As a parent, you are aware of the many decisions that go into raising your children. One decision is how to handle childcare for them while you work. Some parents choose to have their kids stay home with a relative or in-home child care provider, some find daycare services that meet their needs, and some decide on a more formalised setting like an accredited preschool centre or school. Whatever route you take, there are pros and cons involved, so it’s important to do your research before committing to anything permanent.
Finding the perfect childcare centre for your child can be a daunting task. There are so many factors to consider, like cost, location and hours of operation. One thing that should not be overlooked is whether or not you feel comfortable with the staff at the centre.
Are you looking for a childcare centre in the area? We’ve compiled a list of local centres so that you can find one near your home.
Ultimate List of Childcare in Melbourne, Victoria
Mentone Child Care and Kindergarten - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
03 9584 2145
Children are offered a variety of stimulating learning activities each day. They can join in from a choice of activities such as Yoga or Music Classes, have fun with a Science Experiment or help in the vegetable garden. The Kindy Kids have classes in Numeracy, Literacy and Languages. Each child is encouraged to have fun, make friends and discover new things.
Happy Times - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 9515 5260
Happy Times is a fully licensed child care and kindergarten provider. Happy Times Childcare & Early Learning Centre is a fully-funded Long Day Care Centre that gives children with a natural, friendly atmosphere in which to learn, grow, and develop. We have a capacity of 23 children aged 6 weeks to 5 years.
Our curriculum is based on the 'Early Years Learning Framework,' which is reinforced by the educators' philosophy in each classroom. We think that children learn best through play, which is why we attempt to build aesthetically beautiful learning settings and provide children with access to natural materials, with the goal of instilling wonder and mystery in their daily experiences.
Only About Children - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
A secure and nurturing environment for your child. The first two years of life are a period of tremendous growth and development during which every moment counts. Only About Children is here to provide all of the attention and assistance your child requires during this stage, laying a solid foundation.
Goodstart Early Learning - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
1800 222 544
Our rooms, from Nursery to Kindergarten / Preschool, are set up and altered in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework curriculum, and we work closely with parents and families to ensure that each child's needs, interests, and strengths are met.
Genius Childcare - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
1300 955 541
The Early Years Learning Framework serves as the foundation for our curriculum (EYLF). From birth to five years of age, the principles, strategies, and results are critical to supporting and enhancing young children's learning. In addition to their transition to school, it works in tandem with the National Quality Framework. The EYLF emphasizes play-based learning and emphasizes the importance of communication, language, social, and emotional development. For children in the year before they begin formal schooling, our centers also provide a Funded Kindergarten Program taught by an Early Childhood Teacher.
We recognize and promote responsive, engaging, and respectful relationships and interactions as the foundation for outstanding education delivery.
Guardian Childcare & Education - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
1300 001 110
All while spending less time hurrying about and more time with your child! The warm and inviting Centre features a variety of resource-rich surroundings, such as a family dining area, city vistas, simulated outdoor spaces, vivid gardens, a treehouse, and numerous water play areas. These environments allow children to explore and learn, with the added benefit of a Kindergarten Program guided by qualified instructors to assist prepare your child for the exciting transition to school.
St Catherine’s Early Education Centre - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
Consider, reason, and experiment. These are only a handful of the abilities and characteristics that children will gain at St Catherine's Early Education Centre (Childcare). We have always prioritized assisting children during all stages of development.
Our mission is to recognize the individuality of each kid and the value of play in children's lives. We shall be devoted, in collaboration with families, to offering great education and care in a friendly environment that values diversity and the local community.
East Melbourne Childcare Co-operative - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 9419 4302
East Melbourne Childcare Co-operative adheres to the National Quality Framework's guiding principles. The Education and Care Services National Law, Education and Care Services National Regulations, National Quality Standard, and Early Years Learning Framework are all part of the Framework (EYLF).
The National EYLF and the Victorian VEYLDF assist educators in increasing young children's learning and development during the early years by drawing on their own interests and knowledge, as well as the knowledge of the larger community. The framework includes ideas, activities, and learning outcomes that aid in the holistic development of the child.
Sentia Early Learning - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 9629 9861
A beautiful space steeped in a safe and joyful atmosphere, designed to inspire youngsters, improve their confidence, and take the first steps toward a lifelong love of learning.
We are a unit. We have established a distinct culture of care and learning thanks to our dedicated and long-serving employees. We enjoy assisting you in caring for your child. We want you to feel like you're a part of our family, and we want to make your family life easier.
Apple Blossoms Early Learning - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
03 9699 5211
Hello and thank you for visiting Apple Blossoms Early Learning.
