DCO provides a range of services and resources for Defence children, to assist with the transition between schools and education systems when families move, and to provide support for the unique needs of Defence students.
We recognise that some Defence children may experience disruption to the academic and social aspects of their schooling each time they move for a posting. We have a range of services and resources on offer which work to assist with the transition between schools and education systems, and provide support for the unique needs of Defence children.
This support includes:
Regional Education Liaison Officers, or REDLOs, give education support to Defence families as they move around the country, providing information, advice, referral and specialised assistance.
Aides & Mentors
To minimise the impact of the mobile lifestyle on children’s education, DCO provides funding to schools with high numbers of enrolments of Defence children.
The Defence School Transition Aide (DSTA) Program provides funding to support schools engage a Defence School Transition Aide (DSTA) or Defence Transition Mentor (DTM) to minimise the impact of mobility on education and build the capability of the school to support Defence students particularly during transitions into and out of the school and during parental absences.
The aim of the DSTA Program is to facilitate the best possible educational outcome for children of Defence members through on-site, direct and flexible assistance to students, parents, teachers and other support services.
This program is a reflection of the commitment by Defence to support its members and their families and recognises the partnership between education authorities, Defence and schools.
The DSTA Program is funded annually and each allocation is determined by eligibility criteria which determine the amount of funding that each eligible school is entitled to. The criteria include the following:
Other factors which are considered:
DSTAs and DTMs are based within primary and secondary schools across Australia for the purpose of providing support to the children of mobile Defence families.
Aides and Mentors' activities include:
|Brindabella Christian College||Lyneham|
|Burgmann Anglican School||Gungahlin|
|Campbell High School||Campbell|
|Campbell Primary School||Campbell|
|Canberra Girls Grammar School||Deakin|
|Canberra Grammar School||Red Hill|
|Gold Creek School||Nicholls|
|Good Shepherd Primary School||Amaroo|
|Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School||Nicholls|
|Maribyrnong Primary School||Kaleen|
|Marist College Canberra||Pearce|
|Mother Teresa School||Harrison|
|Palmerston District Primary School||Palmerston|
|Red Hill School||Red Hill|
|St Clare's College||Griffith|
|St Edmund's College||Griffith|
|St Francis Xavier College||Florey|
|St John Paul College II||Nicholls|
|St Mary Mackillop College||Wannissa|
|St Thomas More's Primary School||Campbell|
|Adamstown Public School||Adamstown|
|Ashtonfield Public School||Ashtonfield|
|Bomaderry High School||Bomaderry|
|Bungendore Public School||Bungendore|
|Cambewarra Public School||Camberwarra|
|Forest Hill Public School||Forest Hill|
|Francis Greenway High School||Beresfield|
|Glendore Public School||Adamstown|
|Glenmore Park Public School||Glenmore Park|
|Grahamstown Public School||Raymond Terrace|
|Hammondville Public School||Hammondville|
|Holsworthy High School||Holsworthy|
|Holsworthy Public School||Holsworthy|
|Illaroo Road Public School||North Nowra|
|Irrawang High School||Raymond Terrace|
|Jerrabomberra Public School||Jerrrabomberra|
|Kapooka Public School||Kapooka|
|Kooringal High School||Wagga Wagga|
|Kooringal Public School||Kooringal|
|Maitland Grossmann High School||East Maitland|
|Medowie Christian School||Medowie|
|North Nowra Public School||North Nowra|
|Nowra Anglican College||Nowra|
|Nowra Christian School||South Nowra|
|Nowra High School||Nowra|
|Nowra Hill Public School||Nowra Hill|
|Nowra Public School||Nowra|
|Oran Park Public School||Oran Park|
|Richmond Public School||Richmond|
|Rydalmere East Public School||Ermington|
|Singleton Heights Public School||Singleton Heights|
