DCO has a range of programs to support the availability of childcare services for mobile military families, who might face difficulties in sourcing childcare in new posting locations..
We maintain a network of childcare centres around Australia. Children of newly-posted military families can receive priority access to Defence childcare centres, where the local community is unable to accommodate them.
We also provide financial assistance to Defence partners seeking to start a family day care business, to increase the availability of childcare to Defence families.
Find your nearest Defence childcare centre in the below table, under the Defence childcare centres tab. You can also search for different childcare options in your local area at mychild.gov.au or call the government-run Childcare Access Hotline on 1800 670 305.
Defence has an individual case management service for childcare placement to support you when you move to a new area or change your work or care arrangements, such as when a serving member returns from maternity leave.
Defence childcare service provider, Mission Australia Early Learning, will use specialist early learning staff to support military families who need help to find appropriate childcare.
Mission Australia will negotiate with all local registered childcare providers, including family day care and before and after school care, to ensure childcare is tailored to individual family circumstances:
Where a Defence provided childcare centre is used, Defence employees can choose to salary package childcare—this means sacrificing part of your future salary or wages in return for childcare benefits to the same value. If you choose this option, you will no longer be eligible to receive the Child Care Benefit or the Child Care Tax Rebate. It is strongly recommended that you seek independent advice to determine whether salary packaging is financially advantageous for your family. You can access more information including a list of Defence childcare centres that offer the salary packaging option to military families at www.smartsalary.com.au by entering Department of Defence in the search field.
Defence has 21 childcare and early childhood education centres around Australia, made up of 17 long day care and four out of school hours centres.
The Defence childcare centres are operated by Mission Australia Early Learning. Military families with queries regarding the daily functions of the centres including enrolments can contact Mission Australia’s information hotline on 1800 757 343 during regular business hours.
Defence facilitates priority of access to Defence childcare centres for mobile military families, where the local community cannot accommodate them or they have been posted to the new location. Priority is given to military families over non Defence families in recognition of the difficulties you may face in relocation. Defence childcare centres create waiting lists and award priority of access, by employing a points system as per Defence Priority of Access Guidelines.
Defence contracts a licensed childcare service provider to manage and operate the Defence childcare centres. The contract periodically undergoes a competitive tender process under Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines to determine the preferred service provider for the centres.
The contract periodically undergoes a competitive tender process under Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines to determine the preferred service provider for the centres.
In July 2012, Mission Australia Early Learning Services succeeded B4Kids as the contractor providing childcare to the centres.
|Russell Hill Early Childhood Centre||
R8 Annex, Kelliher Drive Russell Offices, Canberra
|Kangaroo Cottage Child Care Centre *||HMAS Creswell 19 Benson Road, Jervis Bay||6020/019|
|Little Diggers Child Care Centre||Holsworthy Barracks MacArthur Drive, Moorebank||0382/K049|
|Little Eagles Child Care Centre *||Canberra Ave RAAF Base Richmond||0902/230|
|The Blue House Outside School Hours Care *||RAAF Base Richmond Wood Street, Richmond||0902/D59|
|Tingira Child Care Centre *||HMAS Albatross Bedford Ave, Nowra||6026/035|
|Kids Crew Room Outside School Hours Care||HMAS Albatross Bedford Ave, Nowra||6026/036|
|Williamtown Child (Raymond Terrace) Care Centre||20a Kangaroo Street, Raymond Terrace||tba|
|Cerberus Child Care Centre *||HMAS Cerberus 12-14 Cook Road, Crib Point||0066/A0356|
|East Sale Child Care Centre *||RAAF Base Heart Ave, East Sale||0937/A0638|
|Williams Child Care Centre *||RAAF Base Williams 17 Campbell Parade, Laverton||0927/A0017|
|Puckapunyal Child Care Centre, Includes OSHC *||Lone Pine Cres, Puckapunyal Military Area||0596/A1478|
|Victoria Barracks Child Care Centre||32 Coventry Rd, Southbank Melbourne||1043/A0019|
|The Sunny Child Care Centre||50 Seaward Ave, Swanbourne||0767/D0005|
|Flying Start Child Care Centre *||RAAF Base Pearce Brownwell Ave, Bullsbrook||0967/A0900|
|Enoggera Child Care Centre||2 Taurama St Enoggera||0129/B0050|
|Coral Sea Child Care Centre||71 Bamford Lane, Kirwan (Townsville)||1493/0001|
|Kids Brigade Child Care Centre||Cnr University Ave & Woodlake Blvd Durack, Palmerston NT||1561/A0001|
|Little Geckos Child Care Centre *||RAAF Base, Easton Parade, Tindal||0990/B1031|
|Big Geckos Outside School Hours Care *||RAAF Base, Easton Parade, Tindal||0990/B0240|
For more information about the Defence childcare centres, contact the Defence all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
Any enquiries about daily operations of the centres, including enrolments, should be directed to Mission Australia on 1800 757 343.
Any complaints from parents should be directed to the Centre Director, who will respond as appropriate. Mission Australia or DCO will take further action if necessary. The parent complaint and grievance policy is available at each Defence childcare centre.
Family day care set-up
Funding is available to assist with some of the initial set up costs incurred by Defence partners starting up a family day care business.
As a family day carer, you can work from home providing small group childminding services—this may be particularly convenient if you have children of your own at home. Family day care is a very portable career and can get you involved in your new community after posting.
Set up costs that may be reimbursed include First Aid certification, public liability insurance, police checks, car safety certification and Family Day Care Australia registration fees.
This assistance does incur Fringe Benefits Tax We strongly recommend you seek independent financial advice before committing to the program, as it may affect government benefits or child support payments you currently receive.
To apply for family day care set-up assistance, complete the application form for reimbursement of initial set-up costs, attaching all relevant receipts, and email it to the DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au.
For more information email DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au or call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.