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Child care

There are many different types of childcare. It is important that you select one that suits your family and child’s needs.

  • Long day care (often called Early Learning Centres) is available for children whose families are working or studying, or just need some regular time off.
  • Occasional care helps parents with less formal needs, like needing two hours for an appointment or to rest.
  • Family day care is based in a carer’s home with a very small number of other children.
  • In-home care is when the carer cares for your child in your own home. This is usually called a nanny or au pair.

As well as providing care, childcare services provide an opportunity for your child to develop social, emotional and learning skills. Things to consider when choosing childcare:

  • How old child is your child?
  • How much care will your child need each day?
  • How many days a week will you need care?
  • How far you do want to travel?

When selecting a childcare service, you should consider one that:

  • offers valuable play and learning experiences for your child
  • makes sure there is a caring and consistent relationship between staff and your child
  • allows children time to explore and learn new activities
  • supports all aspects of your child’s development, including their social, emotional, physical and cognitive needs
  • sets clear and reasonable expectations of behaviour
  • works in partnership with your family.

You should also consider the quality of the childcare service. The quality of childcare services are rated under a system called the National Quality Framework.

For more information on choosing a child care service, visit How to choose the best child care.

Finding a local childcare provider

You can use the following sites to help you find a local childcare provider:

Concerned about your child care?

Child care services are assessed and monitored by State Government. You should make a complaint to the Department of Education and Training regional office in your area if you are concerned that:

  • the health, safety and wellbeing of children may have been compromised or
  • you believe the relevant legislation has been contravened at an early childhood service.

The Department of Education and Training can be contacted via


Is your child aged 3 or 4 years old? They may be eligible to enrol and attend kindergarten which is an important step in their growth. Children can access up to 5 hours (for 3 year old’s) or 15 hours (for 4 year old’s) of educational programs that support their learning and development. To find out more, visit our kindergartens page.

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