Key information

  • Children who have turned four years of age by 1 January are eligible for enrolment at their local kindergarten
  • There are certain cases where a child may be exempt from kindergarten. This includes cases where a child has a disability or is assessed as gifted.
  • The Early Childhood Inclusion Service (ECIS) is for children aged 0 to 4 years who need extra support to maximise their learning

The preferred option for all students is to participate in kindergarten. This is so they can get the most benefit from the available years of schooling. Kindergarten is an important foundation year for learning.

Every child from the year after they turn 5 years of age must be enrolled at and attending school, or an approved home education program. Children can also attend Kindergarten from 4 years of age.

Guide to exemptions

Skipping kindergarten

A parent may choose not to enrol their child in kindergarten at the age of four. This is not the preferred option as the child may miss out on the benefits of accessing a kindergarten education program.

If a child is exempted from kindergarten, then enrolment in prep by the time they have turned 5 years of age is required. Where a family chooses not to access a kindergarten year, the first year of formal schooling will be when the child is enrolled in prep.

Later enrolment in kindergarten

Families seeking to enrol their child in kindergarten (rather than in prep) at the age of 5 must submit an application for this using the Application for exemption from Attending School (PDF, 501KB).

ECIS support in exemption situations

It is important to note that the services available through ECIS are for children aged birth (or diagnosis) until transition to kindergarten for eligible families. It does not extend for a further year if families choose not to seek a kindergarten enrolment.

More information about ECIS