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Children and Families

Children's services located with the Rockdale Local Government area are a valuable resource within the community as they provide a variety of different child development programs that are flexible to the needs of the family.

Types of Child Care I Playgroups I Recreation and Sport I Events Calendar I Library I Community Directory I Links

Types of Child Care

Parents or carers often need to use at least one form of child care service during their child's early development phase. When it comes to placing your child in a child care service, finding the right service and centre for your child, as well as the needs of the family are all important factors. The type of service that suits your family will depend on many factors, such as:

  • The age and interest of the child
  • The hours of care
  • The hours you work
  • If you require permanent or occasional care
  • The geographical location of the service
  • If you rely on public transport

Long Day Care

Long day care is usually open for more than 10 hours per day, 5 days per week. They are normally licensed to take children from 6 weeks of age to 6 years; however these licenses depend on the operator. The operator can be either a business operator, Not For Profit or a charitable organisation.

Long day care fees often include all meals such as breafast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon and late afternoon tea. This reason, along with longer operating times and early child age placement, is why long day care is often sought by working families. Long day care centres offer excellent child educational and development programs.

Community Directory (LINCS) for Long Day Care in Rockdale LGA


Preschools generally take children from ages 3 years to 5, although some operators may be licensed to take children under 2. As the enrolment is focused on preschool age children, the programs offered are usually highly educational towards preparing the child for a transition to school. However, preschool operators have various focuses on what they consider education development; therefore you may need to enquire if the preschool curriculum is best for your child.

Operating hours for preschools are usually similar to school operating hours. As such, they are normally open between 9am and 3pm and may close during school term. Due to the operating nature of these schools, many are operated by not for profit or charitable organisations.

Community Directory (LINCS) for Preschool Care in Rockdale LGA

Occasional Care

Occasional care offers an opportunity for parents to leave their child(ren) for short periods of time, either on a casual basis or as a placement. The times usually range from 2 hours to half days. There are normally no set educational development programs for the child and the children's personal attention is on a needs basis and guided on the parents wishes.

Occasional care is a valuable short term child care for children as it allows for your child to build social skills and learn interacting abilities with other children. This type of care also helps in reducing separation anxiety, felt by the child and parent, when the time comes for longer periods of care.

For this type of care you are unable to claim child care benefits, but costs associated with placement are usually minimal compared to other care available.

Community Directory (LINCS) for Occasional Care in Rockdale LGA

Out of School Hours (OOSH)

Out of School Hours, alternately named OOSH, is available to families who have children that attend school, but require the child to be placed in care before and after school hours. This type of care is normally available for children that are enrolled in infant and primary school. Although operating times vary, they are normally opened from 6am until 6.30pm and closed during school hours and school holidays. Breakfast and afternoon snacks are made available to the child.

Many OOSH centres are located within the school grounds, however this is not always an option; therefore the students are collected by the carer and transported to the centres.

Community Directory (LINCS) for OOSH in Rockdale LGA

Vacation Care

Vacation care is available to the school age child that requires care during school holidays and some public holidays. These centres normally have specific programs and activities for school age children and are normally opened from 6.30am until 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Community Directory (LINCS) for Vacation Care in Rockdale LGA

Family Day Care

Family Day Care is an excellent service for families as it provides an opportunity for caring flexibility and a homely environment. Your child will be cared for in the home of the carer, with a maximum of 5 children at any one time in care. The carer may not necessarily have formal qualifications, but the Family Day Care organisation supports and trains the carer as well provide programs and activities for the child.

Family Day Care can provide various types of care for children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age. This care may be before and after school care, occasional care, weekend care or long day care. You are able to claim child care benefits with this type of care.

Community Directory (LINCS) for Family Day Care in Rockdale LGA

Child Minding in Centres

This is a child minding service that is available to customers utilising the centre. This is normally for short periods, such as two hours and parents are required to be on call to collect their child should they need to. At least one staff member present must hold a certificate of child care studies or a higher form of registration.

Community Directory (LINCS) for Child Minding Centres in Rockdale LGA


Playgroup is an informal session where parents, carers, babies and children aged 0 to school age come together for various social and development opportunities. Playgroups are usually held once a week for a two hour session and can be found in a variety of venues such as church halls, community halls and neighbourhood centres. Playgroups are run by a local not for profit committee who is supported by the Playgroup NSW Association.

To find your nearest playgroup, contact St George Zone of Playgroups on 1800 171 882.

Recreation and Sport

Open space that is used for recreational and sporting purposes plays an important part in child and lifestyle development. Rockdale Council provide and maintain playgrounds, walking trails, bike tracks, bushland, foreshores, gardens and leisure facilities for recreational purposes. Families are encouraged to use these facilities for social gatherings, celebrations as well as introducing and establishing a healthy lifestyle. For gatherings over 100 people Council does have a booking procedure that is required. For further information on park hire click here.

Sporting clubs located throughout the Rockdale Local Government Area are available to children at various ages. It is best to contact the sporting club directly in relation to coaching programs, club trials and sport development participation. If you would like to find your nearest sporting club click here to search LINCS.

Event Calendar

Council run and sponsor many events and festivals throughout the year for families.  If you are interested in finding out more about local community events click here.


Rockdale City Council has six (6) library services available to the community, with designated junior library sections in all. The libraries run excellent story time activities and consist of a welcoming environment that is enjoyed by many visitors.

If you would like to know more about Council's Library service click here or alternatively phone the Children's Library Service on 02 9562 1821.

Community Directory

Council’s Community Directory is a listing of services that are available to the community of Rockdale. This directory is not only for children's services but a useful resource listing of all community services. If you would like to view the Community Directory in detail then click here.

Plans, Policies and Links

Following are some useful links to Council's own policy and plans that guide our service delivery plus related useful websites of children services:

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