When choose who to entrust your child to, we are aware of how important it is to pick child care. Our objective is to provide families with the finest possible options for the things we think are most crucial. We put a lot of focus on nutrition, and our on-site naturopath has developed premium, nutrient-rich meals, especially for growing kids.
Kids & Co. - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
03 9614 2901
Providing a safe and good environment for your child is not only a basic need for a developing child, but it also provides the groundwork for their mental, physical, and emotional development.
Children can develop in a safe atmosphere at Kids & Co., a childcare facility in Melbourne's central business district, where competent and accredited educators serve as guardians. We devote the time and care necessary for each child to be fed, learn, understand, and play.
All of our curriculum are tailored to meet each child's unique needs, whether it's more time or more attention. Our instructors will safely hold each child's hand until they learn to do everything on their own, and then they will assist them until they thrive everywhere.
Nido Early School - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 8658 1051
Because your kid's learning environment is so important, our spaces are thoughtfully planned to guarantee your child flourishes. One of the first things you'll notice is that every place feels bright and contains natural tones and textures, creating a peaceful learning environment.
Melbourne Juniors - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 9470 2845
A group of educators with more than 30 years of combined expertise oversees Juniors Early Learning Centre, which is situated in Preston, Melbourne, on a quiet street and provides young learners with a caring environment.
From babies through preschool-age children, we provide a variety of child care alternatives, including a kindergarten program staffed by skilled and compassionate instructors. We are excited to welcome your family to our lovely child care center.
Ada Mary A’Beckett - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
03 9646 1066
Center for Children
Ada Mary A'Beckett Children's Centre is set amongst residential houses in a tranquil area of Port Melbourne, very adjacent to the beach. Despite being only 5 kilometers from the CBD, the center has lots of outside space and huge yards for the kids to enjoy.
Families may benefit from easy walking access as well as secure pram, scooter, and bike storage, while our off-street parking enables for safe drop off and pick up. With all-day parking nearby and easy access to the CBD via bus or tram, our center is well positioned for families commuting to the CBD or Docklands. Open 52 weeks out of the year.
City Kids Early Learning Centre - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
03 9034 7096
In April 2010, the City Kids Early Learning Center made its debut. Our original mission was to provide the highest caliber of treatment and instruction, and it is still our current mission.This privately operated center symbolizes a sense of community and belonging, not only for our families but also for the amazing employees we employ.
KU Children’s Services - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
+61 2 9264 8367
We all have a place at KU, which is our home. a peaceful and safe environment for kids, parents, and teachers. We are delighted to welcome the big and diverse KU family of children, families, and staff who share the KU experience with us every day. Together, we explore the world from a variety of perspectives and civilizations. Children at KU discover that being unique is acceptable and that uniqueness may unite us all.
Little Flyers Learning Centres - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
03 9629 4090
Our educational programs ensure that each kid is valued as an individual within a group and that they are encouraged to realize their greatest potential. Our learning environments and experiences strive to foster positive and trusting connections, courage, resilience, empowerment, and well-being.
Kimmba Bilingual Early Learning Centre - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 9525 8314
Kimmba Bilingual Learning Inc. was a non-profit corporation formed by Mrs. Marisha Theeboom, founder of the Jo Jo Bilingual Education Program, with the help of a committee of volunteer moms with professional backgrounds.
Tommaso Fiaschi Child Care Centre - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
We think that children are unique individuals who should be treated as such. We urge youngsters to cultivate a strong sense of self, recognize their own value, and forge their own identity. This ensures that all of our children's rights and needs are met.
Our programs are intended to inspire play while also stimulating learning. Routines provide stability and security to youngsters. We encourage and support children of all abilities to engage in all activities, giving them the best opportunity to develop to their full potential.
Little Assets - Childcare Melbourne, Victoria
 9620 2888
When spending time apart at a family daycare, everyone wants to know that their child is safe and happy. That is why, at Little Assets, we are committed to providing a safe, caring environment in which your child may learn and grow while having fun.
Finally, we recognize that learning takes place largely at home and celebrate the uniqueness of every family. As a result, we place a high priority on an open cooperation with families, in which we will always respect your and your child's unique needs and objectives.
Small Class and Group Sizes
Small group size and class size mean more one-on-one time between teachers and students. It also allows teachers to create a stronger bond with the children in their classes, making the children feel safe.
Staff with Higher Education and Continuing-Teacher Training
Centres that employ staff with prior teaching experience in early childhood development means that they know how to tailor the curriculum in developmentally appropriate ways. It’s also beneficial to be a part of an education program that encourages its directors and staff to further their skills, providing them with the opportunity to evolve within the ever-changing landscape of the educational system.
