New cut-off dates for preschool
Currently, in South Australia (SA), kindergarten is the year of early childhood education before starting school. From 2024, kindergarten will be called preschool, but the program will stay the same. Starting in 2023, SA has a mid-year intake into preschool.
Check the following cut-off dates that apply to your child's fourth birthday:
- On or before April 30, they can start preschool in January at the beginning of the year.
- From May 1 to October 31, they can start preschool in the mid-year intake at the start of term 3.
- After October 31, they'll be eligible for preschool starting the following year.
Your child will do four terms of preschool, regardless of when they started.
New cut-off dates for reception
Government primary schools have two enrollment intakes from 2024. Intake one is for children at the beginning of the year, and intake two starts school in term three. The following cut-off dates apply to your child's fifth birthday:
- On or before April 30, to start reception in term one of that year.
- Between May 1 and October 31, to start reception in term three (mid-year).
- After October 31, reception starts in the following year.
Children who start reception at the beginning of the year generally complete four terms (a year) of reception. Children who start reception in the mid-year intake will do six terms of reception (a year and a half).
If you're enrolling your child to start school mid-year in term three, you might be interested in the preschool mid-year intake the year prior. That way, your child will do four terms of preschool before starting school.
Non-government schools have their own process for application and enrolment — contact them for more information.
Preschool funding for SA families in 2024
The SA Government advises they'll fund four terms (one year) or '600 hours a year – of quality preschool programs delivered by degree-qualified early childhood teachers to all South Australian children, regardless of the setting in which programs are delivered in the year before school.' This saves you $1,378 per child for one year of preschool. This fee reduction is in addition to your child care subsidy (CCS). If your child attends a long day care (LDC) preschool program, there are out-of-pocket fees for anything after the free 600 hours have been used. But don't worry. This is when your CCS kicks in to reduce the additional fees.
LDC and government preschool programs: What's the difference?
At Goodstart, we're a long day care (LDC) program provider. We operate five days a week, 52 weeks a year, except on public holidays (which we don't charge you for!). We also offer government-approved preschool programs and undergo the same rigorous approval process as government preschools. Government approval means every Goodstart preschool program needs to:
- deliver a quality early childhood education program to children aged three and above
- have the program delivered by a bachelor-qualified early childhood teacher (ECT) as per the National Quality Framework (NQF)
- use the Early Years Learning Framework.
Our programs meet these criteria and run during LDC hours. Your child gets extra preschool enrichment led by bachelor-qualified professionals over and above 600 free hours all year round.
The benefits of attending our LDC preschool program
We know we're not free, and government preschool is great if your lives fit around preschool hours and add-on days outside of these. But there are a lot of families that struggle with that. A Goodtsart preschool program means:
- Your child and your family's routines stay the same from childcare into preschool
- Your preschooler stays in one centre all day every week until they start reception
- Your child can form deep connections with their educators (and their educators with them)
- There's consistency and the security that comes with that (for everyone!).
Our LDC preschool program is a great idea if your child (or you!) isn't a fan of change and transitions.
Enrol at Goodstart for your out-of-hours days
If an LDC preschool program isn't an option (we get it!), you can enrol your child in a Goodstart preschool program on the days they can't attend their government preschool. This way, your child can:
- go to government kindy for the free allocated hours
- attend preschool at Goodstart on days that aren't covered at your government preschool.
Your CCS will discount any out-of-pocket fees paid outside your free government preschool hours.
Play-based is the best early learning approach
Research shows access to quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) benefits children throughout their school years. The research also supports a play-based learning approach in early years education. Children who access quality, play-based ECEC are more likely to:
- develop stronger social skills
- participate as part of a group
- transition easily into school
- stay longer in school.
Guided by our bachelor-qualified early years teachers, your child will learn critical thinking skills and problem-solving work as part of a team — all great skills for school and life!
Choose sessions that work for you
We provide flexibility and convenience for busy families with:
- longer opening hours, Monday to Friday
- nine-hour, 10-hour and all-day sessions
- our preschool programs in a long day care (LDC) format.
Choosing an LDC format for preschool means your child's early learning goes beyond the five hours a day they'd get if they attended a public preschool. Government preschools have four terms and operate during school hours. At Goodstart preschools, you can drop off your preschooler on your way to work and pick them up on your way home, just like you've always done. Plus, you don't need to max out your annual leave during school holidays so your child can attend preschool. This means you can keep some cheeky leave days aside, just for you...
We'll support your child's individual learning journey
- We'll meet them where they are developmentally.
- We assess and review their progress throughout the years leading to formal school and ensure everything is on track.
- We explore their passions with them so they feel seen and valued. We offer extra educational support if it's needed.
At Goodstart, we appreciate your child for who they are and where they're going.
Our programs are designed for school readiness
Getting ready for school is a team effort. We also work with nearby schools and communicate with them using Transition to School Statements about your child, who they are and how they learn. It helps their new teacher prepare the best possible start to school. We often have school transition activities with local schools throughout the preschool year so your child feels comfy on their first day of reception.
Inclusion is everything to us. Every child deserves to feel seen and valued for who they are. We work hard to create environments and support networks to welcome all children and their families to our centres. We take reconciliation seriously, walking with our families, children, and communities on this journey.
Save your preschool spot for next year!
We hope you're excited by what we can offer your family in this exciting early learning stage. We'll give your child the best possible start to formal education by giving them a lifelong love of learning.
Your questions answered:
Short answer? It's complicated in SA, but you can read this again to refresh your memory!
Our dynamic, vibrant and inspiring preschool programs are designed and delivered by bachelor-qualified early childhood teachers (ECT) to prepare your child for school. We use a play-based learning approach that helps children to:
- develop cognitive, physical and social skills
- practice early literacy and numeracy skills.
Our centres offer longer hours and more flexible options than many other kindergartens, including nine hour, 10 hour and all day sessions, five days a week, 52 weeks a year. This means greater flexibility for parents, and more opportunity for us to tune in to when your child learns best.
Our preschool program receives government funding of up to 15 hours a week per child), as well as the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) to reduce your out-of-pocket costs. We also don't charge for public holidays (YAY!)
Working out costs get confusing and it's different for each family. If you need a hand navigating the child care subsidy (CCS) system, just leave us a message and we'll call you back.
If needed, we also assist families to access support services in the areas of:
- speech and language
- social skills
- general development.
If you're concerned about any aspect of your child’s development or learning, please speak to your child’s teacher.