Read answers to frequently asked questions before applying for childcare.
Apply for childcare
Waiting times vary considerably. Council is required to follow Priority of Access Guidelines set by the Australian Government. Positions will be filled from applications received and placements will be offered in accordance with these guidelines. Vacancies do occur throughout the year however the majority of placements are made from October each year for the following year. Our Children's Services team will contact you if a suitable vacancy arises.
Council accepts applications for care after the birth of a child. Our services are well equipped to care for babies and infants.
Council is required to follow Priority of Access Guidelines set by the Australian Government. Positions will be filled from applications received and placements will be offered in accordance with these guidelines.
Positions become available throughout the year, however, the majority of our positions are offered any time from September to January for commencement in the new calendar year. While every effort will be made to contact you during this time, positions cannot be held indefinitely. Children's Services takes no responsibility if you are unavailable on the contact numbers you have provided.
When a family is offered a position in an Early Education Centre, the family has a maximum two working days from acceptance of the offer to make a bond payment. The current bond is $100 per day. The bond payment will be held by Children's Services until such time as the family leaves the centre, after giving two weeks written notice, and finalises all outstanding debts. Bonds are not refundable or transferable if the position is not taken up.
Placements are given in the following order:
- Priority of Access Guideline: Priority 1 (Child at Risk)
- Existing children moved up into appropriate age group
- Internal requests for extra days and transfers
- Siblings of existing children in care who meet Priority 2
- Priority of Access Guidelines: Priority 2 placements from Council's database
- Siblings of existing children in care who meet Priority 3
- Priority of Access Guideline: Priority 3 placements from Council's database
A child currently in care cannot exit care to create a vacancy for their sibling.
Positions in Council's Early Education Centres are allocated into the following age groups:
- Birth-6 months
- 6-12 months
- 12-18 months
- 18-24 months
- 2-3 years
- 3-5 years
Once a vacancy occurs in a centre, an assessment is made across all rooms with regard to the remaining children to decide whether a transition to a new age grouping will be beneficial. For example, if a child in the 3-5 age room is leaving our service, the centre director will check to see if there may be a child currently in the birth-3 age room who would benefit from transitioning to the 3-5 age room (effectively taking the position vacated by the child leaving).
What this means is that even though a child has left our service from the 3-5 year age bracket, the vacancy that arises could be in a younger age group. A vacancy is determined by the ages of current children in attendance. Please also note that children do not automatically transition to the next room when they turn of age.
We will make every effort to place your child at one of the centres selected however, no guarantee of a position can be given.
You can apply for childcare online.
Alternatively, please contact Children's Services on 9710 0466 to request an application form via the mail or you're welcome to visit our offices at level 2, Kirkby House, 33-35 Belmont Street Sutherland 2232.
Apply for childcare online
Familes are required to advise their acceptance of any placement offers within 1 working day. On acceptance, a bond payment is required within 2 working days. The current bond is $100 per day.
Bonds are refundable provided two weeks written notice is given when leaving and provided all outstanding monies have been paid. Bonds are not refundable or transferable under any circumstances if you accept the position and the position is not taken up.
When contacting families to offer a position we will make up to 3 documented attempts to reach you. If we are unsuccessful, the application will be removed from the database and a new application will be required.
The Federal Government has introduced new laws to encourage more parents to get their children vaccinated. The legislation has removed childcare benefits (the Child Care Benefit CCB & Child Care Rebate CCR) from parents who don't immunise their children, although there are exemptions for medical reasons.
This means your child must either be fully immunised, on a catch up immunisation schedule or have a valid exemption (for medical reasons) at the time they make their very first claim for childcare benefits.
Under current legislation, it is mandatory for Council to have your child’s Immunisation History Statement to continue their enrolment in our services.
While we will be accepting non-immunised children into our care, parents will otherwise pay the full fee for accessing our childcare services unless the child has a valid exemption for medical reasons or is on an approved catch up immunisation schedule.
Due to the health and safety of children in our care, should our records show that your child is not up-to-date with their immunisation, they may be excluded from care in the event of an outbreak and fees still charged.
Childcare Benefits & Immunisation
- CCB and CCR payments are conditional on all children up to age 20 years meeting current immunisation requirements.
- Parents who have registered an objection to vaccination on the basis of personal or philosophical reasons will not receive CCB and/or CCR payments.
- If your child’s immunisations are not up-to-date, Centrelink will cease your childcare benefit payments immediately (unless you have a valid exemption or are on an approved catch-up immunisation schedule).
Further Information regarding immunisation is available via:
Children’s Services Administration: Phone 9710 0466
Department of Human Services (for rebate details): Phone 136 150
Medicare Australia (for immunisation statements): Phone 1800 653 809
Typically Family Day Care Educators charge an hourly fee with a minimum of 8 hours. Council also charges families a small scheme contribution fee, based on the hours of care enrolled.
Family Day Care Fees 2015-2016
Council's Family Day Care Educators set their own fees for the service they provide. Each Educator's fee is based on a number of factors including the Educator's location, their experience and qualifications, hours of operation, inclusions for families and business operating costs. There is not one standard fee across the board.
