What is Funded Kindergarten?
A funded kindergarten program is a program for 3-year and 4-year children that meets government set standards of preparing children for school.
In meeting these requirements, the government will provide funding to the program based on how many ‘funded children’ are in the program. All funding received for the 3 and 4 year old children are invested directly into the program on resources, excursions, incursions and community activities. This means that every family that does their kinder funding with Journey is making our excellent kinder program even better for their child and the entire Journey family.
What is the difference between funded Kinder at Journey or sessional Kinder?
- Already established a sense of trust and belonging that encourages more diverse learning – confidence to take risk and try new things.
- Teacher starts the year with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the child, their interests and current learning through shared documentation and discussion between classrooms.
- An Educational Program that is delivered over the whole day enabling children to fully explore what they are doing without interruption.
- Extensive time in the day to undertake spontaneous and regular community outings to extend on children’s interests and capture in the moment learning.
- Children attend their school transitions and then return or start their day at Kinder and can participate in the program
- A full day program encourages deeper friendships to develop.
- Communications via Storypark
- Developmental assessments at the end of each term
- Scheduled face to face family educator catch ups
- A superior kinder program along with the flexibility provided to families through Long Daycare
- Sense of belonging and security take time to be established for the child and families due to new faces, buildings arrival routines that takes most of 1st term to become familiar with.
- Shorter hours, at times mean children need to stop their learning due to end of the session.
- Teacher needs to take time to get to know the child at the start of the year and become familiar with their past learnings and interests.
- If a child has a school transition at the same time as their session, they will miss their session for the day
- Lacks the convenience of full day hours
What does Funded 3 and 4 Year Kinder look like at Journey?
At Journey, our kinder program is designed for school readiness for your child with an emphasis on:
- Play-based, strength-based, emergent curriculum approach
- Working within the National Quality Framework, Early Years Learning Framework or Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, ECA Code of Conduct, UN Rights of the Child, and Journey Standards
- Focus on independence, self-help, and resilience skills
- Progressive indoor and outdoor learning environments
- Integrating literacy, numeracy, mindfulness, art, music, movement, STEM (inquiry), and community collaboration
- Imbedding sustainability practices in the curriculum
- Integrating Aboriginal perspectives throughout the curriculum
- School Readiness program for those in the 4-year-old Kinder
- Parent-Teacher collaboration
- Family cultures/practices, expectations, and interests
- Parent – teacher goal setting and information nights
How does Journey connect to schools?
At Journey we understand the importance of connecting to primary schools on school readiness. The Journey kindergarten program will ensure that your child is ready for school by connecting with schools in the following ways:
- Regular Excursion to Neighbouring Primary School Library
- School Buddy and Mentor Program
- Connection between the Primary School children and our Kindergarten children
- Primary School Buddy have regular conversations through online chats, physical visits and letter writing to support our Kindergarten children’s understanding of being in big school
- We are happy to connect with your potential school and collaborate with them to support smooth transitioning for your child
- Professional partnership between the Early Childhood Teacher and the Prep transition coordinator.
- Discussion on what is the school expectation of the incoming Prep student
- Transition from Kinder to Prep with minimal stress as possible
What does the Government Announcement of Free Kinder mean?
The Federal Government has made an announcement that external Kindergartens will be free however at this stage this is only an announcement of intention and external kindergartens will not be free in 2023.
Parent Testimonial from Jen and Hayden Ali
Harper joined Journey Early Learning Thomastown in 2020. We as parents were looking for a centre where she could thrive in all aspects.
In 2021 Harper had completed the 4-year-old Kinder program with Princess leading the classroom. At the beginning of 2022 Harper started school! A transition that can be daunting for not only your child but yourself as parents. We’ve successfully navigated Term 1 for the first time. You could say Harper did so more successfully than her parents. During the Teacher Parent Conference, her teacher had nothing but praise to give Harper and her parents.
Currently, Harper is currently reading and writing at a Grade 1 level. She can confidently and accurately complete Grade 1 worksheets. She has a strong sense of not only her own wellbeing, emotionally and physically, but those of her peers. She developed strong relationships with all peers in her class. This point is important as she was attending a school where none of her kinder friends were going.
During Term 1 she had been awarded “Star of the week” 3 times. First, for striving to be her best academically. Second for her great sense of teamwork. The third award was for respecting and aiding her peers on the playground. We as parents are proud regardless of these achievements, as long as she is happy that is the main focus for us.
It would be remiss of Hayden and I if we did not pass on our gratitude. The focus on school readiness has played a massive part in Harper’s transition to school. You not only facilitated the 4-year-old kinder program but went above and beyond for each child’s well-being.
You’ve helped to provide Harper the tools needed to be successful.
Sincerely Harper’s Parents (Hayden and Jen)