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Before and after school care

Before and after school care is commonly referred to as outside school hours care.

It provides an opportunity for children to relax and play in a supervised environment, before school, after school or during school holidays.

Facts about before and after school care

  • For school-age children (including those in Prep.
  • Generally provided before and after school (7–9am and 3–6pm) and for 10-12 hours a day during school holidays and pupil free days.
  • Delivered in a variety of locations (e.g. schools, youth clubs, community centres).
  • On state school sites, the outside school hours care service operates separately from the school. It is important to remember that enrolment in a school does not guarantee a place in the OSHC service.
  • Each service has individual working hours and fee structures— contact the provider directly to find out about hours, fees and enrolment eligibility.
  • In areas of high demand, the local outside school hours care service determines which children will be given priority.

Quality standards and assessments

National standards apply to most outside school hours care services and include a quality rating system that assesses the quality of services and helps you decide which one to pick.

Search for local service ratings.

Find out how services are assessed.

A small number of outside school hours care services come under the Education and Care Services Act 2013.

Find a service

Find outside school hours care services by entering your postcode or the name of your suburb. Remember to tick Before School Care and/or After School Care and/or Vacation Care.

You can also search for more details about vacancies and fees through the mychild.gov.au website.

Choosing a service

If you are unsure which service to select, you can read about:

Rebates and financial assistance

Most outside school hours care services are approved by the Australian Government, so you may be eligible to claim the Child Care Subsidy to reduce the fees you pay.

Read more about rebates and financial assistance.

Getting started

Before your child starts you should contact your provider to discuss practical matters such as:

  • what you will need to bring each day for your child
  • whether meals will be provided or you need to bring your own.

You should also let the provider know of any special requirements your child has before they start (although it is recommended you discuss this before enrolling your child).

Find out how to prepare for your child’s first day.