The daily fee for the 2016/2017 financial year is $100.00 per day for birth-2 year olds, $94.50 per day for 2-3 year olds and $92.50 per day for 3-5 year olds, less any applicable Child Care Benefit (CCB) and/or Child Care Rebate.
2016-2017 Early Education Centre Fee Schedule
Early Education Centres - Direct Debit Terms and Conditions
Early Education Centres - 2016 Direct Debit Calendar
Families can access www.mychild.gov.au to calculate their CCB eligibility. Regardless of what percentage a family is entitled to, there will always be a gap fee payable.
Families who find themselves in financial hardship may have access to temporary fee relief check - www.mychild.gov.au for details of eligibility criteria and search under “Special Child Care Benefit”.
Council's Children's Services is a leader in the field of early childhood development and the integration of children with additional needs in mainstream care.
Let us know when placing your child on the database and/or if any changes occur to your child's needs. This will enable us to ensure that if a vacancy arises we can place your child in the Centre best suited to their needs.
We encourage you to disclose if your child has a diagnosed disability, an allergy, challenging behaviours or any other concerns that are not consistent with the developmental age of your child.
Centres may receive support from our Inclusion Support Services. Dependent on your child's needs, we may also be able to access funding of an additional staff member for increased one-on-one support for the child and to assist integration.
Family Day Care Educators set their own hours and accordingly they vary. Our team of Educators start between 7am and 9am, and finish between 4pm and 6pm.
Some Family Day Care Educators also offer weekend, evening and overnight care of children, to meet the needs of non-traditional working hours.
View Family Day Care Educators profile pages to find out more about each Educator's hours and availability.
Council is required to follow Priority of Access Guidelines set by the Department of Education. Positions will be filled from applications received and placements will be offered in accordance with these guidelines.
When we make an offer of placement proof of eligibility for those families requiring care due to work, study and training commitments will be required (e.g. letter from employer and/or training institution). If on maternity leave a letter from employer will be required.
Parents will be required to complete a declaration of their working status at the time of enrollment.
Child Care Benefit (CCB)
The Child Care Benefit is provided by the Federal Government to assist with the cost of approved childcare including Early Education Centres, Family Day Care, Vacation Care and Out of Hours School Care.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible you need to meet the following requirements:
- Use approved or registered child care
- Be responsible for paying the child care fees
- Have immunised your child
The Child Care Benefit is means tested and not all families are eligible. It can be claimed as a lump sum or as a fee reduction through your service. Regardless of what percentage a family is entitled to, there will always be a gap fee payable. Families can access www.mychild.gov.au website and calculate their CCB eligibility.
Families who find themselves in financial hardship may have access to temporary fee relief - consult www.mychild.gov.au for details of eligibility criteria and search under “Special Child Care Benefit”.
Child Care Rebate (CCR)
The Child Care Rebate is not means tested and most families are eligible. It can be claimed annually, quarterly, weekly/fortnightly or as a fee reduction through your service.
MyChild website - Search for Child Care
DHS - Find nearest Office
For information on support and counselling contacts contact Community Services NSW
We prefer direct debit payment. Alternatively you can pay with a credit card via phone. Over the counter payments to Children's Services (Sutherland) can also be made.
All Early Education Centres - not-for-profit and commercial - undertake periodic assessments by the industry's legislative body in NSW, the Department of Education and Communities. The assessment reviews compliance with the National Regulations and National Quality Standards.
Our Centres' ratings are a testament to the high quality early education and care delivered by our Centre Directors and their dedicated teams.
Centres are assessed on the following 7 quality areas:
- Educational program and practice
- Children's health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Leadership and service management
Each quality area contains standards and elements which Centres are assessed and rated against. Centres are given a rating for each quality area, and one of the following overall ratings based on the collective result:
- Exceeding National Quality Standard
- Meeting National Quality Standard
- Working Towards National Quality Standard
- Significant Improvement Required
When a referral is made to a family providing them with the opportunity to meet with a Family Day Care Educator, contact will need to be made with the Educator within 24 hours or the opportunity for care via this placement will lapse. When a referral is made, a confirmation email with all the details is sent to the family for their convenience. Some Family Day Care Educators charge a bond. Fees and charges will be discussed with the Educator at the time of meeting them and visiting their service.
Should you need to update your details with us at anytime, for example, to supply a new phone number, address or email address, please email (ChildrensServices@ssc.nsw.gov.au) or telephone Children's Services on 9710 0466 to have your records updated.
Council operates its 11 Early Education Centres 51 weeks of the year, with the exception of public holidays when the centres are closed. Operating hours are 7am-6.15pm, Monday to Friday.
Policies and documents
Early Education Centre fees - 2014-2015
Family Day Care Fees - 2014-15
Childcare application (EECs or Family Day Care)
Enquiries can be directed to Childrens Services on 9710 0466 or firstname.lastname@example.org