When you first have a child it can feel like nothing you do is right and you're constantly making mistakes. Rest assured, almost everyone goes through this same feeling of doubt, which is why there are so many resources to help new parents and reassure them that they are doing just fine. When you first start looking to enrol your child into preschool programs like kindergartens it can seem very expensive, but luckily there is a government program aimed at assisting parents. These are known as funded kindergartens, and they can help you get a quality education for your child, no matter your financial situation.

What Is a Funded Kindergarten?

A funded kindergarten program is a term that refers to the fee subsidy that the government provides for all children. While states and territories differ in their application of these fee subsidies, most of the time you are eligible for a certain number of hours of free kindergarten every week. This is part of Australia's overall goal of free childhood education for all, and in many cases, it starts at about fifteen hours of free funded kindergarten a week. While this applies to all children, many new parents often don't know about this option. This is why it's so crucial to spread the news about funded kindergarten.

Is This Available at All Kindergartens?

No, not every kindergarten has a funded kindergarten program and therefore it is always important to check that the one you are sending your child to has this type of assistance. Some kindergartens might accept a portion of this program, while others, particularly private ones with connections to prestigious schools, do not accept any funded kindergarten programs. However, this is slowly changing and in the future, it may become mandated, so make sure to keep an eye out for any changes.

How Old Does Your Child Have to Be to Qualify?

Most of the time, funded kindergartens are for four-year-olds in their last year of preschool, but this is not a universal rule. Some programs allow three-year-olds as well, and this can be up to the school or your own personal circumstances. If you are struggling and need additional hours of funded kindergarten, then make sure to talk to a representative who has information about funded kindergarten. Most are only too happy to help extend your hours and help ensure your family has a successful start!