the year. Simply call us on 03 9569 7117 to arrange a time for a tour, to be able to chat with staff and to observe our children at play.

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