Children attending a 3yr or 4yr old kindergarten program, funded by the Victorian Government can access the Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) program.
PSFOs support kindergarten teams with strategies to help children’s inclusion and meaningful participation in their kindergarten program and explore referral pathways if required.
Support is available before a child starts kindergarten, as well as during their time at kindergarten.
There is no cost to the kindergarten program or families for the PSFO service.
Support PSFOs provide
A PSFO can provide a range of support, including:
discussions about your child's learning and development
kindergarten program strategies and resources
identifying where to get additional support.
Who receives PSFO support
The PSFO program defines children with additional needs as children in a funded kindergarten program presenting with developmental concerns.
Developmental concerns may be associated with any area of a children’s development, from language delay or challenging behaviours through to multiple disabilities. Children with additional needs resulting from trauma are also eligible.
Starting Kinder Referrals
During Term 4 of the year prior to attendance of both 3- and 4-year-old funded kindergarten programs, Preschool Field Officers can support the transition of children presenting with developmental concerns into kindergarten to enhance an educators’ capacity to provide for their access, inclusion, and meaningful participation.
A referral can be made by a parent/guardian, educator, and other health care professionals with parent/guardian consent including as much information as possible on our PSFO Referral Form. Alternatively, families can call the City of Casey on 9705 5200 and ask to speak to a PSFO.
How to access the PSFO program
1. Discussion between family and teacher
If a teacher or family member are concerned about a child's development, the first step is to have a discussion regarding the concerns. The early childhood teacher (ECT) and family can complete a referral to the PSFO program together.
As per DET PSFO guidelines, if the child is an NDIS participant it is expected that the early childhood educator will seek support from the provider (Allied Health professional) before referring to the PSFO program.
2. Request support from the PSFO program
To request support from a PSFO, please submit a PSFO Referral Form with instructions - 2023.pdf to: PSFOreferral@casey.vic.gov.au (please ensure the referral form is signed by both the ECT and family)
The PSFO will then contact the ECT to review supports required within the kindergarten program.
What to expect from the PSFO Program
1. Early Childhood Teacher consultation and/or observation visit
During the consultation, the PSFO and ECT may discuss:
- the child's strengths and abilities
- the child's learning and developmental needs
- strategies and resources to maximise the child’s inclusion and participation in the program
2. Facilitate a meeting
Following the observation/consultation visit, the PSFO may facilitate a discussion between the ECT and family regarding the child’s learning and development. During this discussion, everyone can collaborate on a shared approach to support the child in the kindergarten program.
3. PSFO Follow up
After these discussions, the PSFO will follow up with the ECT to discuss supports and additional resources required to implement the recommendations.
Programs for Additional Support
For more information about the PSFO program contact the City of Casey call centre on 9705 5220.
For additional support for eligible children through the Kindergarten Inclusion Support (KIS) program please contact Yooralla.
Yooralla is the South Eastern Metropolitan Region Auspice Agency for KIS.
For more information regarding the KIS program you can contact (03) 5990 9640
Supporting second year of 4-year-old kindergarten
If the early childhood teacher identifies that a child’s learning and development is delayed in at least 2 key outcome areas, they may be eligible for a second year of 4-year-old kindergarten.
The ECT will discuss this with the family. If the teacher or family require support with making an informed decision, they can refer the child to the PSFO program.
The Victorian Department of Education and Training's (DET) has more information about second year of kindergarten:
DET Further Information on second year of Four-Year-old Kindergarten:
- Second year of funded Four-Year-Old Kindergarten (education.vic.gov.au)
- Does my child need second year kindergarten
Please refer to DET Funding Guide for additional information: