Early childhood, education and care

Preschool and kindergarten

In South Australia preschools are also known as kindergartens and some private preschools are known as early learning centres. In preschool, children learn through play-based programs that are designed and delivered by qualified teachers.

Non-government preschools

Contact the preschool directly for information about eligibility, fees and attendance requirements.

Government preschools

Preschool is not compulsory. Children can access up to four terms of preschool before they start school. Talk to your local preschool director or principal about your enrolment options.

Aboriginal children and children under guardianship of the Minister are entitled to attend preschool once they turn three.

Children with additional needs and/or disability may be able to start preschool up to two terms before they would usually start. Use the service directory to find a preschool near you.

Starting preschool

If your child turns four before 1 May, they can start preschool on the first day of term one in that year. If your child turns four on or after 1 May, they can start preschool on the first day of term one the following year.

How to enrol

Submit a preschool enrolment registration form to your local and/or preferred preschool(s). This form can also be collected from your nearest preschool.

See starting preschool for further information on preschool enrolment procedures.

Integrated centres and services

Integrated centres are places that offer two or more services. The combinations of services vary from centre to centre and may include child care, playgroup, preschool, early education and learning, early development, health services and family support services. Children's Centres for Early Childhood Development and Parenting offer a mix of education, health and family services and are supported by the state government. These centres aim to meet the needs of the community so each may offer a slightly different mix of services.

Find out more by contacting an integrated centre near you.

Parent involvement

Parents are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the preschool. Speak to your preschool leader about how families can become involved.

Find out more about volunteering in preschools and schools.


Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting children and others in the community by reducing the spread of disease.

The education department values the importance of vaccinating children to help protect them from preventable diseases, to help protect others who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons from being exposed to those diseases and its staff.

Families with children enrolled in a government preschool, rural care, occasional care, family day care or respite care service will be asked to provide evidence of their child’s immunisation status by the end of term one, 2017.

Parents and carers can provide immunisation evidence by showing their service a copy of their child’s:

If a child is not up to date with their immunisations and there is an occurrence of a vaccine preventable disease at the service, parents or carers will be asked to keep their child away for a period of time which is known as an exclusion period.

The exclusion period is determined by SA Health and is designed to protect those who are at risk of getting the disease and those who may be able to pass the disease onto others.

While it is not mandatory to show evidence of a child’s immunisation status, if there is an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease then the child will be treated as not up to date with their immunisations and excluded.

For more information, contact the Department for Education and Child Development on 8207 2458, or email decd.ecsupport@sa.gov.au.

Children with additional needs and/or disability

If your child has additional needs and/or disability they may be eligible for extra support at preschool. Contact your local preschool to discuss whether your child is eligible for the statewide Preschool Support program. For more information see disability support at preschool.

Related information

On this site

Health and wellbeing
The education system in South Australia
Early childhood, education and care
Choosing a school
Term dates and academic year

Other websites

Find a preschool near you
Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority

Parenting Easy Guides (PEGs) - Department for Education and Child Development
Parenting, playcentres and playgroups


For further information contact your local preschool

Preschool intake date enquiries
Phone (08) 8207 2458
email: decd.ecsupport@sa.gov.au

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Page last updated 30 October 2017

Provided by:
Department for Education and Child Development
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