Choosing The Right Preschool Program For Your Child

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Preschool programs in Australia are a stepping stone to preparing children for 13 years of full-time school. Although play-based, school readiness programs are an essential link in the holistic nurturing of children in literacy, motor skills, and psychosocial skills. Consider this your guide to preschool programs in Australia to help you find the most appropriate one.

Choosing The Right Preschool Program

Preschool Programs in Australia’s Education Framework

Children attend preschool programs in the year before they join full-time school. Earlyhood teachers handle the program. The program is a requirement set by the National Quality Framework.

The Nature and Management of Preschool Programs

The Australian curriculum accommodates preschool programs as a transition to school. Parents and educators agree that an individualised approach to addressing a child’s unique needs is needed. Although transition to school is not a mandatory aspect of a child’s education journey, parents, the government, and educators feel it is helpful to children as a developmental milestone.

Such centres are important as a teaser of what to expect in a formal education setup. Children interact with their peers; some taste relationships beyond their immediate family unit. They learn through play as they explore themselves and the world.

Early childhood centres enroll children aged four for preschool programs, although some states begin with three-year-olds. These centres are kindergartens run as private institutions, community-owned or government-owned centres. They operate full-time and part-time schedules in long daycare and childcare centres. Children in remote areas can access education through online and mobile education services.

It is a requirement that qualified and certified Early Childhood teachers and childcare workers handle children in such centres. The staff manage and educate their charges under various Early Childhood Education learning philosophies, such as Reggio Emilia, Montessori, and Steiner.

School readiness programs develop children in five domains:

  • Social skills
  • Physical health and wellbeing
  • Communication skills and general knowledge
  • Emotional growth
  • Cognitive and linguistic skills

The Costs of Preschool Programs

The Australian government earlier subsidised the costs of preschool programs by funding territories and states. The funds ensured that all children access quality preschool programs yearly in all states. School programs should provide children with 15 hours of instruction every week, totalling 600 hours for the whole program.

Costs vary between territories and states, but the state dictates that they should be affordable so every child can participate. Some preschools charge fees, while others are free even after the withdrawal of government subsidies for the program in 2021. 

Other centres ask for compensation in the form of volunteer services from parents. Statistics indicate that most parents, especially millennials, prefer non-government and sometimes costly preschools.

Choosing the Best Preschool Program for Your Child

Although preschool programs have one objective, their presentations vary. Parents wishing to enrol their children feel confused as the managers employ diverse marketing gimmicks to attract clients. 

The following tips guide on how to find the best centre for your child:

1.     Get a schedule of the activities and daily routine and check for variety

2.     Find out how they help you track your child’s daily activities

3.     Enquire how the centre integrates children’s interest in the learning program

4.     Find out about indoor, outdoor, and group activities

5.     Confirm how the centre handles accidents, emergencies, and sickness

6.     Check if the centre undergoes assessment under the National Quality Standard and the rating received


Preschool programs aim to introduce children to the joy of learning. The best of them deliver Early Childhood education in an individualised framework. They arm children with life skills such as self-awareness, friendship, and responsibility to help them cope and get the most out of school. 

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