The Athol Road Primary School Early Learning Centre is located on the Athol Road Primary School site in Springvale South. The Centre, caters for over one hundred children each week in:

  • 2 playgroup sessions of 2 hours each catering for up to 24 children with their parents
  • 3 year old kindergarten program of 6 hours a week catering for 22 children
  • 4 year old kindergarten program of 15 hours a week catering for 66 children

In 1997 the then Springvale South Kindergarten was the main feeder kindergarten for Springvale South Primary School and operated out of a City of Greater Dandenong site on MacKay Street. The kindergarten was in danger of closing because a Committee of Management could not be formed so the Principal and Assistant Principal took over the roles of Secretary and Treasurer respectively from 1998 – 2001.

In 2001 the decision was made to move the school onto the school site with 2001 being the kindergarten’s final year of operation on the MacKay Street site

In 2002 the kindergarten was relocated onto the Springvale South Primary School site and the Springvale South Kindergarten began operation on the Athol Road Primary School site in February.

Following the merger of Springvale South and Southvale Primary Schools in 2010 – Athol Road Primary School was agreed to as the new name of the merged school. The school was given permission to retain the old hall and canteen apron space which housed the new kindergarten.

In 2012 the Kindergarten/Playgroup space was renamed the Early Learning Centre. 2013 saw the Early Learning Centre being officially opened on Wednesday, 22nd May by the Honourable Inga Peulich, Parliamentary Secretary for Education.

In 2014 the kindergarten began operating under the Athol Road Primary School Kindergarten name and the management of the kindergarten was transferred to the Athol Road Primary School Council.

4 Year-Old Kindergarten:

Enrolments are managed through the City of Greater Dandenong Central Enrolment System.

  1. Parents complete a kindergarten enrolment form which is usually handed out by the maternal health nurse at the child’s 2 year old appointment or available from the kindergarten or school office. This form must be returned to the CGD offices at either Springvale or Parkmore shopping centre. Early enrolment is essential to secure a place at your preferred kindergarten.
  2. In August each year, the CoGD enrolment officer sends out a letter of offer to parents of eligible 4 year old children who have selected Athol Road Primary School Kindergarten as their preferred kindergarten for the following year. Offers are decided in line with the government’s priority status requirements.
  3. Parents return their acceptance forms to the CoGD
  4. In September/October the CoGD officer then forwards a finalist list to the school and an offer of enrolment is sent out to parents.
  5. Where acceptance is not received by the designated date the place is offered to the next child on the list.
  6. Parents meet with the kindergarten teacher in November/December to complete required enrolment details.

Kindergarten fees are set/approved by School Council and are dependent on government subsidies and the number of hours of kindergarten provided.


$200.00 per term for 15 hours a week without a current Health Care Card OR no fee with sighting of a current Health Care Card.

3 Year-Old Kindergarten:

Enrolments are managed through the school. The viability of the program determines the number of children in the 3 year old program.

  1. Parents meet with the kindergarten teacher to put their child’s name on the waiting list.
  2. Where numbers on the waiting list make the program viable, the kindergarten teacher will contact parents in late Term 4 (November/December) to offer a placement.
  3. Parents meet with the kindergarten teacher in November/December to complete required enrolment details.
  4. Tuesday and Wednesday

Kindergarten fees are approved by School Council based on the number of children required to make the program financially viable .


$300.00 per term for 6 hours a week. There are no government subsidies for 3 year old kindergarten.


The Athol Road Primary School playgroup is a 5 star playgroup accredited with Playgroup Victoria. There are over 25 regular members and many more casual attendees over the two sessions. Some families travel over 15 kilometres to attend the playgroup which continues to grow in size as a result of word of mouth recommendations.

The culturally diverse group meets in the Early Learning Centre, a newly renovated space and consists of mothers, fathers and grandparents from different ethnic backgrounds. Each session commences with circle time which includes a communal greeting where parents and children introduce themselves and new parents and children are welcomed. The playgroup program focuses on the development of self- confidence through experiences that stimulate the senses, develop fine and gross motor skills, support problem solving and facilitate the development of emerging language and social skills.

With input from parents, the coordinator plans inclusive learning experiences through access to both kindergarten and school resources. Children particularly love their visits to the Environmental Education area where they handle the animals including the snake and frilled-necked lizards and have hands-on sessions in the vegetable garden. They also love to cook and enjoy sharing their creations with parents and friends. They develop skills of cooperation through music, group singing and dancing and enjoy the visits from the school performing arts teacher. Because playgroup does not generate a lot of money the creative use of recycled materials to create tray patterns, develop language of rough, smooth, large, small, etc. is essential. The children have access to both the kindergarten and junior school playgroups. There are also regular visits from external providers such as Dandenong Library staff.

Many of our multicultural parents tell us that the playgroup is a lifeline because they get to meet other parents going through similar experiences and it helps them integrate into the school community. For those whose children will attend the school it facilitates a smooth transition to the 3 and 4 year old on-site kindergarten and into Foundation. Parents also have the opportunity to link into school programs such as the weekly Parents and Friends meetings.

Parent information sessions around health and support services are a regular feature. The coordinator proactively seeks out opportunities to enhance the playgroup program and links into kindergarten and school events where possible. Throughout the year, celebration of different cultural events, specific to the families, creates great excitement.

The coordinator regularly attends professional development provided by the City of Greater Dandenong Children and Family Services to network with other centres and share ideas to improve the learning opportunities for children. She interacts daily with kindergarten and school staff where she sources advice, new ideas and support for the playgroup program.


  • Athol Road Primary School Playgroup operates on Wednesday mornings from 9.00am – 11.00am except on public and school holidays
  • Attendance can be on a regular or casual basis over 1 and/or both days
  • All attendees, casual or regular, are required to complete a registration form which can be downloaded from the website or forms are available from the playgroup coordinator
  • Snacks are provided at each session

COST: $3.00 per session