Kindergarten offers many benefits for your child and your family. 
  • Children develop social skills, make new friends and learn to play with other children in a calm, sharing and rewarding way. 
  • They develop self-awareness and respect for others, and emotional skills, to help them understanding their feelings. 
  • Language, literacy and numeracy skills are established, such as reading stories and counting objects and they are exposed to new ideas and concepts through a variety of play based activities. 
  • Families also benefit through friendships and by building community connections. 

To view our Kindergarten Enrolment Policy - CLICK HERE(PDF, 646KB)

To find out more about Kindergarten, download the KINDERGARTEN HANDBOOK(PDF, 7MB)


About Kindergarten

A child's time at Kindergarten is an important part of their early years development. It helps children develop life skills through play and social interaction. They develop friendships, engage in various activities and it also supports them in their transition to formal schooling.

At the Glenelg Shire our professional team of teachers and educators design fun, engaging and age-appropriate programs based on the National Quality Framework and Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Frameworks, to ensure children are provided with learning opportunities through play.

Our Kindergarten programs are designed to meet the needs of the communities, with operational hours and fees being reviewed annually.
The State Government does partly fund kindergarten programs. Kindergarten Fees are set annually, some families may be eligible for a Kindergarten Fee Subsidy, to reduce costs.  


To find out more about Kindergarten, download the Kindergarten Handbook(PDF, 2MB) or refer to our Kindergarten Fees and Charges(PDF, 350KB) or contact our team on 1300 453 635

Benefits of Kindergarten

Success at School

To set your child up for success at school, it is recommended your child attends:

  • A funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program for five to 15 hours each week, followed by
  • A funded Four-Year-Old Kindergarten program for 15 hours each week
  • Victoria is the first state or territory in Australia to offer universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.
  • Enrolling your child in two years of quality kindergarten gives them the best start in life.
  • Two years are better than one: taking part in a quality kindergarten program at an earlier age boosts children’s development, wellbeing and learning. It has even more benefits for children who need extra support or are in vulnerable circumstances
  • Two years of kindergarten can propel young children to be self-motivated learners and develop unique interests.
  • Ninety per cent of a child’s brain develops by the time they turn five. The benefits of enrolling children in kindergarten for two years at age three can last a lifetime.
  • Children start learning how to manage their emotions and self-regulation skills at kindergarten. They start to build resilience and learn to focus their attention.

What this means for families: 

The number of hours on offer from services will depend on factors such as available workforce, infrastructure capacity and community preferences.

  • Services are carefully considering these factors before they confirm the final number of 2023 program hours for Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. 
  • This means the number of hours shown here are indicative only and subject to change.

We understand how important it is that families have clear information that helps them to plan for 2023. We will work to confirm the final number of program hours with families as soon as possible.

Early Start Kindergarten

Early Start Kindergarten gives eligible children 15 hours of free or low-cost kindergarten a week for the two years before school, no matter which service the child attends.

To be eligible, your child must turn three by 30 April in the year they start kindergarten, and:

  • be from a refugee or asylum seeker background, or
  • identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or
  • your family has had contact with child protection.

Early Start Kindergarten is available in all kindergarten programs led by a teacher. 

Kindergarten Fees and Concessions

For eligible children, sessional kindergarten will be free, this means your child will receive up to 15 hours of kindergarten at no cost in 2023. 



Three and Four Year Old Kindergarten

Three and Four-Year-Old kindergarten will be offered in same age groups or in multi-age groups (three and four-year-olds together) across the Shire.
Children will develop friendships and engage in learning - regardless of age group. They also get the added bonus of peer support and lead learning from other children who may be slightly older. These opportunities allow children to develop more sophisticated social skills.
Funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and Four-Year-Old Kindergarten is available at:
  • Karreeta Peeneeyt Mara-Portland Child and Family Complex
  • Kathleen Millikan Centre
  • Jaycee Kindergarten
  • Kalbarri Kindergarten
  • Heywood Kindergarten
  • Dartmoor Children's Centre


To find out more about Kindergarten, download the Kindergarten Handbook(PDF, 2MB) or refer to our Kindergarten Fees and Charges(PDF, 350KB) or contact our team on 1300 453 635



Kathleen Millikan Centre

Address: 1-7 Jackson St, Casterton, VIC 3311
Phone:  1300 453 635


Dartmoor Children's Centre

Address: 134 Lang St, Dartmoor, VIC 3304
Phone: 1300 453 635


Heywood Kindergarten

Address: 24 Hunter St, Heywood, VIC 3304
Phone: 1300 453 635


Karreeta Peenyeet Mara – Portland Child and Family Complex

Address: 94 Julia St, Portland, VIC 3305
 1300 453 635 

Jaycee Kindergarten

Address: 68 Wellington Rd, Portland, VIC 3305
Phone: 1300 453 635 

Kalbarri Kindergarten

Address: 11 Mitchell Cres, Portland, VIC 3305
Phone: 1300 453 635 


Other Services

Elsa MacLeod Kindergarten – community managed

Address: 60 Henty St, Portland, VIC 3305
Phone: (03) 5523 2680

Good Start Early Learning Centre – privately run

Address: 49-53 Wellington Rd, Portland, VIC 3305
Phone: (03) 5521 1433

Heywood Early Learning Centre -  privately run

Address: 39 Hunter Street, Heywood, VIC 3304
Phone: (03) 5527 1118