Playgroup provides parents and caregivers with the opportunity to meet new people, gain support and exchange parenting ideas. It caters for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Children engage in social experiences, craft activities and develop skills.
Playgroups are low cost and run by the parents or carers in them. Each parent or carer is responsible for the children they bring to playgroup.
For further information visit Playgroup Victoria
Kindergarten is an important step for young children. Kindergarten improves children’s health and wellbeing, helps them to develop strong social skills and encourages a love of learning. Children who go to kindergarten are more independent and confident and are more likely to make a smooth move to primary school.
Kindergarten programs are delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher. Qualified teachers support children’s learning and curiosity through experiences and activities, such as exploring the natural world, being exposed to new ideas and solving problems.
We have partnered with VicHealth on a three-year project to strengthen the creation of a community where children and young people are able to grow up active, healthy and socially connected.
Out of the 16 fast-track local government areas included in the partnership, our approach will focus on a coordinated and collaborative approach dedicated to children young people’s health and wellbeing.
Communities in East Gippsland have faced traumatic drought and bushfire and are working to reconnect with those who have been hit hardest.
We will use a place-based approach to build on the strengths and networks in communities, with the ultimate aim of supporting children and young people to have a seat at the decision-making table to lead the planning and design of healthier communities.
For full details of this project, see the Youth page.
Fifteen hours of three year old kindergarten is available at most kindergartens across East Gippsland. Children are eligible to attend three year old kindergarten when the child turns three on or before 30 April in the year of attendance.
More information about three year old kindergarten
Contact your kindergarten for information about the enrolment process and timelines.
Four year old kindergarten, delivered in the year before a child goes to school, is 15 hours a week of play-based learning.
Children are eligible to attend four year old kindergarten when the child turns four years of age on or before 30 April in the year of attendance.
To find out more information about about the enrolment process and timelines, contact your local kindergarten.
Early Start Kindergarten gives eligible children 15 hours of free or low-cost kindergarten a week. To be eligible, your child must be three by 30 April in the year they'll start kindergarten, and your child is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and/or your family has had contact with Child Protection (or been referred to Child FIRST).
From 2021, Early Start Kindergarten will also be available for refugee and asylum seeker children who turn three before 30 April in the year they are enrolled to attend the program.
When you contact the kindergarten to enrol your child ask to access Early Start even if a funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program is available in your area, you should still enrol your child in Early Start Kindergarten, if they are eligible. This will mean that they have access to 15 hours each week and that your fees are kept as low as possible.
The Department of Education and Training is providing a range of supports to build the early childhood education workforce.
Financial support is available for diploma qualified educators to become a degree qualified early childhood teachers. Diploma qualified educators may also be eligible to enrol in the accelerated Bachelor of Early Childhood Education program, which provides a supported, employment-based pathway to become an early childhood teacher in 18 months. More information on financial support to study and work in early childhood can be found on the Department of Education and Training website
Assistance is available for provisionally registered teachers to be guided through the process to move to full teacher registration with the assistance of a mentor. For more information, see the Effective Mentoring Program page
Funding is available for early childhood services to support provisionally registered ECTs to move to full registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching.
Incentives of between $9,000 and $50,000 are available for ECTs to take up positions in regional areas rolling out the nation leading Three-Year-Old Kindergarten reform in 2022.
While we do not provide services directly, we support two Maternal and Child Health providers.
Orbost Regional Health covers residents from east of Nowa Nowa to Mallacoota and surrounds. It also covers Tubbut, Bonang, and Bendoc areas.
Telephone: (03) 5154 6685
Gippsland Lakes Complete Health covers the districts around Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Bengworden, Lindenow, Bruthen, Buchan, Nowa Nowa and the High Country.
Maternal and Child Health Service is free for all Victorian families with children aged from birth to school age.
Maternal and Child Health Nurses (MCHNs) are registered nurses, registered midwives with additional qualifications in child health and development.
MCHNs offers information, guidance, and support on parenting as well as child health and development.
There are 10 Key Ages and Stage Visits:
Additional appointments are available if needed.
Also available are:
Families can attend their closest service by appointment. Outreach is also available to remote and rural communities and those experiencing barriers to attendance.
The Maternal and Child Health Line is a free 24-hour telephone service (phone 13 22 29 in Victoria). Qualified MCHNs offer information, advice and referral to all families with young children.
An interpreter service is also available.
For more information
We are committed to providing a professional immunisation service in a comfortable, safe and friendly environment.
All visits are by appointment only.
For more information and booking dates visit our Immunisation page.