Foster your child’s lifelong learning and well-being by enrolling them in our quality three- and four-year-old kindergarten programs. 

Early learning at our Kindergartens

ECMS offers richly vibrant kindergarten programs that invite children to know who and where they are, and encourage them to make meaning of the world around them.

We use the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework to plan for children’s learning.

As lifelong learners, our people are curious and focused on putting your child’s needs first. We’re people who care about children, families and each other.

Learning through play

Learning through play fosters children’s language, literacy and numeracy skills, independence and confidence, physical development, creative and problem-solving skills, and provides the opportunity to learn alongside others.

Children are capable and confident learners, and our skilled teachers and educators provide them with the support and opportunities they need to become lifelong learners.

Life at our kindergartens

Place-based learning

Our place-based approach incorporates local and global contexts, empowering children to become active participants in their education by connecting them with their surroundings, and fostering a sense of identity and purpose in the process.

Learning to last a lifetime

We offer play-based programs that focus on developing children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills, within a positive and relaxed learning environment that nurtures growth and confidence.

Strong relationships

We recognise families’ vital role in a child’s learning journey and encourage a shared partnership between children, families and educators within our kindergarten community.

Inspiring conscious culture

Through sustainable practices and early environmental education, we instill a conscious culture of caring for the environment from a young age.

Spaces to learn and explore

Our indoor and outdoor learning spaces are purposefully designed to capture children’s imagination and encourage their exploration as thinkers, makers and doers with big ideas.

Childcare or Kindergarten: What’s the difference?

In Victoria, families can choose between two main types of education for their child in the years before they start school- kindergarten and childcare. At some ECMS centres, your family can enjoy the benefit of both free kinder and childcare.


Kindergarten is a two-year program designed for children between the ages of three and five.

Sessional/Free Kindergarten (also known as preschool) typically runs for several hours, two to three days a week, during school term time. Some of our centres also offer long-day kindergarten sessions.

All children in Victoria who are three and four years old can access Free Kinder. This is available at sessional kindergartens and early learning centres.

Long-day kindergarten programs are fee-paying and offset by the Victorian State Government’s free program.


Early learning (childcare) centres are fee-paying and might offer full-day education and care services for children from birth to school age.

Early learning centres, also known as ‘childcare’ or ‘day care’, typically offer children longer and more flexible hours.

Some of our kindergarten and childcare centres are in the same building, so your child can move between the services as they grow and reach their next early learning stage.

Enrolment process

Step 1: Find a kindergarten

Select the right kindergarten for you by exploring session times and information about each centre on their page.

Step 2: Register your child on the waitlist

Register for your preferred centre through your local council or directly with ECMS. The process varies by kinder, so follow the instructions on the centre page.

Step 3: Accept Offer

We will send you an offer for a place at your allocated kinder. Allocations are managed either by your local council or the ECMS team. Accept the offer by completing the enrolment form.

Step 4: Prepare for your first day

Once our enrolments team confirms your child’s details, your service will reach out regarding orientation, info sessions, and what to expect on the first day.

Frequently asked questions

Free Kinder is available for Victorian three- and four-year-old children in standalone (sessional) services and long day care (childcare) settings, resulting in savings of up to $2,563 per child annually.

Each centre has unique session times and enrolment process. Please refer to the individual centre profile page for full details on the three- and four-year-old kindergarten programs. View a list of all ECMS kindergartens and preschools.

Children typically progress to four-year-old kindergarten the following year. Where there are concerns from either you or your child’s educators, a second year of four-year-old kindergarten can be considered.

No, if your child turns three between the start of term and the 30th of April, you can accept a place, but they will not be able to attend until they turn three.

Sessional/Free Kindergarten (also known as preschool) typically runs for several hours, two to three days a week, during school term time. If you need longer hours of care, consider registering at one of our centres offering long-day kindergarten sessions by clicking here.

Find a centre near you

Like to enrol?

Get in touch today.

    ECMS acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands on which we live, learn, work and play. Aboriginal people have a long tradition of teaching and learning through sharing their connections with country, community, language and culture. We recognise their continuing connection to the country, and we pay respects to elders past and present.