Occasional and casual care options
A range of service types may provide education and care on a casual basis or for short periods.
- occasional care
- limited hours care
- short-term care and kids clubs
- vacation care
- children’s activity services
- resort care
- stand-alone care
- au pairs.
Most types of childcare services are regulated under National Law – view the National Quality Framework (NQF) for more information.
Some services are regulated under state law – view the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (ECS Act).
Contact the Early Childhood Information Service to find out about regulations and staffing for those services:
- email ECIS@qed.qld.gov.au
- phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68) 24 hours, 7 days.
Occasional care services provide education and care to children primarily on an ad hoc or casual basis, where:
- most of the children are under school age; and
- the service does not usually offer full-time or all day education and care to children on an ongoing basis.
Services are approved and must comply with state law under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 and are usually managed by the community or local government.
Programs are designed and implemented by staff that must hold relevant qualifications specified by law.
Services have their own working hours and fee structures – talk to your service for more information.
Limited hours care is for short periods and may offer care on a casual basis (e.g. to allow parents to work part-time, or attend appointments).
Facts about limited hours care
- For children from birth to school age.
- Available for up to 20 hours a week and up to 30 children at a time.
- Usually managed by the community or local government.
- May offer an approved kindergarten program.
- Programs are designed and implemented by staff that must hold relevant qualifications specified by law.
- Services have their own working hours and fee structures – talk to your service for more information.
Find a limited hours care service
If you are unsure which one to choose, see:
Places like shopping centres and gyms often offer care for short periods of up to 3 hours, while the parent or carer stays on the premises. This is known as adjunct care. This type of service is not required to hold an approval to operate.
Vacation care offers a variety of programs from part-day to full-day care, including excursions. It is usually run by community organisations.
Programs that run for more than 4 weeks a year (or are part of an outside school hours care service) are approved and must comply with the National Quality Framework.
Children's activity services include a particular activity such as dance, music or sport. This type of service is not required to hold an approval to operate.
Some resorts and hotels offer care to children who are guests. This type of service is not required to hold an approval to operate.
Stand-alone care is provided in a home, hall or church. Carers must be over 18 years of age and can care for up to 6 children from birth to 12 years of age (maximum of 4 under school age).
Stand-alone care is regulated but services are not required to hold an approval to operate.
An au pair is a foreign national staying in Australia for up to a year for cultural exchange purposes.
An au pair lives as part of the host family and receives a small allowance/salary in exchange for child care and household duties. They may or may not have previous childcare experience.
This type of service is not regulated.