Early Learning Centre (ELC)

About the Early Learning Centre

The Early Learning Centre (ELC) is located in the Abbotsford Convent Precinct, close the Yarra River, historic Abbotsford Convent Buildings and Gardens and the Collingwood Children’s Farm.

It offers:

  • Integrated three-year-old and four-year-old kindergarten programs, delivered five days per week by highly qualified and experienced Early Childhood Teachers
  • A responsive, inquiry-based curriculum that caters for the child’s holistic development through relationship building with teachers and peers, active experiential play and special projects
  • Generalist age-appropriate curricula that focuses on learning in language and literacy and science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM)
  • A focused, specialised arts-based programs delivered by 'Artist Teachers' with expertise in two and three-dimensional art and the performing arts
  • A regular 'Stepping Out, Finding Out and Speaking Out' learning in nature program which supports children as active citizens through walking excursions into the local community
  • An award-winning 'Education for Sustainable Development' program, including an 'Eco Hero' child-led action group
  • A focus on embedding First Nations perspectives across all programs.

Age groups and rooms

The Early Learning Centre is registered for 90 places. There are five playrooms where children are grouped by age, with multi-age groups as required.

Eucalypt Room3-years14 places
Waratah Room3-years16 places
Banksia Room4–5 years20 places
Blue Gum Room4–5 years20 places
Wattle Room4–5 years20 places

Hours, programs and enrolment requirements

The ELC operates from 7:30am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday, 48 weeks per year. It is closed public holidays and University of Melbourne holidays.

The ELC offers integrated kindergarten and long day care programs for three and four-year-olds.  A minimum attendance of three days is required for all enrolments, and all part-time bookings must include either a Monday or Friday.

Attendance is limited to one University of Melbourne Early Childhood Service per child. Priority is given to children who will be enrolled into a funded place at the Early Learning Centre. Children must not be enrolled in another funded kindergarten program at any other early childhood service.

Age requirement

  • Three-year old program: Children are required to turn three years of age by 30 April in the year of entry
  • Four-year old program: Children are required to turn four years of age by 30 April in the year of entry.

Virtual tour

Fees and subsidies


Family Full fee (per child)
Daily attendance (staff and community) $152
Daily attendance (student) $137


The Early Learning Centre is a registered service provider with the Australian Government. For eligible families, a Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is paid directly to the service as a weekly fee reduction. Full fees are charged to families until CCS entitlements are confirmed.

A student rebate scheme to assist low-income local and international student families with their long day care cost is available. The amount of rebate available for each student is based on the families Child Care Subsidy (CCS) percentage (or income assessment), and the fees they pay at the service their child attends. Eligible families whose children attend Queensberry Children’s Centre, Swanston Street Children’s Centre and the Early Learning Centre receive the rebate directly through their childcare account. To find out more, please contact us.

How to apply

Applications for 2025 are now open.

To apply, please complete an application form (PDF 196.3 KB) and return it to:

The University of Melbourne Early Learning Centre
40 Clarke Street, Abbotsford 3067

Applications are accepted throughout the year with places allocated dependent on availability. Children are required to meet age eligibility to be considered for enrolment.

Applications for 2026 enrolment will open 1 April 2025. Applications must be submitted by 27 June 2025 to be considered in initial round allocations for commencement of enrolment in January 2026. Applications received from July onwards will be considered for future allocations and/or vacancies.

Centre tours

The Early Learning Centre will be conducting tours for all prospective families. You are welcome to meet with our Centre Director and some of our educators whilst you learn about the ELC’s approach to early learning and take a walk through our indoor and outdoor experiences.

To find out more about early childhood education at the ELC and to arrange a tour, please contact the Centre on 03 8344 1444 (select option two).

Contact us

For all applications, accounts and enrolment enquiries, contact the Administration Office:

To contact the Centre directly, phone 03 8344 1444 (select option two).