Three Year Old Kindergarten ahead of schedule
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Three-Year-Old Kindergarten ahead of schedule to meet 2029 targets

by Freya Lucas

June 25, 2024

Victoria’s Three-Year-Old Kindergarten roll-out is on track to meet its 2029 target early, with four out of five kindergarten services already delivering a full 15 hours of play-based learning each week.


In 2018, Victoria publicly committed to delivering a universal statewide funded kindergarten program for three-year-old Victorian children. 


Victoria was the first Australian state to deliver this nation-leading reform, which began rolling out in 2020 and offers three-year-old children between five and 15 hours of play-based learning a week.


Victorian families have embraced Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, with approximately 89 per cent of eligible three-year-old children attending a funded kindergarten program in 2023. That’s equivalent to 67,413 three-year-olds.


The average number of weekly kindergarten hours per child has also increased to 13.1 almost double the target figure of 7.5 hours per child per week.


Now, almost five years into the roll-out, more than 80 per cent of Victoria’s kindergarten services are delivering a full 15-hour-per-week program of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten benefitting children and their families across the state.


At a service level, leaders, teachers and educators are seeing this difference close up, each and every day. 


Transformation requires strong support


The success of such a dynamic shift in the delivery of early learning does, of course, depend on a highly skilled and committed workforce. 


“A quality early childhood education starts with dedicated staff,” Victoria’s Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn said. 


“Consultation with the sector has shown that our workforce initiatives, training and upskilling opportunities, and mentoring programmes are supporting early childhood workers to be their best.”


The Victorian Government is investing almost $370 million to expand the state’s kindergarten workforce and support early childhood teachers and educators to upskill, reskill, relocate and extend their professional opportunities in the Education State. 


There are a variety of supports available to assist professionals at all stages of their career, including (but not limited to): 


  • Beginning Teachers Conferences (BTC) for early childhood teachers in their first year of practice and those with anticipated graduation in the next 12 months working in services with a kindergarten funded program. The next BTC will be at the Victorian Teaching Academy and will take place on 12 July 2024.
  • A Coach and Mentor Training Program for experienced ECTs and educators, as well as for those already in coach and mentor roles who may wish to further develop their skills – Intake 2 registration opened 17 June 2024.
  • A series of Early Years Learning Networks held locally across Victoria for ECTs and educational leaders working in sessional and long day care services with a funded kindergarten program. From 2024, services are eligible to claim a contribution to backfill for up to 2 early childhood teachers or diploma-qualified educators per term to attend a local Network meeting.
  • Generous individual incentives of $9,000 are available for eligible, qualified early childhood teachers and educators currently working outside the Victorian early childhood sector who accept a role at any service delivering funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.
  • Location incentives of between $9,000 and $50,000 are available for eligible early childhood teachers and educators who accept a role at selected services.
  • Relocation supplements worth up to $8,000 are available to anyone who receives an incentive and moves more than 100 kilometres from their current place of residence to take up their new role.


The Early Childhood Jobs website connects early childhood professionals with employers seeking to fill vacancies across Victoria, and has an option to search for jobs which have been pre-approved for an incentive by selecting ‘DE Location Incentive’ and choosing the option from the drop-down box.


If you’re interested in being part of Victoria’s nation-leading early childhood reforms, visit   

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