|Soldiers Point Public School||Soldiers Point|
|South Coogee Public School||South Coogee|
|St Aloysius Catholic Primary School||Chisholm|
|St Brigid's Primary School||Raymond Terrace|
|St Christopher's Primary School||Holsworthy|
|St Georges Basin Public School||Basin View|
|St John the Evangelist Catholic High School||South Nowra|
|St Matthew's Primary School||Windsor|
|St Michael's Catholic Primary School||Nowra|
|St Monica's Primary School||Windsor|
|St Philip's Christian College||Salamander Bay|
|Thornton Public School||Thornton|
|Tomaree High School||Salamander Bay|
|Tomaree Public School||Salamander Bay|
|Vincentia High School||Vincentia|
|Vincentia Public School||Vincentia|
|Wagga Wagga Christian School||Wagga Wagga|
|Wattle Grove Public School||Wattle Gove|
|Wirreanda Public School||Medowie|
|Bandiana Primary School||Bandiana|
|Baranduda Primary School||Baranduda|
|Carranballac P-9 College||Point Cook|
|Catholic College Wodonga||Wodonga|
|Crib Point Primary School||Crib Point|
|Gippsland Grammar School||Sale|
|Guthridge Primary School||Sale|
|Lumen Christi||Point Cook|
|Melrose Primary School||Wodonga|
|Puckapunyal Primary School||Puckapunyal|
|Sale Primary School||Sale|
|Somers Primary School||Somers|
|St Joseph's Primary School||Crib Point|
|St Monica's Primary School||Wodonga|
|Streeton Primary School||Yallambie|
|Victory Lutheran College||Wodonga|
|Viewbank Primary School||Viewbank|
|Western Port Secondary College||Hastings|
|Wodonga Middle Years College||Wodonga|
|Wodonga Primary School||Wodonga|
|Wodonga Senior Secondary College||Wodonga|
|Wodonga South Primary School||Wodonga|
|Annandale Christian College||Annandale|
|Annandale State School||Annandale|
|Bluewater State School||Bluewater|
|Bohlevale State School||Bohlevale|
|Calvary Christian College||Mount Louisa|
|Freshwater State School||Freshwater|
|Good Shepherd Catholic School||Rasmussen|
|Heatley State School||Townsville|
|Holy Spirit School||Cranbrook|
|Ignatius Park College||Cranbrook|
|Kirwan State High School||Kirwan|
|Kirwan State School||Kirwan|
|Mundingburra State School||Hermit Park|
|Northern Beaches State High||Deeragun|
|Oonoonba State School||Idalia|
|Redlynch State College||Redlynch|
|Ryan Catholic College||Kirwan|
|Southern Cross Catholic College||Annandale|
|St Andrew's Catholic College||Redlynch|
|St Anthony's Catholic College||Deeragun|
|St Clare's Catholic School||Burdell|
|St Therese's School||Bentley Park|
|The Willows State School||Kirwan|
|Thurwingowa State High School||Condon|
|Townsville Grammar School||Townsville|
|Weir State School||Kirwan|
|William Ross State High School||Annandale|
|Albany Creek State High School||Albany Creek|
|Albany Creek State School||Albany Creek|
|Albany Hills State School||Albany Creek|
|All Saints Parish School||Albany Creek|
|Amberley District State School||Yamanto|
|Augusta State School||Augustine Heights|
|Bounty Boulevard State School||North Lakes|
|Brassall State School||Brassall|
|Bray Park State School||Bray Park|
|Bremer State High School||Ipswich|
|Eatons Hill State School||Eatons Hill|
|Enoggera State School||Enoggera|
|Ferny Grove State High School||Ferny Grove|
|Ferny Grove State School||Ferny Grove|
|Grand Avenue State School||Forest Lake|
|Highfields State School||Highfields|
|Ipswich State High School||Brassall|
|Kelvin Grove State College||Kelvin Grove|
|Lawton State School||Lawton|
|McDowall State School||McDowall|
|Middle Ridge State School||Middle Ridge|
|Mitchelton State High School||Mitchelton|
|Mitchelton State School||Mitchelton|
|Mt Maria College||Mitchelton|
|Oakleigh State School||Ashgrove|
|Our Lady of Dolours Primary School||Mitchelton|
|Our Lady of the Assumption School||Enoggera|
|Raceview State School||Raceview|
|Springfield Central High School||Springfield Central|
|Springfield Lakes State School||Springfield Lakes|
|St Andrew's Catholic School||Ferny Grove|
|St Augustine's College||Springfield|
|St Edmund's College||Ipswich|
|St Mary's College||Woodend|
|St Mary's Primary School||Ipswich|
|West Moreton Anglican College||Karrabin|
|Bakewell Primary School||Bakewell|
|Casuarina Senior College||Moil|
|Casuarina Street Primary School||Katherine|
|Darwin High School||The Gardens|
