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Service Updates

We are prioritising critical services and some services may be reduced. This means there will be longer wait times for customers contacting us by phone. Many of our services are available online. Advice on which services can continue is changing rapidly. For regular updates, go to

Play area at the Birch Street Children and Family Centre in Bayswater

4 Year Old Kindergarten and KEYS Online

Knox Family and Children’s Services manage 30 kindergartens, formerly referred to as preschool across the municipality and employ in excess of 100 qualified and experienced educators to provide quality education and care programs for children.

The kindergarten year is important for every child. It encourages children to:

  • Be creative and confident thinkers.
  • Build overall confidence, self reliance and resourcefulness.
  • Experience the joy of success and learning with other children and adults

Research shows that a quality early childhood service positively influences a child’s brain development and future learning and formal education.

When is my child/children eligible to attend 4 year old kindergarten?

To be eligible to attend a kindergarten service, your child must be four years old by 30 April of the year they start kindergarten .

Which funded preschool program is right for my family?
Click to enlarge - Which Funded Kindergarten/Preschool Program is Right for My Family?
Birth Date Year Attending
1/5/2015 to 30/4/2016 2020
1/5/2016 to 30/4/2017 2021
1/5/2017 to 30/4/2018 2022
1/5/2018 to 30/4/2019 2023
1/5/2019 to 30/4/2020 2024
1/5/2020 to 30/4/2021 2025

What Is Priority of Access?

Knox City Council has a Central Registration process used to allocate places at kindergartens that are managed by Council.

Places are offered following the Priority of Access Policy and Procedure, to ensure Kindergarten Services are accessible and equitable.

Is Your Child Attending Kindergarten in 2020 and beyond?

Registering for a Knox City Council 4 year old Kindergarten

Register your child for a 4 year old kindergarten via our KEYS Online portal. You will need to create an account if you haven’t already and follow the prompts to submit your interest.

Families are able to register, pay fees and view offers of kindergarten places from home at any time, seven days a week. You can login at any time to update your details or kindergarten preferences.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your details are correct and up-to-date at all times to allow us to process your child's kindergarten application. This will also ensure that your child can receive their kindergarten offer.

Updates made in KEYS Online may take up to 2 weeks to be reflected in the portal.
If you are a family with a child or children already enrolled you will have received an email with KEYS Online login details.

If you are unsure whether you have an account, please contact Knox Kindergarten Services on 9298 8000 or

To be eligible to attend a 4 year old kindergarten service, your child must be four years old by 30 April of the year they start kindergarten. Children can be registered from birth.

KEYS Online

Fees & Charges

2020 fee for 15 hours funded kindergarten is $1,553 per child split into four termly payments of $388.25. However, amidst the current pandemic and subsequent government support package, fees are currently as follows:

Term 1 - $388.25
Term 2 - $0.00 (State Government COVID-19 Free Kindergarten)
Term 3 - $0.00 (State Government COVID-19 Free Kindergarten)
Term 4 - $0.00 (State Government COVID-19 Free Kindergarten)

2021 fee for 15 hours funded kindergarten is $1640.00 per child split into four termly invoices of $410.00.

Invoices are sent in December the year prior, then in March, July and September. Payable through KEYS Online.

If, upon receipt of an invoice for kindergarten fees, you will not be able to pay the amount by the due date, please contact Knox Kindergarten Services on . Fees may be paid in instalments.

Non-payment of fees may mean a child will be unable to attend or continue to attend Kindergarten with Knox City Council. Please refer to our Fees and Fee Payment Policy and Procedure.

Do I qualify for a Fee Subsidy?

The kindergarten fee subsidy allows children to access up to 15 hours of kindergarten delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher in the year before school for free or at low cost.

For further information and to see if you qualify, information can be found on the Department of Education and Training Website - Free and Low Cost Kindergarten

Funded Kindergarten Program

The Victorian Government provides funding to support children to access a high quality kindergarten program in the year before they start school. The funding is a contribution towards meeting the costs of the kindergarten program.

Your child can only be funded for a kindergarten place at one service at a time and only for one year (unless your child is assessed as being eligible for a second funded year by your child's kindergarten teacher).

If your child will be attending another children's service that offers a funded kindergarten program, you must tell that service that Knox City Council Kindergarten Service will be claiming funding for your child.

No Jab No Play

As of 1 November 2018, parents and carers of children attending a Knox service are required to provide an updated immunisation history statement as evidence that their child continues to be up to date with immunisations while attending the service twice per year.

Further information can be found on the Department of Education and Training Website - No Jab No Play Regulations.

Family Involvement

Knox City Council is one of the largest and longest serving Kindergarten Cluster Managers in Victoria. Council values partnerships with families and so encourages families to be involved in their child’s kindergarten year.

From 2019, Knox Council began operating under the State Government Early Years Management Framework and so Parent Groups replaced the previous committee structure.

The Parent Group model provides parents a greater opportunity to become involved in the care and education of their children by:

  • participating at their local kindergarten
  • connecting with families at other kindergarten in their local area
  • supporting Council in municipal-wide objectives for children and families

For more information, visit Early Years Committees and Parent Groups.

Frequently Asked Questions about 4 Year Old Kindergarten

Transition to School - Parent Information Pack

Links to Support Services for Families

About Kindergarten Education and Learning

Educational programs at Knox Kindergarten Services focus on individual children’s strengths and abilities. Educators plan a play-based program to extend each child’s learning and development.

Establishing positive and respectful relationships between children and adults is an important foundation for supporting each child’s wellbeing and sense of themselves as independent and capable learners.

Educators have planned outcomes for each child and the kindergarten group. The indoor and outdoor play environments are set up with both the group and each child’s interests, skills, development and needs in mind.

Your child’s educators will work in partnership with you to identify and plan for your child’s individual skills, strengths and interests. Throughout the kindergarten year educators document your child’s learning. You will have opportunity to meet with educators to discuss your child’s learning and have access to records and observations of your child.

Educators at Knox City Council Kindergarten Services develop programs for children that are based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF).

Our service commitment

Knox City Council is committed to providing the very best service possible to you and your family. Family satisfaction surveys are conducted annually and educators welcome your feedback about the kindergarten service at any time.

Translating and Interpreting Service

If you need an interpreter, please call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 and ask them to telephone Knox City Council on 03 9298 8000.

For more information

For more information on Council's Kindergarten service call us on 03 9298 8000.

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