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Getting started FAQs

There’s lots to think about when preparing to enrol your child. This list of frequently asked questions may help. If you have more queries, visit a centre or phone 1800 222 543.

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If you have further questions, or would like to speak to us, feel free to visit a centre, or phone our Family Services Team on 1800 222 543.

Facilities and inclusions

  • Age groups can vary from centre to centre, but generally we cater for children aged from six weeks to school age. You can find out more about age groups at your local centres by using the Find a centre tool.

  • Operating hours vary between centres, however they are generally open from 6.30am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday, 52 weeks a year. We're not open on weekends or public holidays. We recommend checking with your local centre about their opening times.

  • At most Goodstart centres we provide morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and sometimes breakfast and a late snack where required. Centres that provide food have their own cook creating fresh, nutritious meals for the children. A nutritious diet is vital for children’s development, so we make sure to provide meals that give children all the nutrients and energy they need. Children love to eat together, so meal times at a centre are always fun!

  • Yes, our centres provide nappies and wipes for children. 

Enquiring about care

  • You can find out more by visiting your local centre's webpage and submit an enquiry or book a tour. 

  • After you have submitted your enquiry form, we will:

    • call you back
    • discuss your child's needs
    • identify a suitable centre or centres in your area
    • Book you and your family in for a centre tour or add you to the centre's waitlist.

Enrolment process

  • When you enrol at a Goodstart centre, we'll support you every step of the way. Our Centre Directors will invite you to take a tour of the centre first so you can see where your child will be cared for and to ensure you are comfortable with your decision. They will then provide you with an enrolment pack that contains everything you need to know about the centre, information we need from you about your child for example their routine, as well as a quote for your daily fees. We encourage you to ask as many questions as you like, we are here to support both you and your child.

  • Once you have visited a centre and met the team, you will be guided through the online enrolment form to complete before your child’s first day. 

  • If there are no vacancies at the centre of your choice, you may want to join their waitlist. These waitlists are regularly reviewed and families are contacted once a place becomes available.

Fees and rebates

  • Fees vary from centre to centre and are also dependent on things such as the number of days your child attends, the age of your child as well as your eligibility for any government subsidies. We recommend speaking with your Centre Director or visit our Child Care Subsidy estimator

  • Yes, fees still apply for sick days, however your Centre Director may be able to arrange a make-up or swap day at their discretion. The Child Care Subsidy will cover up to 42 absence days a year with no documentation and unlimited sick days if you're able to provide a medical certificate or similar.

  • Normal fees apply for all absences that fall on a usual day of attendance. However Goodstart offers a holiday discount for up to four weeks of care per financial year. Please note families need to provide written notification two weeks in advance to apply the holiday discount (25 per cent discount on the full fee). Under exceptional circumstances, the holiday discount may be applied outside these requirements at the discretion of the Centre Director. Fee payments need to be up-to-date to receive the holiday discount.

  • The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is a payment offered by the Australian Government for which you may be eligible. To find out if you are eligible for CSS visit the Department of Human Services website or use our Simple Subsidy Estimator. Depending on your personal circumstances, there may also be other government funding available.

  • The Child Care Subsidy is means tested based on the combined family income, the fortnightly activity of families – such as work, study or volunteering – and the type of service a child attends.
    As part of the Child Care Subsidy, the number of hours of subsidised care you’ll be entitled to will be based on your level of recognised activity. Understanding the different types of activity that will be recognised is key to maximising your Child Care Subsidy. Learn more about what classifies as recognised activity.

    Find out more about the CCS and use our simple subsidy estimator.


  • We have a play-based learning approach which supports young children to make sense of their world and learn vital foundational skills through exploration, developing and practising language and physical skills and experimenting with new ideas. Children build confidence, express themselves creatively, and develop their sense of self and identity. Besides individual exploration, they also learn co-operation and how to build relationships and engage in a group.
     Children will be supported to play independently, in small groups, in large groups, indoors and outdoors. Activities range from building spatial awareness with playdough or blocks, to honing fine motor skills and knowledge of colours and shapes with drawing and painting.

  • The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) describes the principles, practices and outcomes essential to young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school. It's part of the Australian Government’s National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care.
     The framework has a strong emphasis on play-based learning, recognising the importance of communication and language, including early literacy and numeracy, and social and emotional development. There are five learning outcomes defined by the EYLF:

    • Children have a strong sense of identity.
    • Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
    • Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
    • Children are confident and involved learners.
    • Children are effective communicators.

    Find out more about the EYLF.

  • The National Quality Framework (NQF) was the result of an agreement between all Australian governments to work together to provide better educational and developmental outcomes for children.  

    The NQF introduced a new quality standard in 2012 to improve education and care across long daycare, family daycare, preschool/kindergarten, and outside school hours care.

    The National Quality Standard (NQS) is a key aspect of the National Quality Framework (NQF) and sets a high, national benchmark for early childhood education and care.

    The NQS brings together the 7 key quality areas that are important to outcomes for children:

    Learn more on the ACECQA website

What to pack

  • When you first enrol at a Goodstart centre, we will provide you with everything you need to know about starting care, including a detailed list of what to bring each day. In the meantime here's a general guide to help: 

    • A sunsafe hat which covers your child's face, neck and ears
    • Change of clothes (when involved with hands-on play-based learning, your child may get a little messy!)
    • Comfort item (if required), such as a toy or blanket
    • Sleeping sheet set or blanket for nap time
    • Bottles
    • Expressed milk or formula (if required)
    • Water bottle with a lid or a sippy cup
    • Any medications – please give these to centre staff to manage directly. Please note our centres have formal processes in place to support children who require short or long-term medications as well as management plans for children with any known medical conditions. Please speak further with your centre staff regarding this.
  • Many Goodstart centres provide meals, including morning and afternoon tea and lunch. Some also offer breakfast and a late snack. Each centre is different so please speak with your local centre to confirm what services they provide. 

  • As a sun-safe organisation we provide child-friendly sunscreen, however if your child has sensitive skin please feel free to provide your preferred brand.

  • Your centre will be able to advise you of anything specific they may need, however most importantly please remember to label all of your child's items so we can easily keep track of them.

Supporting children with additional needs

  • We are passionate about ensuring all children have access to early learning and have facilities and resources in place in our centre to support children with specific requirements or additional needs - from allergies to greater care needs such as physical or learning disabilities or behavioural concerns.
     Please speak with your local Goodstart Centre Director about how we can work together to support your child's individual needs.

Importance of the First Five Years

  • There's a huge amount of compelling recent research on the first five years of a child's development and how it affects the rest of their lives. We know that 80 per cent of a child's brain is developed within the first five years. We also know that children who start ahead stay ahead and keep accelerating beyond their peers.
     Over time, it becomes harder to close gaps between children who are excelling, and those falling behind. That's why it's so important to get it right from the start. Too give our children the best possible opportunities for their future, we need to lay the foundations early.

Importance of early learning

  • Research shows us that children who start ahead tend to stay ahead. Significant differences in children's development are evident by age two and have a tendency not to close over time. The early years provide the foundation for the rest of a child's life.
     Children are born ready to learn and the best learning happens in nurturing, positive, stimulating environments. That's why high-quality early learning experiences are so important. By creating these environments, we're providing the best opportunities for children to fulfil their potential.

  • For those in the sector, the difference is more than just words – 'daycare' gives the impression that the service we provide is simply 'care'. It's much more than that: it's care plus education. Early learning captures the essence of what Goodstart is all about - nurturing and stimulating environments that inspire a love of learning.

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