|Darwin Middle School||The Gardens|
|Durack Primary School||Durack|
|Holy Spirit Catholic Primary||Wanguri|
|Katherine High School||Katherine|
|Katherine South Primary School||Katherine|
|Larrakeyah Primary School||Larrakeyah|
|MacKillop Catholic College||Palmerston|
|Marrara Christian College||Palmerston|
|O'Loughlin Catholic College||Karama|
|Palmerston Christian School||Palmerston|
|Palmerston Senior College||Driver|
|Rosebery Middle School||Rosebery|
|Rosebery Primary School||Rosebery|
|Sacred Heart Catholic School||Woodroffe|
|Sattler Christian College||Palmerston|
|St Joseph's Catholic College||Katherine|
|St Mary's Catholic Primary School||Darwin|
|Stuart Park Primary School||Stuart Park|
|Wanguri Primary School||Wanguri|
|Arbour Grove Primary School||Ellenbrook|
|Baldivis Primary School||Baldivis|
|Baldivis Secondary College||Baldivis|
|Charthouse Primary School||Waikiki|
|Comet Bay College||Secret Harbour|
|Comet Bay Primary School||Secret Harbour|
|Ellenbrook Secondary College||Ellenbrook|
|Endeavour Primary School||Port Kennedy|
|Golden Bay Primary School||Golden Bay|
|Kolbe Catholic College||Rockingham|
|Living Waters Lutheran College||Warnbro|
|Makybe Rise Primary School||Baldivis|
|Malvern Springs Primary School||Ellenbrook|
|Mother Teresa Catholic College||Baldivis|
|Pilbara Education Regional Office||Karratha|
|Port Kennedy Primary School||Port Kennedy|
|Rivergums Primary School||Baldivis|
|Rockingham Beach Primary School||Rockingham|
|Rockingham Lakes Primary School||Port Kennedy|
|Rockingham Senior High School||Rockingham|
|Safety Bay Primary School||Safety Bay|
|Safety Bay Senior High School||Safety Bay|
|Secret Harbour Primary School||Secret Harbour|
|Settlers Primary School||Baldivis|
|Shenton College||Shenton Park|
|St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School||Port Kennedy|
|Star of the Sea Primary School||Rockingham|
|Swanbourne Primary School||Swanbourne|
|Tuart Rise Primary School||Baldivis|
|Waikiki Primary School||Waikiki|
|Warnbro Community High School||Warnbro|
|Gleeson College||Golden Grove|
|Golden Grove High School||Golden Grove|
|Golden Grove Primary School||Golden Grove|
|Greenwith Primary School||Greenwith|
|Hewett Primary School||Hewett|
|Mawson Lakes School||Mawson Lakes|
|Pedare Christian College||Golden Grove|
|Playford Primary School||Craigmore|
|St Brigid's Catholic School||Evanston|
|Trinity College||Evanston South|
As they relocate around Australia, mobile Defence families may encounter differences in the way states and territories and individual schools deliver education.
Our educational advisory service can provide you with advice and information to help you make informed decisions about education options for your children.
The My School website is a government-run website which allows you to search and compare almost 10 000 schools across Australia, and includes a find-a-school function, school performance ratings and profiles, and links to school websites.
You can source other information from the state or territory department of education, including details of:
However, you should contact individual schools for details of:
A range of financial support is available to help minimise disruption to schooling caused by posting. The aim is to provide the student with educational stability or limited interim assistance to help avoid or overcome any immediate difficulties with education or emotional wellbeing as a result of relocating.
Defence may reimburse fees for tutoring required to fill any gaps in understanding or curriculum caused by changing schools. Students may be entitled to up to 14 weeks of tutoring in any subject that has been identified by the school as representing a gap in learning. This applies to primary and secondary students, within the first 18 months of enrolment at the new school.
You may choose to have your child attend boarding school, so they do not have to relocate with you and disrupt their education. In this instance, where the child is in the critical years of schooling (years 9‑12), you may be entitled to financial assistance for the compulsory tuition fees and accommodation costs of the school.
