Finding and selecting a service
When making a decision about early childhood education and childcare, consider the quality of care against national standards and visit your top choices.
The type of early childhood education and care service you choose will depend on:
- location and availability
- when you need it
- your budget
- your child’s individual needs
- the quality of the service.
Quality of care
The National Quality Standard assesses all early childhood education and child care services against 7 quality areas:
- Educational program and practice – opportunities to play and learn
- Children’s health and safety – protects children from harm, injury and illness
- Physical environment – a safe and suitable physical environment
- Staffing arrangements – enough qualified and experienced staff
- Relationships with children – welcomes and supports children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities – respects beliefs of families and fosters local community involvement
- Governance and leadership – well managed environment.
Learn more assessing the quality of an early childhood education and care service at Starting Blocks.
Visiting your top choices
Visiting an early childhood education and care service will help you decide if it's right for your child. You’ll be able to see:
- how staff interact with the children
- how the children interact with each other
- the types of activities
- the playing, eating and sleeping spaces.
Most services let you drop in at any time but consider making an appointment in advance. That way you know a staff member will be available to show you around and answer your questions.
You can download a visit checklist at CareforKids.com.au.
Fees and costs
The cost of early childhood education and care will depend on:
- the type of care
- how many days a week your child attends
- how many children you have in care
- if you can get financial support.
You’ll need to check with each service if they:
- charge a fee when your child is away
- charge a full day fee if your child only attends for a part day
- charge fees on public holidays
- supply things like meals and nappies.
You may be able to get financial help with the cost of early childhood education and care.
Check the average cost of early childhood education and care by suburb at CareforKids.com.au.