Long day care provides care for children from 6 weeks of age to school age (6 years old) typically for 8 to 12 hours a day on weekdays. Most, but not all, long day care centres also offer kindergarten programs.
Children need to be booked into a regular timetable of days, so this type of care tends to suit families who have regular schedules, such as study or work.
How to choose a centre
Be sure to start the process of looking into your long day care options early, as some childcare centres have long waiting lists.
Some centres may accept waiting list applications before your child is born, but most will request that you apply after your child is born.
Be aware that centres may charge a fee to place a child on the wait list.
Long day care centres tend to be individually owned and operated, so each have their own ways of working. Some key differences may include:
- Operating hours
- Fee structure
- Centre size
- Room set-up, size and the number of children per room
- What the centre provides - for example meals, nappies, sunscreen
Contact each centre you are interested in to book a tour of the centre and be sure to ask them lots of questions. You will find a list of questions to ask and things to look out for when you visit a child care centre at the Raising Children Network’s Childcare Checklist.
Be sure to ask about the children’s program to make sure they are using an approved learning framework. In Victoria these are:
- Early Years Learning Framework - Belonging Being and Becoming
- Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework
You can also check the Centre’s rating against 7 quality areas according to the National Quality Standards on the Starting Blocks website.
Is kindergarten taught?
Most, but not all, long day care centres also provide kindergarten programs taught by qualified teachers during school hours. Qualified educators look after children at the centre outside of kindergarten hours.
Check which long day care centres offer kindergarten using our map on this page.
What is the cost?
Registered childcare centres receive funds from government to help keep fees low for eligible parents. The subsidy is most commonly paid directly to the child care centre to reduce the fees you pay. The Child Care Subsidy is based on:
- your family’s income
- the hourly rate cap based on the type of childcare you use and your child’s age
- the hours of recognised activities you and your partner do.
The government also provides funds to registered childcare centres that deliver kindergarten programs. A child may need to attend a minimum number of hours of kindergarten for the centre to be eligible to receive funding.
Find out more about child care subsidies and costs at the Raising Children Network.
Find out more about Kindergarten fees and subsidies.
Find a long day care centre
Select 'long day care' in the map on this page to find long day care centres within the City of Boroondara.
To find long day care centres outside of the City of Boroondara, you can use the Australian Government’s Childcare Finder website.