If your dependant is studying at a tertiary institution, and their chosen course in not available in the new posting location, financial assistance may be available for accommodation costs for the dependant to live near or at the tertiary institution. This applies only to full time undergraduate students and is capped at a maximum of three years' assistance.
Practical assistance is available for dependents with special needs. This includes assessment, therapy, tuition and additional support where students had received these services in their old location and aren't able to access them at their new posting. Dependents with special needs may also be entitled to reimbursement of private schooling costs, if a necessary special program is only available at a non government school.
If a student has to give up an education scholarship or bursary due to changing schools, Defence may pay their educational costs to the value of that scholarship.
If your child is studying at a location distant from your posting, you may access funds towards the child's travel expenses to come to your location for a reunion. The child must already be receiving education assistance, and will be entitled to one return journey each calendar year.
For more information about this program, contact the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on1800 624 608, or consult your local REDLO.
DCO has a range of programs to support the availability of childcare services to Defence 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 Defence families can receive priority of access to the centres, where the local community is unable to accommodate them.
We also provide financial assistance to community childcare organisations and 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 under the Defence childcare centres tab. 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.
Connecting with local community is an effective way for Defence families to source other childcare options. There are often playgroups, parents’ groups or other support networks you can tap into in your local area. We maintain information and resources to assist you to connect with local community resources, which you can readily access by calling the Defence Family Helpline.
This year, Defence is trialling a new 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, will use specialist Early Learning (MAEL) staff to support families who need help to find appropriate childcare. MAEL 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.
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 21 early childhood education and care 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 . 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 these childcare centres for mobile Defence families, where the local community cannot accommodate them and they have been posted to the new location within the last six months.
Priority is given over non‑Defence families in recognition of the difficulties you may face in relocation. 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.
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
|Kangaroo Cottage Child Care Centre||
HMAS Creswell 19 Benson Road
|Little Diggers Child Care Centre||
Holsworthy Barracks MacArthur Drive
|Little Eagles Child Care Centre||
Canberra Ave RAAF Base
|The Blue House Outside School Hours Care||
RAAF Base Richmond Wood Street
|Tingira Child Care Centre||
HMAS Albatross Bedford Ave
|Kids Crew Room Outside School Hours Care||
HMAS Albatross Bedford Ave
|Williamtown Child Care Centre||
RAAF Base Williamtown, McNamara Drive
|Cerberus Child Care Centre||
HMAS Cerberus 12-14 Cook Road
|East Sale Child Care Centre||
RAAF Base Heart Ave
|Williams Child Care Centre||
RAAF Base Williams 17 Campbell Parade
Puckapunyal Child Care Centre
Lone Pine Cres
|Victoria Barracks Child Care Centre||
32 Coventry Rd
|The Sunny Child Care Centre||
50 Seaward Ave
|Flying Start Child Care Centre||
RAAF Base Pearce Brownwell Ave
|Enoggera Child Care Centre||
2 Taurama St
|Coral Sea Child Care Centre||
71 Bamford Lane, Kirwan
|Kids Brigade Child Care Centre||
Cnr University Ave & Woodlake Blvd
|Little Geckos Child Care Centre||
RAAF Base, Easton Parade
|Big Geckos Outside School Hours Care||
RAAF Base, Easton Parade
For more information about the Defence childcare centres, contact Defence Childcare Programs by emailing DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au or the 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 (9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday).
Any complaints from parents should first 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 centre.
Organisations or groups that provide childcare services to Defence families may be eligible for financial assistance under the Extended Child Care Program. As a general principle the funding is offered to the organisation to expand the number of places that can be provided, in order to increase access for Defence families.
The funding is available to groups or organisations which provide work-related childcare services, in particular before and after school care, family day care, vacation care, occasional care or 24‑hour/irregular hours care. Groups must be incorporated to receive this assistance and to employ childcare workers that meet the necessary state and territory regulations.
To apply, complete the application form, attaching relevant documentation including incorporation, constitution and insurance policies.
Applications are accepted throughout the year for consideration.
For more information about this program, contact the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au or 1800 624 608.You can also find the details and eligibility criteria in the guidelines.
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, in areas of high Defence need.
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 supplies you with the support of a specialist coordination and resource team).
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.
For more information about this program, email DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au or call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
You can also read the details in the guidelines.