skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Defence Community Organisation

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608


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.

Finding childcare options

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 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:

  • The service provides you with detailed options that will allow you to decide which childcare service best suits your family.
  • It is available to all military families across Australia, and Defence civilian families in some regional locations, such as Geraldton and Alice Springs.
  • The placement assistance service is free. Please note that 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

Salary packaging

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 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.

Priority of access

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.

The childcare service provider

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.

Defence Childcare Centres


Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Centre Adress Building
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



New South Wales (NSW)
Centre Adress Building
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



Victoria (VIC)
Centre Adress Building
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


Western Australia (WA)
Centre Adress Building
The Sunny Child Care Centre 50 Seaward Ave, Swanbourne 0767/D0005
Flying Start Child Care Centre * RAAF Base Pearce Brownwell Ave, Bullsbrook 0967/A0900


Queesnland (QLD)
Centre Adress Building
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



Northern Territory (NT)
Centre Adress Building
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

More information

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.

How to apply

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

For more information email or call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.