Priority for allocating places in child care services

Priority for allocating places in child care services

Child care providers with high demand and long waiting lists must refer to the Government's Priority Access Guidelines when placing children. The staff of your preferred child care service should make you aware of these guidelines, if they apply, when you contact them about enrolment.

The Priority Access Guidelines require child care providers to place children who fall into the specified categories before they place other children.

Current Government regulations state that:

  • First priority for placement should be given to children at risk of serious abuse or neglect.
  • Second priority for placement should be given to children of single parents who satisfy the work/training/study test
  • Third priority should be given to all other children.

Priorities Within Each Category

Within the categories described above, child care providers should give priority to children from:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
  • Families which include a person with a disability
  • Families which include an individual whose adjusted taxable income does not exceed the lower income threshold of $39,785 for 2011-12 or whose partner is on income support
  • Families with a non-English speaking background
  • Socially isolated families
  • Asylum seeker and refugee children
  • Single parent families

A child care service may require a Priority Three child to vacate a place to make room for a child with a higher priority. They can only do so if you are:

  • notified when your child first entered care that your service follows this policy
  • given at least 14 days notice of the need for your child to vacate.

Outside School Hours Care

Outside School Hours Care is primarily for school children. A service may ask a child not yet in school to leave care if a child who is in school applies for a place.

Employer Sponsored Places

If a child care service is funded by an employer for their employees' children it can give priority to those children.

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