Forest Hill (Residential) Kindergarten (1927–88)


  • Title or Name: Forest Hill Residential Kindergarten (1927–60)
  • Alternative Names: Forest Hill Residential Kindergarten for Emergency Care (1960–88) ; Forest Hill Kindergarten (1988–90)
  • Address: 124 Lake Rd, Forest Hill

Forest Hill Kindergarten history in brief

In 1927, the Graduates Association of the Melbourne Kindergarten Teachers College (later the Institute of Early Childhood Development) acquired a property at Forest Hill initially to provide a country holiday for young inner-urban children.

In 1960, the Forest Hill Kindergarten started offering emergency short-term residential care for up to 20 pre-school children aged two to six years whose families were unable to care for them at home. The kindergarten also offered day care under similar emergencies for a small number of children.

In 1969–70 the kindergarten had an annual intake of 230 children.

The kindergarten was registered with the Hospitals and Charities Commission, but was not an approved children's home. The kindergarten's committee elected instead to maintain independent control of intake policy, the children's age ranges, and durations of stay.

From 1983, when emergency residential care services were regionalised, the need for placements declined. In 1988, Forest Hill Kindergarten discontinued its residential program and offered day care kindergarten instead.

From 1990, Forest Hill gradually closed all its programs and sold the property in 1991, using proceeds to establish the Forest Hill Early Childhood Foundation.

Warning about distressing information

This guide contains information that some people may find distressing. If you experienced abuse as a child or young person in an institution mentioned in this guide, it may be a difficult reading experience.Guides may also contain references to previous views, policies and practices that are regrettable and do not reflect the current views, policies or practices of the department or the State of Victoria. If you find this content distressing, please consult with a support person either from the Department of Health and Human Services or another agency.


Please note that the content of this administrative history is provided for general information only and does not purport to be comprehensive. The department does not guarantee the accuracy of this administrative history. For more information on the history of child welfare in Australia, see Find & ConnectExternal Link .


Guide to out-of-home care services 1940–2000: volume one – agency descriptions, compiled by James Jenkinson Consulting, North Melbourne, November 2001.

List of records held by the department

For information relating to the central management of care leavers and wards of state, please consult the guide to Central department wardship and out-of-home care records. These collections date back to the 1860s and include ward registers, index cards and ward files.

Voluntary children's homes files (1966-86)

File ; Permanent VPRS Number 18069 / P0001

Content: The files record interaction between the various voluntary homes and the government. This filing system was created in 1975, combining earlier correspondence and other records to create one system with VH prefixes.

The specific file(s) relating to Forest Hill Kindergarten date from 1966–86 and its contents include:

  • correspondence between the department and Forest Hill Residential Kindergarten including: the possibility of, and requirements for, receiving departmental funding for their short-term emergency care program, 1966; overcrowding issues at Allambie and temporary placements for children at Forest Hill Residential Nursery, 1970; response to department's stating that the kindergarten's management does not wish to apply for registration as an approved home under the new Children's Welfare Act, but will stay a short-term emergency facility, 10 December 1970; funding applications for Forest Hill and Warrawong, 1972, 1973 (includes child numbers at facility), 1974, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1986
  • the Graduate Association of the Melbourne Kindergarten Teachers' College Annual Report of Emergency Care for Pre-School Children at Forest Hill Residential Kindergarten and Warrawong Emergency Day Kindergarten, 1960–73, 1977–79
  • application to become an approved children's home under the Social Welfare Department, 1973 (not proceeded with)
  • notes regarding emergency contacts for Forest Hills Residential Nursery and Overton, 20 December 1973
  • report regarding holiday placement of a family and future placement, 26 August 1974
  • The Age newspaper articles, 1974 and 1976
  • report regarding Forest Hills Residential Kindergarten after an inspection by two Departmental representatives, 12 September 1979
  • brochure regarding the services provided by Forest Hills Residential Kindergarten for Emergency Care, c.1970s
  • publication to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Forest Hill Residential Kindergarten, 1976
  • correspondence regarding special funding for a ward of state at Forest Hill Residential Kindergarten for Emergency Care, 1982
  • memo, minutes of meetings and correspondence regarding funding issues for Forest Hill Residential Kindergarten for Emergency Care, 6 March to 16 May 1986
  • correspondence regarding funding of staff, 1972–86.

Reviewed 10 August 2016