About child care services

This page has information for parents about the range of child care and preschool options available in the Northern Territory (NT).

You can access a range of child care and preschool services in the NT. These may be offered by private providers, community groups, government agencies, individuals, babysitters or nannies. 

Child care services

The types of child care services include all of the following:

  • long day care
  • family day care
  • outside school hours care
  • in-home care
  • occasional care.

Long day care

Long day care services, also known as child care centres or centre-based care, provide care and education programs for children from birth to school age.

The services generally operate between 7.30am and 6pm to cater for the needs of families. 

Children are usually grouped in rooms according to age and developmental stage with professional staff rostered to ensure appropriate staffing at all times.

Family day care

The family day care service comprises family day care educators who provide regulated care and education programs in their own home.  

This service can provide flexible care including before and after school, weekends and overnight care. 

Limits apply to the number of children who can be cared for in a home at one time. 

The family day care coordination unit recruits, trains, monitors and supports family day care educators.

Outside school hours care

Outside school hours care provides supervised care and recreation programs for primary school age children before and after school, school holidays and on pupil-free days. 

The services are generally located in primary schools but can also operate from child care centres or other community facilities.

Preschool or kindergarten

Preschool is a structured, play based learning program delivered by a qualified teacher.

Children usually go to preschool at the age of four.  

Most preschools in the NT are part of a school. Some long day care services may also provide a preschool program.

Go to the MyChild website for more information on child care services.

Last updated: 27 June 2017