Child care centres

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About child care centres

Child care centres offer full-time or part-time care for children aged up to 6 years.

Qualified staff provide safe learning environments and education programs to meet children's developmental needs. Many child care centres also have funded kindergarten programs for 3 and 4-year-old children.

Child care centres operate under the National Quality Framework and must meet the requirements of national legislation and regulations. The Regulation and Quality Assessment section on the Department of Education and Training website has information about the regulations and standards that child care services must meet.

How to apply for child care

Council has a Central Registration Service for child care. This is an agreement with a number of child care centres in the Merri-bek area for Council to take registration bookings on their behalf to enable fair and easy access for families to child care.

Option 1: You can apply online through our Central Registration Service.

Apply online here

Child care centres taking place in the Central Registration Service are listed below

Please note birth certificate of your child is required with application.

Option 2: Complete the Child Care application form. The application form is also available from participating child care centres. 

Submit your form by emailing Child Care Registration, by mail to Child Care Central Registration Officer, Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Merri-bek 3058, or in person at a Council Customer Services Centre.

Application fees

There is no fee to register for child care with this service.

Proof requirements

You need to provide proof as part of your application. 

Residency in Merri-bek

A recent document with your name and street address:

  • Rates notice
  • Property contract of sale (section with name of purchaser and address)
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Utility bill
  • Driver licence
  • Home or car insurance receipt
  • Medicare or Centrelink letter

If you are a student from overseas and live in Merri-bek, and do not have any of these documents, provide a letter from a college or university to verify your address.

A link to the municipality, if you do not live in the City of Merri-bek

If you work or study in Merri-bek, a letter or invoice from your employer or education provider, or copy of student card.


Subsidy card

Upload a copy of your Health Care Card

Additional needs

Support letter from a medical professional or community health service.

Employment status

If you are employed, a letter or payslip from your employer.

If you are self-employed, a recent BAS statement or other proof.

If you are studying, a copy of your student card or fee invoice.

Orders applicable

Upload an intervention, parental or custodial order document.


What happens after you apply

Once you apply for child care, you are placed on a waiting list according to priority of access guidelines.

We will contact you by email or phone when a vacancy arises at any one of your nominated services listed on your application.


Child care centre fees

All child care centres charge fees to look after your child. The fee amount depends on the length of time your child is cared for and the type of service you choose.

You may be eligible to claim the Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Tax Rebate to reduce the cost of child care. To find out if you are eligible for these benefits, contact the Family Assistance Office.


Council's role in child care

Many children's services use Council-owned building. We develop and maintain lease and service agreements with operators and carry out maintenance and improvement works on these buildings.

Council provides services and support for child care centres and kindergartens. We provide training to early childhood professionals, coordinate Merri-bek's child care network, support and advise committees of management and coordinate parent information sessions.

We also provide inclusion support for children with additional needs for State-funded kindergarten programs through the Preschool Field Officer program.

Through the Family and Children Services Advisory Committee, we provide information to Council about the delivery of family and children's services.


Child care centres in Merri-bek

Enter your address to find child care centres in Merri-bek near you.

Enter your address

Child care centres in the Central Registration Service

You can register for child care at these centres through the Council Central Registration service:

Other child care centres in Merri-bek

These child care centres are not part of the Central Registration Service.

You will need to contact these centres directly to find out about vacancies and enrolment procedures.

Download the Information for Families with Children brochure (PDF 4Mb)  for an overview of all children's services in Merri-bek, including a list of child care centres.


Opening a new child care centre

To open a child care centre, you need to comply with government regulations.

The Department of Education and Training has information about legislation and licensing and funding to help your early childhood service offer the best learning and development environment for young children.

For more information about opening a child care centre and the processes which are involved contact Council.