Guardian Kindergarten Programs
Guardian Early Learning Group provides kindergarten programs for children across their high quality early learning centres in Australia. These kindergarten programs are designed to meet government guidelines to support children’s participation in quality early childhood education. Many state governments offer funded kindergarten programs, so be sure to check with your state government to review what rebates your family may be able to receive.
What is kindergarten?
Often considered the first step to more formalised education, kindergarten programs prepare children for their transition to school. Educational programs for kindergarten aged children should provide a safe and nurturing environment for children to develop confidence, independence, self-awareness and a feeling of self-worth.
While no two kindergarten programs are exactly the same, all kindergarten programs are designed for young children specifically and are delivered by a qualified early childhood education and care teacher. The kindergarten program you choose will depend on a variety of different factors.
To make the process easier for your family, be sure to tour local kindergartens and ask the following questions:
- What rating does your program have against the National Quality Standard (NQS)?
- Does your curriculum meet or exceed the standards set forth by the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)?
- Is your program play-based?
- Do you provide extended care hours for busy working families?
- What types of support do your educators provide during the learning process?
- How are families notified about their child’s progress?
- Can you help our family determine the subsidies we qualify for?
During your tour, be sure to also note how you are made to feel welcome while you are there. View the indoor and outdoor spaces and notice if they are sensory-rich spaces that will stimulate and inspire your child to learn. And pay attention to the resources made available to children and team members.
What happens in kindergarten in Australia?
What happens in kindergarten in Australia? So many amazing things!
Kindergarten is an exciting time for Australian children to kick off their education in a safe and secure environment surrounded by a diverse group of peers and a qualified teacher who supports their learning. Basically, kindergarten is all about having fun and learning through play.
Once you enrol your child in kindergarten, you can expect them to:
- Strengthen their oral communication skills
- Learn patience, turn-taking, and negotiation skills
- Learn to feel confident and brave
- Let their natural curiosity lead them
- Begin working on numeracy and literacy skills that will prepare them for primary school
In essence, a kindergarten program will support your child as they explore the world around them and create new meaning. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to actively engage with materials through hands-on activities and learn while they play.
Is Kindy compulsory in Australia?
Kindergarten is not compulsory for Australian children and deciding whether or not to enrol your child in kindergarten really depends on the individual child. As a parent, you’ll want to consider your child’s age, whether or not they are ready for kindergarten, if they have previously mastered foundational skills at home, and how a kindy will fit into your family’s busy schedule.
While not mandatory, kindergarten is highly recommended in Australia. Kindergarten will help your child get used to a classroom environment, build critical social and emotional skills, become familiar with daily routines, and prepare them for their formal schooling to come. Furthermore, kindergarten will help your child develop early maths and literacy skills that will stay with them for life.
All children benefit from attending a kindergarten program. So, if you have any concerns about your child specifically, reach out and ask an early childhood education and care professional at a kindergarten near you.
Is your child ready for kindergarten?
It’s important that your child’s early years experiences are both happy and positive. So, age is not the only factor you want to consider when determining whether or not your child is ready for kindergarten. Keep other factors in mind like whether or not your child feels ready to attend a kindergarten program, they feel relaxed in social situations, they are able to communicate their needs to others, and they can follow directions.
Having mastered foundational skills like counting and spelling their own name can certainly help your child feel more confident in a kindergarten environment, but having social and emotional readiness is also an important determining factor on if your child is ready for kindergarten or not.
Thankfully, childhood educators and teachers are highly skilled in the early year’s sector, so they are well-suited to help your child transition successfully from a home or daycare environment into a kindergarten program. And finding a program with a kindergarten educator or teacher who welcomes your child into the classroom and makes them feel safe is the first step in deciding where to enrol them.
If you’re still feeling unsure of your child’s readiness for kindergarten, ask your maternal child health nurse or arrange a meeting with the kindergarten teacher.
What is the age of kindergarten students?
The age of kindergarten students varies by program with a typical age range of 3 to 5 years old. While some kindergartens offer a two year program, with the first year starting at age 3 and the second year starting at age 4, other kindergartens only offer one year before your child starts primary school.
There are many benefits to your child attending kindergarten whether they attend for one year or two. Knowing the needs of your particular child and how kindergarten will fit into your family’s schedule can help you decide which type of program is right for you.
What should my child know before kindergarten in Australia?
While there’s not a standard checklist to reference, there are some things your child should know before attending kindergarten in Australia. Mastering these critical skills will ensure that your child has a positive start to their kindergarten year and will help them feel safe, secure, and confident as soon as they walk into their kindergarten classroom for the very first time:
- Dress themselves
- Use the restroom on their own
- Talk about their feelings and self-regulate
- Communicate their needs
- Take turns respectfully
- Recognise their own name both orally and written down
- Become familiar with daily routines
- Have a basic understanding of letters and numbers
You will be amazed how much your child will learn through play while attending a kindergarten program. To help them succeed, practice the skills above before they begin.
How long is kindergarten in Australia?
Kindergarten is typically a year-long program that takes place the year prior to your child attending primary school. Some places also offer a two-year kindergarten program for children ages 3 to 4.
Is preschool and kindergarten the same?
Preschool and kindergarten are essentially the same things in Australia. Depending on which area of the country you live in, people may use the word preschool or the word kindergarten to refer to the year that occurs just before primary school. In certain states and territories, both words are used interchangeably.
Play-based learning at kindergarten
At our kindergartens, children are involved in play-based learning allowing them to follow their own interests. Kindergarten educators support children in their exploration and provide them with extensions to their play and conduct meaningful discussion. From projects in the garden to explorations of culture, kindergarten children are part of a rich array of experiences during their time at our centres. Some of the projects our kindergarten children undertake:
- Sustainability projects
- Art-based projects
- Cultural projects
- Excursions around the local area
- Outdoor play including gardening and harvesting vegetables
- Indigenous studies
- Cooking experiences
Features at our kindergartens
At Guardian, we pride ourselves on providing excellent spaces and educators to support children’s learning. Here are some of the features you can find at our kindergartens in Australia:
- We work in partnership with you to ensure your child’s time with us is integrated with your goals and aspirations for your child
- Our educators follow a contemporary play-based Curriculum that supports the National Quality Framework
- Indoor and outdoor environments at our centres are nature-inspired
- We opt for natural resources over plastic toys
- Staff ratios typically operate greater than the minimum standards which ensures our children receive more quality time with our educators
- Nutritious meals are provided using fresh and seasonal produce
- We have an open door policy – call or drop by our centre at any time
- The convenience of pram parking in most of our CBD centres
- Follow your child’s experiences through our daily communication on Storypark – a private and secure platform for families
- Long day care hours at many centres making it easier for working families
Kindergartens in Australia
Guardian Early Learning Group have over 92 childcare centres across Australia. Looking for a kindergarten near you? Use the links below to find a kindergarten in your city.
- Kindergartens in Sydney
- Kindergartens in Melbourne
- Kindergartens in Brisbane
- Kindergartens in ACT
- Kindergartens in Adelaide
- Kindergartens in Perth
Want to learn more about our bespoke Curriculum in our kindergartens? Head here.