Types of Care Available
There are many different types of childcare options available, including:
- Long Day Care Centres
- Occasional Care
- Family Day Care
Will your child be attending child care next year?
The NSW Public Health Act contains requirements for childcare facilities (early childhood education and care centres), which includes that directors of child care facilities are to be provided with a vaccination certificate on enrolment of each child.
The NSW Parliament has passed a Bill to amend the Public Health Act to strengthen vaccination enrolment requirements in childcare (also known as early childhood education and care).
From 1 January 2018 the changes include:
- Children who are unvaccinated due to their parent's conscientious objection will no longer be allowed to be enrolled in childcare
- It will be an offence for a principal to fail to comply with the childcare vaccination enrolment requirements
- It will be an offence for a person to forge or falsify a vaccination certificate.
Parents automatically receive their child’s AIR Immunisation History Statement in the mail after they complete their immunisation schedule (sometime after 4 years of age).
A copy of their child's immunisation details can also be obtained at any time by:
View Frequently Asked Questions about vaccination requirements for childcare.
Choosing a Child Care Service
Some points to consider:
- Is the location suitable?
- Does the centre's philosophy fit well with your own ideas and values?
- What is the staff / child ratio?
- What experience and training do the staff have?
- How do they decide what experiences are offered each day?
- What are the fees?
- Are their opening hours appropriate?
Most importantly, make sure you visit the service and that both you and your child feel comfortable.
Child Care Subsidy
Services Australia offer assistance to help with the cost of approved child care. The Child Care Subsidy is paid directly to providers to reduce the fees you pay. The amount you can get depends on your family’s income, the type of child care you use, the age of your child and the hours of recognised activities you and your partner do.
Please note families with a combined income over $356,756 won’t be able to access this subsidy.
Additional Child Care Subsidy is extra support for some families. This includes grandparents and great grandparents, families moving from an income support payment to work and those experiencing temporary financial hardship.
You can claim these subsidies through your Centrelink online account via myGov.
Find out More
Children with complex needs
Centre Based Day Care, Family Day Care and Out of School Hours Care staff are trained to be inclusive of all children, however, some services may require Inclusion Support Agency (ISA) help. ISAs are funded by the government to provide childcare services with practical supports that will help them provide quality, inclusive environments for all children.
Priority groups are:
- Children with a disability
- Children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
- Children with refugee status.
For support accessing this service please contact IA Help Hub on 1800 703 382 or email email@example.com.
Another option for families of children with high support needs is In Home Care (IHC). Funded by the Department of Education and Training, IHC is for families that can’t access other forms of child care, such as centre-based care or family day care.
Families are eligible for In Home Care if they:
- are geographically isolated,
- have non-standard working hours or;
- have a child with complex needs.
Costs vary across providers of IHC.
Find out More
Regulations and Assessment
The NSW Department of Education is the Regulatory Authority in NSW responsible for regulating early childhood education and care services in NSW. This regulatory responsibility includes monitoring, assessment and rating, and the provision of regular feedback, review, and enforcement of compliance and approval processes for all services and providers.
Find out more about childcare regulation requirements
All relevant education and care services in NSW are regulated, assessed and rated under the same framework. The National Quality Framework (NQF) provides a national approach to regulation, assessment and quality improvement for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care services across Australia.
Find out more about the assessment and rating process
Read more about the National Quality Framework (NQF).
Long Day Care Centres
Long Day Care Centres (LDCC) were developed primarily for working parents. For this reason, the majority of LDCCs provide a cooked lunch ensuring children receive 50% of their recommended daily intake of nutrients. They are required, by State Regulations, to be open a minimum of 48 weeks per year and open for more than eight hours per day.
All LDCCs observe individual children and program experiences for them that will help develop and consolidate children's development. There are State and Federal Government legal requirements that govern LDCCs.
See the Community Information Directory for a listing of long day care centres in the Ryde and Hunters Hill regions.
Preschools cater for children three to six years. As in Long Day Care they are governed by State Legislation and offer a program based on children's individual needs to consolidate and enhance a child's total developmental. Daily hours of operation and attendance per year usually coincide with those of State Schools, but check with individual centres.
Each centre is also different when allocating days for attendance. They usually allocate either two or three days depending on:
- The age of your child
- What vacancies they have
- When your child will be commencing school.
See the Community Information Directory for a listing of preschools in the Ryde and Hunters Hill regions.
A highly flexible centre based form of childcare and education. They cater for children aged 0 - 6 years for short periods of time, enabling parents time to attend appointments, go shopping etc.
See the Community Information Directory for a listing of occasional care centres in the Ryde and Hunters Hill regions.
Playgroups are designed to enable the parent / carer to attend, with their child/ren, for regular and informal gatherings. The playgroups are run by parents who establish, supervise and equip the groups and expect the parents / carers to participate fully.
There is usually a joining fee then a daily or weekly fee. Most playgroups are members of the Playgroup Association of NSW. Playgroups can be accessed by children aged 0 - 5 years.
See the Community Information Directory for a listing of playgroups in the Ryde and Hunters Hill regions.
Family Day Care
Family Day Care is a flexible alternative to Long Day Care. The service is provided by registered carers in their own home and can be accessed by children 0 - 5 years. Christian Community Aid employs a co-ordinator and several development officers to support and assist all individual carers. They also screen all caregivers and ensure the home environment meets Local and State Government Regulations.
See the Community Information Directory for a listing of family day care in the Ryde and Hunters Hill regions.