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. See attached 'The right time to start kindgergarten'

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. Children must turn three before they can attend kindergarten.

Families whose children cannot start kindergarten until Term 2 will need to pay Term 1 fees to hold their kindergarten place.  (It is recommended that children be three by the start of Term 1 in the year they are to attend Kindergarten).

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 Education Care Services National Regulations). Visiting the kindergarten provides parents/guardians with the opportunity to see each kindergarten, hear how each program is run, meet with Educators 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 educatorsare 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 are offering 15 hours of kindergarten per week.

See site specific information for further details of hours of program delivered at each location.

What is Universal Access & what does it mean for my Child?

Universal Access is an Australian Government committment to provide access to a quality early years program for all children for 15 hours a week in the year before starting school. (see site specific information for further details for hours of prgram delivery at each location).

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 (see Enrolment tab) needs to be 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 or email confirming your kindergarten preference. Please check that all details are correct on the confirmation letter.

For 2018 places, you need to return your Enrolment registration form to HDKA by Friday, 4th 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:

First priority:

  • Children at risk of abuse or neglect, including children in out of home care. The child is:
    • Attending a three year old kindergarten program through Early Start KIndergarten or Access to Early Learning, or is referred by:
      • Child Protection
      • Child & Family Services, Child FIRST/Integrated Family Services/ Services Connect Case worker
      • Maternal & Child Health Nurse
      • Out of Home Care provider
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children
  • Asylum seeker and refugee children
    • An appropriate visa identifies the child and/or parents as a refugee or asylum seeker
  • Children eligible for the Kindergarten fees subsidy
    • A child or parent holds a Commonwealth Health Care Card, Pension Concession Card, Veteran's Affairs Card or multiple birth children (triplets, quadruplets)
  • Children with additional needs, defined as children who:
    • require additional assistance in order to participate in the kindrgarten program, require a combination of services which are individually planned, have an identified specific disability or developmental delay
      • The child is assessed as having delays in two or more areas and is declared eligible for a second funded year of kindrgarten
      • Holds a child disability health care card
      • Has previously been approved for Kindergarten Inclusion Support package, or referred by:
        • The National Disability Insurance Scheme
        • Early Childhood Intervention Service
        • Preschool Field Officer, or
        • Maternal & Child Health Nurse.
  • Children who were eligible to attend kindergarten in the previous year but deferred prior to the April data collection (end of Term1) after consultation with the kindergarten teacher.
    • These children will have priority at the kindergarten at which they are initially offered a place
    • Should parents wish their child to attend a different kindergarten the priority of place criteria will come into effect.

Second priority

  • Children who have a sibling that has previously attended the same kindergarten as their first preference

Third priority

  • Date of application

Can I change my kindergarten preferences?

Change can be made to your preferences at any time prior to the first round of offers being made without affecting your initial date of registration.  For 2018 enrolment changes can be made up intil Friday 4th August 2017.  For future years, changes to preferences can be made at anytime without affecting your application date. See Change of Details/Preference Form on the Enrolment page of this website.

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. Completed application forms and immunisation history statements 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 and 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 in the HDKA Information Booklet 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.

Are there expected to be kindergarten closures throughout the year?

Several closure dates are allocated for staff to undertake professional development and administarion duties.  You will be given adequate notice of these closure days.

In the case of staff illness, a kindergarten may be unaviodably closed should no suitably qualified relief staff be available 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.

Kindergartens may close up to two days each year for professional development, where possible a month notice will be given. Where possible kindergarten closures are kept to a minimum for each kindergarten program.

Kindergarten Fees

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 fee paying places.

If you hold an eligible concession card or visa a deposit is not required for 4 year old kindergarten. 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.

When is my deposit returned?

Deposits paid are returned as a credit on your Term four fees.  If your child is withdrawn from the kindergarten program prior to Term 4 your deposit will be forfeited.

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 2018, 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 with your application form 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.  HDKA makes every effort to keep fees to a minimum.

What are the fees in 2018?

4 year old kindergarten (15 hours per week) $400 per term

3 year old kindergarten (3 hours per week) $250 per term

3 year old kindergarten(5 hours per week) $410 per term 

After Kindergarten Care (2 hour session) $25 per session

After Kindergarten Care (4 hour session) $40 per session

When am I required to pay fees?

  • Fees for all kindergartens are to be paid to HDKA. Fees are paid by direct debit through Ezidebit.
  • Families need to complete a Direct Debit Request (DDR) Form and return it to HDKA prior to commencing kindergarten
  • Direct Debit Request Forms will be sent out with your Confirmation of kindergarten place and session in Term 4 2017.

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.

Please note: If a family has outstanding fee payments, siblings will not be offered a kindergarten place for future enrolments until all debts are paid.

Please note: In cases of severe hardshipbeing demonstrated, please call and discuss your situation personally, with our Enrolment Officer or Executive Officer.

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 at Medicare. 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 and Term 4 with direct debit statements.