Low Staff/Teacher Turnover
This is beneficial for a few reasons. First, it allows the staff to stay familiar with the children and build stronger relationships. Second, it also means that the team is well cared for by their employer and enjoys their job, making it far more likely to put extra time and effort into their teaching.
Positive Teacher/Child Interactions
It’s essential to observe how the teachers at a child care centre interact with their students. If the teachers seem stressed out or flustered, it can be a sign of poor organisation or lack of leadership. The children should be in a positive environment where learning looks fun and organic, not chaotic.
National Accreditation and Licensing Standards
Child care centres that receive national accreditation and meet the minimum licensing standards demonstrate both the ability and the intent to provide higher than average care for the children who attend them. It proves that they set the bar high and have the results to demonstrate it.
Good Health and Safety Practices
Young children aren’t known for their health and safety practices. Providing high-quality child care is a large part of ensuring that the children, teachers, and families who walk through the doors every day practice proper safety, hygiene, and emergency protocol. In addition, teachers should know what to do and who to contact in case of an emergency.
Between 0 and 18 Months
How old does a baby have to be for daycare? In some cases, parents wish to return to work as soon as possible. However, sometimes this can be a little too early to start childcare. Babies are forming attachments to their primary caregivers at an early age, and it is a very important part of childhood development. With this in mind, it is still possible to find daycare for this age group.
Smaller group sizes would be required for childcare for a baby. This creates a family-like dynamic that would allow interaction and attention more on a one-on-one basis. The downside to daycare at this age would be that not many caregivers will have space for babies due to class size ratios.
Between 18 months and 3 years
This is the age where children tend to have a lot of energy and curiosity. Toddlers entering this phase in their lives are growing and exploring and need special attention in a daycare setting.
The positives of enrolling your child at this age are that they will exercise creativity and active participation.
The downside to introducing your child in this age group to daycare is that the service provider will need to have a safe, encouraging facility and program. This means playtime is a must, and that will require additional supervision. This may rule out smaller providers or at home family daycare centres.
Between 3 Years and 5 Years
Since children in this age group are much closer to entering preschool, their requirements are very different. As they are at that stage where they are learning general life skills, they are developing a sense of independence. However, they will also still need to follow instructions and behave appropriately.
The good outweighs the bad when looking at whether or not this is the best age for kids to start daycare. Daycare providers able to prepare your child for the step into formal schooling would be beneficial at this point. However, there also has to be plenty of opportunities to learn through play and interaction with others.
As you can see, there is no clear indicator to tell you when you and your child are ready for childcare. In addition, having to return to work may force the issue or speed up the process for many, and it may have no bearing on the decision for others.
Generally speaking, waiting until after your child has had their first birthday can be a good time to start looking into a childcare service. After that, many parents look to between one and two years of age. But as for knowing when the best age to start daycare arrives in your home, only you will know.
Centre location and value
Make a list of all of the childcare centres in your local area and contact each to obtain their annual fees and any additional costs. Additional costs might include catering, special events or even waiting list fees. Don’t decide on price alone, but take into account proximity to your home and workplace. Would it be more convenient to have a centre closer to where you live or work?
Educator training, qualifications and staffing levels
Assessing the training and education level of the staff is a good place to start when comparing childcare centres. Does the centre have a good mix of experienced senior childcare professionals and the energy and enthusiasm of trained newcomers to the industry? The National Quality Framework sets minimum standard requirements for early childhood teaching qualifications. You should also ask about the educator-to-child ratio to understand how many children will be in the group and how many carers will be looking after them.
Healthy children’s menus and allergy awareness programs
Healthy menus equal healthy minds. As children take on the big step of attending childcare or preschool, they must be enjoying healthy meals that keep their energy levels steady. A growing number of childcare centres offer healthy eating initiatives, including in-house chefs, kitchen gardens, and edible gardening programs.
Food allergies are also an increasing concern for parents of young children, so it’s important to have educated kitchen staff who understand food allergies and have in place a management plan for food allergies and anaphylaxis.
Stimulating curriculum and engagement programs
The Early Years Learning Framework guides childcare providers on the principles, practices, and outcomes that support and enhance early learning from birth to age five and the transition period into school. This framework is used to construct the curriculum and engagement programs at childcare centres and preschools. These programs should encourage children to learn, interact and develop through child-centred play and learning activities, and call centres have their unique differences. Ask about the program inclusions to learn more, and choose a program that reflects your child’s family values and interests, needs, and personality.
Modern infrastructure and up-to-date childcare management technology
Professional, caring, and engaging staff are more important than having the latest play equipment, but take note of the age and condition of the central infrastructure. You’ll want to look for a centre that is well equipped with safe and modern infrastructure and learning resources. Importantly, the childcare centre should be tech-savvy and link into the Child Care Management System—a nationwide software network for childcare centres.
