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How to get placement in a preschool

In most cases, your child will be offered a place at the local preschool nearest to your home, unless the education department has:

  • made geographic boundaries for the preschool with a catchment area
  • restricted new enrolments at a preschool by using capacity management strategies.

Once you’ve understood how placement works, you can use the find a school zone or catchment area tool to help you find a preschool.

Preschool catchment areas

A preschool catchment area is a defined area from which the preschool accepts its core intake of children. The preschool gives priority enrolment to children who live inside that catchment area.

All metropolitan and some regional preschools have a catchment area.

When there are no more places available

Where the number of local applications for entry to a preschool is more than the available places, the preschool will offer places based on a number of considerations. These considerations will be outlined in the preschool’s priority of access criteria.

A child who cannot be offered a place at their local preschool will get help to enrol at another nearby preschool.

When accepting an enrolment offer, you can request to remain on the enrolment registration list at your preferred preschool. This means you will be contacted if a place becomes available before the beginning of the school year.

Applying to go to a non-local preschool

Families can apply for any preschool, even if it’s not their local one. Enrolment will only be offered if the preschool has places available.

If the preschool has places available after enrolling local children, children in care and referred families, places may be offered to children living outside of the preschool catchment area.

When there are more applications than spaces from families living outside of the catchment area, places will be offered based on a number of factors such as:

  • if the child is Aboriginal
  • the distance from home
  • If there are siblings at the local school
  • transport needs.

Preschool Policy and Programs

Phone: 8226 2794
Email: education.ecsupport [at] sa.gov.au
Mail: GPO Box 1152, Adelaide SA 5001