The Kindergarten service review will:

  • consider Council’s role as an Early Years Manager and kindergarten service provider
  • consider how Council can respond to the Victorian Government’s kindergarten reform to provide 3 and 4-year-old children universal access to 2 years of kindergarten in the 2 years prior to formal schooling, with our limited resources.

Our services

Council provides and delivers a range of universal and specialist services for children and families in the Knox community, including:

  • 29 sessional kindergarten services
  • maternal and child health services
  • supported and community playgroups
  • Preschool Field Officer program
  • long day care
  • Knox Council kindergarten services central registration and enrolment
  • facilitation of family support and allied health.

Council has a long history of providing sessional kindergarten in small, single room kindergartens. But there has been a decline in the proportion of families accessing kindergarten in Council’s sessional services since 2017 as more families choose to access funded kindergarten in integrated long day care.

The reform poses significant challenges for Council due to the small size, condition, utilisation and age of our existing facilities as well as declining enrolment in sessional programs and limited financial resources.

Council’s kindergarten facilities will not easily support the longer hours required for the new reform, which means Council must consider the role that it will play in being a kindergarten provider into the future.

Robust service planning and review processes are an effective approach to ensure all the services Council provides meet community needs, are sustainable and cost effective, as required under the Local Government Act 2020.

Council has an obligation to use the rates money in ways that are transparent, accountable and sustainable. Service reviews ensure Council understands the needs of the whole community including children, youth and older people as well as other vulnerable groups.

Community panel

The service review included a community panel to seek the views of the community. Capire Consulting was appointed as the independent consultant to facilitate the panel process, including the selection process for the community panel. The panel, which was demographically representative of the Knox community, met during March and April to consider the social benefit and impact of Council's role as a kindergarten service provider. Together they reviewed the options Council is considering and developed a statement assessing each option, as well as an overarching statement for Council to support its future planning and decision making. The panel's statement was presented to Council and is published on our Have Your Say page.

You can read a short summary of each panel session in the Project updates and also hear from some of the panelists in the video below.

Community panel video

Community engagement

Across November and December 2022, the community were invited to share their comments about what they value about kindergarten in Knox. This feedback was gathered through:

  • Postcards distributed through kindergartens and at libraries
  • 11 community pop up sessions
  • To capture their voice, children were invited to draw or share what they love about kindergarten.

The comments gathered through this activity were documented in a themed report and provided to the panel and Council for their deliberations. A summary of what you told us is available below.

Project updates

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  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    29 August 2022

    Council endorsed a Kindergarten Service review at their meeting. Review the Council meeting minutes or watch online.

  • Timeline item 2 - active


    Community encouraged to stay up to date and ask questions about how the review will work.

  • Timeline item 3 - complete

    Mid October 2022

    Independent consultant appointed and will design the community panel process.

    Capire Consulting has been appointed.

  • Timeline item 4 - complete

    November 2022

    Community engagement open to provide comment and feedback about kindergarten service in Knox.

  • Timeline item 5 - complete

    18 December 2022

    Community engagement closes. We will gather feedback into a themed report that the community panel and Council can take into consideration in its future planning.

  • Timeline item 6 - complete

    December 2022 - January 2023

    Community Panel EOI open

  • Timeline item 7 - complete

    February 2023

    Community panel finalise.

  • Timeline item 8 - complete


    Community Panel activities commence

  • Timeline item 9 - complete

    June 2023

    Considering the community statement and the findings of the service review, Council agreed to formally consider a proposal to exit standalone kindergarten services and lease its buildings to alternate sessional providers from January 2025. Consultation with staff commenced.

  • Timeline item 10 - incomplete

    August 2023

    Council will meet to consider outcomes of staff consultation and make a final decision.

Contact us

If you have a question or would like to know more about this project:

Employees of Knox City Council kindergartens should contact their line manager or email