Skip links and keyboard navigation

Before and after school care

Before and after school care is commonly referred to as outside school hours care.

It provides an opportunity for children to relax and play in a supervised environment, before school, after school or during school holidays.

Facts about before and after school care

  • For school-age children (including those in Prep).
  • Generally provided before and after school (7–9am and 3–6pm) and for 10-12 hours a day during school holidays and pupil free days.
  • Delivered in a variety of locations (e.g. schools, youth clubs, community centres).
  • Each service has individual working hours and fee structures—contact the provider directly to find out about hours, fees and enrolment eligibility.
  • Programs are designed and delivered by qualified educators.
  • Services must comply with a range of legislative requirements including physical environment requirements (e.g. space, facilities and equipment) and staffing requirements including minimum educator-to-child ratios.

Quality standards and assessments

National standards apply to most outside school hours care services and include a quality rating system that assesses the quality of services and helps you decide which one to pick.

Search for local service ratings.

Find out how services are assessed.

A small number of outside school hours care services come under the Education and Care Services Act 2013

Find a service

Find outside school hours care services by entering your postcode or the name of your suburb. Remember to tick Before School Care and/or After School Care and/or Vacation Care.

You can also search for more details about vacancies and fees through the website.

Choosing a service

If you are unsure which service to select, you can read about:

Rebates and financial assistance

Most outside school hours care services are approved by the Australian Government. This means that families using the service may be eligible for the Australian Government’s Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.

Read more about rebates and financial assistance.

Getting started

Before your child starts you should contact your provider and discuss practical matters such as:

  • what you will need to bring each day for your child
  • will meals be provided or will you need to bring your own
  • can they bring their favourite toy or blanket?

You should also let the provider know of any special requirements your child has before they start (although it is recommended you discuss this before enrolling your child).

Find out how to prepare for your child’s first day.


Early Childhood Information Service

13 QGOV (13 74 68)—information about Utopia early childhood education and care services.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
18 September 2014

Page feedback

  1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *