Prior to commencing primary (preparatory level) school, over 90% of children attend kindergarten classes part-time for one year. Enrolment is voluntary, with children being placed in either morning, afternoon or full-day sessions, 2 to 5 days per week. Here, children acquire learning skills and are inducted into the culture of the classroom and school.
Minimum age of entry into kindergarten is 4 years of age, on or by 1 January in the year of admission. The Department of Education’s aim to make early childhood education available to all children has resulted in 139 of the 141 government primary schools having attached kindergartens. In 2001, the total for government kindergarten enrolments was 5,534 (head count).
Some non-government schools also provide a kindergarten service in Tasmania, and effective from 1 January 2002 they are subject to the same standards as government schools including uniform school-entry age. In 2001, the total for non-government kindergarten enrolments was 386 (head count).