Types Of Child Care Services & Early Learning in Australia

Following is a quick description of the different types of child care and early learning services:


Long Day Care

Long Day Care is usually available for all day or part of the day at a centre. Some centres offer morning or afternoon sessions. Many centres offer meals throughout the day including morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. If a centre doesn’t provide meals then families need to provide their own. Most Long Day Care centres will have an early education component to their programme so children will learn in the time they are there. Long Day Care centres are run by private companies, local councils, community organisations, individuals or non-profit organisations. The majority of Long Day Care centres are approved child care services but you should check with your local authority or Centrelink first if you plan to claim the Child Care Benefit.


Family Day Care

Family Day Care services deliver flexible home-based education and care for children. They can provide flexible care, including all-day care, part-time, casual, overnight, before and after school care, and care during school holidays. Family Day Care services must meet their obligations under the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care and comply with the Early Childhood Services Education and Care National Law and National Regulations, and any other applicable state and territory regulations, when providing care to children. They may provide care in their home for the maximum number of children, including their own children, in accordance with the National Law and National Regulations. The majority of Family Day Care Services are approved child care services but you should check with your local authority or Centrelink to be sure if you plan to claim the Child Care Benefit.


In Home Care

Like Family Day Care, In Home Care offers in home care but in your own home rather than theirs. In Home Care is suitable for families with children who cannot be cared for by other child care services or whose circumstances mean that an existing child care service cannot meet their needs. Such examples of this include if the child or another child they live with has an illness or disability or if the child’s guardian works during hours when no other approved child care service is available.


Outside School Hours Care

Sometimes called Before/After School Care, Outside School Hours Care centres provide care for primary school aged children, before and after school (7:30 am -9:00 am and 3:00 pm -6:00 pm), during school holidays and on pupil-free days. Vacation Care is a type of Outside School Hours Care that includes indoor and outdoor activities. These centres are sometimes run by the same organisation that runs before and after-school care. Centres are usually located on primary school sites in the school hall and/or playground. Some centres are located in a child care centre, community facility or outside-school hours care centre near the primary school. The majority of Outside School Hours Care centres are approved child care services but you should check with your local authority or Centrelink to be sure if you plan to claim the Child Care Benefit.


Occasional Care

Occasional Care offers professional care for children on a casual basis. This service is suitable for families who do not need child care on a regular basis but would like someone to look after their children occasionally, for example when they have an appointment or meeting.

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