Extended learning gives children a great start

238278_01

Five hours of subsidised three-year-old kindergarten will be offered at all Knox City Council-run kindergartens from 2022.

Together with existing four-year-old kindergarten services, the new two-year kindergarten program will provide another year of learning, playing and making friends, to support children’s development, learning and transition to school.

Two years of kindergarten have been shown to have great benefits for social, emotional and cognitive development.

“Extended early learning – including plenty of play and socialisation with peers – is a strong foundation for children to learn and grow,” says Catharine Hydon, an early learning specialist who has advised state and local government and provided professional support to Knox’s early childhood educators.

“The presence of a qualified teacher makes a huge difference for children,” Catharine says. “Teachers and parents can design a program to build on children’s natural skills and creativity and identify any learning challenges early – which is the key to later success.”

Benefits of early learning last into the school years and beyond, and are even more important for children who need extra support or are in vulnerable circumstances.

“Building these early relationships, getting to know their community and their peers across age groups will increase good outcomes.”

Families in Knox are able to access funded kindergarten at Council-run sessional services, independent kindergarten providers and long day cares.

The expansion of kindergarten to a two-year program is part of the Victorian Government’s kindergarten reform, which is the largest reform of early childhood education in Victoria’s history. This ambitious reform will have a long term impact on children and families across the state.

Registrations are now open for three and four-year-old sessions at Knox Council kindergartens in 2022. To be included in the first round of offers, register by 30 June for four-year-old, or 31 July for three-year-old. Registrations after these dates will be included in subsequent allocation rounds.

knox.vic.gov.au/keysonline

For more information, contact: kindergarten@knox.vic.gov.au