What is pre-school?

Published on Monday, 05 December 2016
Last updated on Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Article hero image

Pre-school / Kindergarten / Prep

Preschool is a planned educational program for children in the years before a child commences school. Children are usually aged between 3 and 5 years. Preschool may take place in a range of settings including a purpose built building, in a community setting, a school, as part of a long day care centre or a mobile or visiting service.

Preschool generally runs between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm similar to school hours although this may vary by state and by service so check with the provider. The terms kindergarten or prep are also used in some states.

Is my child eligible for the Child Care Subsidy if they attend preschool?

Children who attend a preschool program within a long day care centre are eligible for the Child Care Subsidy. However children who attend preschool in a service which only offers a preschool program, for example a standalone preschool operating within school hours, will not attract the new Child Care Subsidy.

If you are unsure about which category a preschool belongs to, you should contact the service to check. 

To learn more about how preschool is funded in your state or territory contact the authority below.

State Department Website Contact Number
NSW Department of Education

education.nsw.gov.au

1300 679 332

VIC Department of Education and Training

education.vic.gov.au

03 9637 2000

QLD Department of Education

qed.qld.gov.au

1800 454 639

WA Department of Education

education.wa.edu.au

08 9264 4111

SA Department for Education

education.sa.gov.au

1800 088 158

TAS Department of Education

education.tas.gov.au

1800 816 057

ACT Education Directorate

education.act.gov.au

02 6207 5111

NT Department of Education

education.nt.gov.au

08 8999 5659

Related Articles

Article image

What types of child care are there?

An overview of the different child care services available to families, including centre based care and in-home care options, and how families can access them.

Article image

First day at pre-school

Tips and tricks for planning and preparing for your child's first day at pre-school including what to expect, how to prepare and how to make it special.

Article image

9 gorgeous books about starting child care

9 lovely books about transitioning into child care or preschool after a life based at home.