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Information for Parents

Choosing Early Childhood Education and Care

Deciding to enrol your child in an early childhood education and care service is an important decision. Start to plan as early as possible, as demand for places is high and many services have waiting lists.

It is suggested that you contact services you are interested in and arrange a visit to the centre. You can find out which education and care services operate in your area by searching the Australian Government's My Child External Link website.

Factors to consider are quality, cost, opening hours, type of service (centre-based or family day care) and what additional services are provided, such as meals and nappies.

When making your choice you might also look for:

A great resource for parents is the website Starting Blocks External Link It provides information about early childhood education and care, and is a starting point for parents to:

What Should I See At A Service?

Early childhood education and care services are required to have certain information available to families and prospective families.

Waiting Lists and Allocating Places

Each early childhood education and care service will have its own procedures for taking enrolments and allocating places when a vacancy becomes available.

Waiting lists are commonly used to register the details of families seeking places.

When placing your name on a waiting list, find out what you need to do to maintain your place on the list. For example, some services may charge a fee or require you to complete an application form.

When a vacancy arises, there are many factors the service needs to consider when offer a place, including the child's age and family's preference for days. The service is also required to comply with the Australian Government's Priority of Access Guidelines External Link.

Family Assistance to Help With Costs

Many families can access financial assistance to help with the cost of early childhood education and care.

Child Care Subsidy External Link (CCS) commenced on 2 July 2018, replacing the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate with a single, means-tested subsidy. The CCS reduces the cost of your total fees at the time of payment. The amount by which your fees are reduced is income tested.

Further information on the CCS is available via the Department of Human Services External Link.