DCO has a range of programs to support the availability of childcare services to Defence families, who might face difficulties in sourcing childcare.
We maintain a network of childcare centres around Australia. Children of newly-posted Defence families can receive priority of access to these centres, where the local community is unable to accommodate them.
Families that face difficulties accessing childcare, such as when they move to a new area or change their work or care arrangements, can now access an individual case management service to help them find childcare.
Defence employees can choose to salary package childcare and we provide financial assistance to Defence partners seeking to start a family day care business, to increase the availability of childcare to Defence families.
Connecting with local community is an effective way for Defence families to find other childcare options. There are often playgroups, parents’ groups or other support networks you can tap into in your local area. Call the Defence Family Helpline to access information and resources to assist you to connect with your local community.
We also provide an individual case management service for childcare placement to support ADF families when they move to a new area or change their work or care arrangements, such as when a serving member returns from maternity leave.
Defence childcare service provider, Mission Australia, using specialist early learning staff will support 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.
The service provides parents with options that will allow them to decide which childcare service best suits their family.
It is available to all Defence families across Australia, and civilian families in some regional locations.
The placement assistance service is free. Normal childcare fees will apply for any options selected by families.
To discuss your family’s needs, call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can 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 employees can choose to salary package childcare. This means sacrificing part of their 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 centres that offer the salary packaging option to Defence families at www.smartsalary.com.au by entering the employer code A100.
Defence has 20 childcare and early childhood education centres around Australia, made up of 17 long day care and four out of school hours centres.
Defence childcare centres are operated by Mission Australia Early Learning. ADF families can contact Mission Australia’s information hotline on 1800 757 343 during business hours.
Defence provides priority of access to Defence childcare centres for ADF families, particularly where the local community is unable to accommodate them or they have been posted to the new location.
Defence contracts a licensed childcare service provider to manage and operate Defence childcare 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|
|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|
|Kids Brigade Child Care Centre||Cnr University Ave & Woodlake Blvd Durack, Palmerston NT||1561/A0001|
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 child-minding 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.