The children at Wendouree Children's Centre are not only mastering English before they head to primary school, they're also learning Japanese.
Play based learning, songs, stories and games are helping introduce the youngsters to the language through three hours of Japanese studies each week.
Early childhood educator Yukie Speirs, originally a kindergarden teacher in Japan, has worked at the centre for three years and says the children have embraced the language and culture of her homeland.
Victorian education minister James Merlino visited the centre on Thursday to celebrate 100 kindergarten services signing up for the $17.9 million Early Childhood Language Program.
Ms Speirs uses songs, games, counting and other more formal kinder activities, and the seasonal festivals of Japan, to engage the children.
The program currently has a focus on the Japanese Tanabata, or Star Festival, which takes place on July 7 so the children sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in English and Japanese, before reading a book in both languages.
"The children are like a sponge. They respond very well," Ms Speirs said.
Some children have been learning with her for almost three years.
"Learning another language is definitely very important because the whole world is connected despite different culture, different learning and different countries. I'm from Japan, so to come to Australia it was really hard to communicate using English so I understand the struggle to learn another language," she said.
RELATED STORY:Push for Australia-wide school phone ban
Mr Merlino said 15 different languages and 10 Koorie languages were being taught across the 100 kindergarten services, with another 60 kindergartens expected to sign on reaching 5000 children a year.
"Learning in another language not only helps with improved reading and writing skills but will give children an opportunity to experience new cultures in a more connected world," he said.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.