Choose the right service for your family.
The first step in easing your child’s transition is choosing the best care option for your child within your local area – whether that be family daycare, centre-based child care, preschool or kindergarten. You will feel much more comfortable sending them off on this new adventure if you are confident that you have chosen the care option and individual service that best suits your child and family.
Spend time getting ready together
Talk gently with your child about the upcoming transition, being mindful that the aim is to prepare your child for what is ahead without making them overly anxious or too excited. For example, take them shopping for a new backpack or lunch box and drink bottle just for ‘school.’ Read stories about starting child care or kindergarten. These types of interactions will help to create a bridge between home and school.
Take advantage of any orientation opportunities offered by the service.
Orientation sessions aim to provide your child with a chance to become familiar with the physical space, staff, routines and other children. It is a great idea to start visiting the service a few weeks before your child starts to care, and multiple visits are very valuable.
Work together with your service to provide the best care and education for your child.
The importance of positive family-centre communication cannot be underestimated when it comes to quality early childhood programs. After all, the family is the richest source of information about the individual child, and a true learning community welcomes the contributions of all of its members. Both the centre/school and the individual family share responsibility for regular communication about the child.
Regarding children starting in a new program or service, many centres/schools will provide a survey or questionnaire about your child, their family, interests, development and routines in addition to a standard enrolment form (like the sample shown below). This information is important for helping staff welcome your child into the service and adjusting routines and programs to incorporate their individual needs for care and the learning program.
Acknowledge your anxiety privately.
It’s important to model a sense of confidence and calm to your child as children are very perceptive and will sense how you feel about the upcoming transition. However, it is perfectly understandable if you need to take a private moment to acknowledge your feelings about the change.
Don’t be afraid to check in if you feel you need to
Do not hesitate to call your child’s service if you are worried about how they have settled. When you collect your child, ask staff how the day went and check their daily record sheet or program for further information about your child’s day. These snippets of information will help you to talk with your child about their day.
They’ll develop good habits.
Daily routines help children feel safe and secure. They’re also a great way to teach children healthy habits, like brushing their teeth or washing their hands. In addition, when children know what to expect each day, they’re more likely to be calm, settled and get into good sleeping habits. Over time, this early childhood development and education will help them start taking charge of daily activities, like getting dressed and packing their bag.
Childcare is ideal for helping your child get into a good routine. Educators know what skills your child needs to develop and use various techniques to help them develop these skills in a safe, structured environment. This not only prepares your child for kindergarten but makes family life easier, so you spend less time trying to get your child to cooperate and more time enjoying each other’s company.
They’ll develop literacy and numeracy skills.
Literacy and numeracy skills form a foundation for child education, but it’s more than just reading, writing and counting. Children learn literacy skills by listening to stories, talking about pictures and drawing shapes on paper. They learn numeracy skills by singing and playing music or pouring sand into containers of different sizes.
The literacy and numeracy skills your child learns before they start school dramatically impact their academic success later in life. For example, research shows that children who attend childcare for three years or more perform much better on year 4 literacy and numeracy tests1, while 18 months of preschool has a greater impact on literacy and numeracy levels at age 11 than all six years of primary school1.
They’ll develop emotional resilience.
Childcare gives your child an opportunity to develop social skills, which helps them form healthy relationships with other people. Early start child care will help them learn how to get along with other children, share and take turns, listen to others, communicate their ideas and become independent. Then, as your child grows older, they will use their talents to develop friendships that influence their sense of identity and future.
Childcare also helps your child develop emotional resilience. Research suggests that when they start childcare, kids who attend childcare at 2-3 years of age are more likely to be attentive and better able to cope with their emotions. Studies have even found that parents benefit from sending their children to childcare, reaping social, emotional, and even financial rewards from their relationships with other families at the centre.
They’ll enjoy a successful future.
Did you know the benefits of early childhood education can last a lifetime? In the United States, a 30-year survey revealed that adults who had a high-quality early childhood education from 0-5 years were more likely to be continuously employed and to graduate from university.
The skills that your child learns in the early years of their life are crucial for their social, emotional and academic performance. For example, research reveals that children who do not attend nursery or early childhood education are 50% more likely to start school with a developmental vulnerability.
They’ll develop a lifelong love of learning.
A high-quality early childhood education at a childcare centre will not only look after your child safe while you work but also inspire a lifelong love of learning. In addition, early childhood education can provide children with social and cognitive experiences that help them become independent and develop a positive attitude to learning. These skills help your child settle into primary school and drive their academic success4.
Whether your child is starting school next year or a few years, consider giving them an early start child care by sending them to a childcare centre that provides high-quality early childhood development education in fun, caring and supportive environment.