Frequently Asked Questions
We want Kindergarten to be as smooth and as easy as possible, and we have created an information booklet with important dates and information, which you can download by clicking here.
Below is a list of our most often asked questions from parents.
When is my child eligible for kindergarten?
Four year old programs
Your child must turn four before the 30th April in the year your child is to attend Kindergarten. If your child is born in the months of January through to April, you have the choice of which year to enrol your child. If you are unsure when to send your child to kindergarten, talk to the Kindergarten Teacher at your preferred kindergarten.
Three year old programs
Your child is eligible for three year old kindergarten if they turn three before the 30th April. Children must turn three before they can attend kindergarten. If your child turns three during term 1 they start kindergarten in Term 2 and if they turn three in Term 2 they can start after their 3rd birthday.
It is recommended that children be three by the start of Term 1 in the year they are to attend Kindergarten. Children who are eligible to attend kindergarten at the beginning of term 1 will be given priority when allocating kindergarten places.
How do I decide which kindergarten my child should attend?
There is a difference in the programs offered at each kindergarten. Each kindergarten is unique and each teacher offers his or her own program (within the Children’s Services Guidelines). The Open Night & Open Days are a great way to make a decision about which kindergarten would best suit your child. They provide parents/guardians with the opportunity to see each kindergarten, hear how each program is run, meet the Teachers and ask any questions that you may have in order to make an informed decision about kindergarten.
Can I visit kindergartens while a session is on?
You are encouraged to visit the kindergartens you are interested in having your child attend. Teachers have a duty of care to the children attending each session so please phone the kindergarten first to make an allocated time to ensure the teacher is available to speak with you.
What is Universal Access and what does it mean for my Child?
Universal Access is an Australian Government commitment to provide access to a quality preschool program for all children by 2013 for 15 hours a week in the year before starting school. Currently all kindergartens except Roberts Avenue are offering 15 hours of kindergarten. There is 1 program at Roberts Avenue which is offering 11 hours of kindergarten
See site specific information for further details of hours of program delivered at each location.
Does my child have to take part in Universal Access?
Kindergarten is not compulsory; however if your child is enrolled in a four year old program they will attend kindergarten for 15 hours per week from 2013.
When should I register my child?
If you want your child to attend your kindergarten of choice, you must register them as soon as possible, as kindergarten offers are based primarily on application date. The earlier you register your child, the greater chance you have of obtaining a place in the kindergarten of your choice.
How do I register my child?
An Enrolment Registration Form needs to be filled out submitted to HDKA to register your child. Once the registration form is received your child’s details will be placed on the Enrolment database. You will receive a letter confirming your details and first preference. Please check that all details are correct on the confirmation letter.
For 2012 places, you need to return your Enrolment registration form to HDKA by Friday, 5th August.
How are children matched with places?
HDKA has put in place Priority of Access guidelines as part of the Enrolment Policy which outline how kindergarten places are allocated based on priority. Below outlines the priorities for the funded kindergarten program (4 year old) in the policy:
Children who have received funding for a second year of kindergarten for DEECD Children who were eligible to attend kindergarten in the previous year but deferred or withdrew from the centre by the end of Term 2. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children or children known to Child Protection.
Children who have a sibling that has previously attended the same kindergarten as their preference
Date of Application
Can I change my kindergarten preferences?
You can change your kindergarten preference up until the end of September for 2014 Enrolments. For future years, changes to preferences can be made at anytime without affecting your application date. See Change of Details/Preference Form at the rear of this Information Booklet
When will I know if my child has been accepted to my preferred kindergarten?
All kindergarten offers are posted out in August of the year prior to the kindergarten year. The letter of offer will be accompanied by an Enrolment Application
Form, Parent Survey and a deposit invoice. Completed forms are to be returned and deposit payment made to HDKA by the specified date to secure your child’s kindergarten place.
If you do not receive your first choice of kindergarten you can accept an offer of lower preference or choose to be placed on a waiting list at your preferred kindergarten. Any vacancies that arise will be offered to children based on date of application (until the end of September). After this date, waiting lists for individual kindergartens will not be held and any children remaining on a waiting list will be placed on a general waiting list. See Enrolment Timeline on page 8 for further details.
What happens to my child’s registration if I defer their kindergarten year?
If you decide not to send your child to kindergarten in the year in which you nominated, you need to contact HDKA to defer your child’s attendance to the following year. You will remain on the enrolment database to be offered a kindergarten place the following year based on your original registration date and in line with HDKA’s priority of access.
Why do I have to pay a deposit?
A deposit is required to assist us with the planning of kindergarten programs as it shows you are committed to the place offered. The deposit to secure your child’s place is $50 per child for three and four year old full paying fee places.
If you hold an eligible concession card or visa and expect to in 2012 a deposit is not required. However, HDKA needs to site the card in order to secure your child’s place. Please bring it in to the HDKA office with you when you return your Enrolment Application Form.
Please note: In cases of severe hardship being demonstrated for four year old places, please call and discuss your situation personally, with our Enrolment Officer or Executive Officer.
When is my deposit returned?
Deposits paid are returned as a credit on your Term three fee invoice.
What is the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy?
The kindergarten fee subsidy exists to make funded kindergarten (4 year old program) affordable for families who hold an eligible concession or visa. As a concession or visa holder you are entitled to subsidised fees in the four year old program only. In 2012, it is anticipated that there will be no fee payment required. You can access the kindergarten fee subsidy by presenting your concession card or visa to the HDKA office when fees are issued for Term 1 and upon card expiry.
Can I use my concession card for Three year old kindergarten?
No. There are currently no subsidies available for the three year old program. Three year old kindergarten is fee for service, that is, fees need to be paid to meet the costs of running the program, paying staff and operational costs.
What are the fees in 2013?
Fees in 2013 can be accessed at each individual site page
What are the fees in 2014?
Fees for 4 year old kindergarten are subsidised by government funding
3 year old kindergarten does not attract government funding and must cover all costs through fees
When am I required to pay fees?
Fees for all kindergartens are to be paid to HDKA. Term fees are payable before the term begins. Fees will be invoiced, four weeks into each term for the following term. There are four terms in a year. Term 1 invoices will be sent out with enrolment information in Term 4 of the year prior to enrolment and payment is required by December of that year.
What happens if I do not pay my fees?
Your child will be unable to attend kindergarten, this is unpleasant for all and we encourage you to keep your payments up to date to ensure your child’s eligibility. Families experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to contact the enrolment officer to discuss a payment plan.
Is a Child Care Benefit available?
HDKA is a registered care provider and eligible families paying full fees, can claim the Child Care Benefit for the three and four year old programs. The Child Care Benefit can be claimed directly by parents/guardians. Claims can only be made after fees have been paid in full. A Child Care Benefit receipt will be issued to families at the end of Term 2 & Term 4 with fee receipts.
Are there expected to be Kindergarten closures throughout the year?
There may be sessions lost throughout the year due to public holidays, professional development and staff illness.
In the case of staff illness, a kindergarten will only be closed when suitably qualified emergency staff cannot be found at short notice. A phone tree is established at each kindergarten and you may receive a call on any kindergarten day between 7.30am and 8.30am. Please have a backup plan in place should this occur.
HDKA Office Hours are from 9 to 3pm Monday to Friday. However the office may be unattended due to meetings, site visits or events from time to time. If unsure about any part of this process, you are welcome to ring Shirleen, Kelly or Jenny on 5382 7997 or Shirleen’s mobile on 0418 526 975.
2012 Office arrangements