Childcare and schools


Defence childcare centres
Children of mobile Defence families can receive priority of access to Defence child care centres around Australia. Defence Community Organisation (DCO) also provides individual case management to help parents with child care placement. For more information click here


More childcare resources

There are a number of childcare facilities in Canberra. The resources below may help you locate the right childcare service for your family.


Generic school teacher

Primary school girl sitting next to her teacher
Primary school girl sitting next to her teacher


Defence Playgroups

  • Gungahlin Defence Families Playgroup: The Playgroup has a different craft activity for the kids every week, lots of indoor and outdoor toys, a cubby house, a video, DVD and book library to borrow from, and a delicious morning tea for the mums and dads. For more information call the President/Coordinator on 0491 279 816, or send an gungahlindfp [at] (email).

  • Duntroon Playschool: Duntroon Playschool is an early childhood program for three and four year olds. They are licensed under Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) for three hours per day. Their Playschool offers a structured and play based, educational program that is unique to Canberra that builds foundation learning skills for your child, prior to attending Preschool in a caring and nurturing environment supported by a qualified teacher and assistant. Their program includes individual and group based play, inside and outside activities, building social interaction skills, music and movement, craft activities, interactive story reading and more. Enrolments open every October for the following year. Please contact the Duntroon Community Centre for more information on 02 62659411.


DCO provides a range of services and resources for Defence children to assist with the transition between schools and education systems when families move, and to provide support for the unique needs of Defence students. You can find information on schooling, including aides and mentors on the DCO website on Education or Your Community pages.

Children must be four years of age on or before 30 April of the year of commencement in a preschool program. High school education is available in both Years 7-10 and Preschool to Year 10 schools across the ACT.


School Terms

  • Click here to see the school terms observed in the ACT from 2019-2025.
  • Click here to see the school terms observed in NSW during 2020.


Enrolment Information

  • Click here to see helpful information about school catchments in the ACT.
  • Click here to see helpful enrolment information for NSW primary schools.
  • Click here to see helpful enrolment information for NSW high schools.

Defence School Mentors

The Defence School Mentor Program provides support to children of ADF families, particularly when changing schools on posting or during parental absences due to deployment, exercises or courses.

The in-school mentors in primary and secondary schools are funded by the Department of Defence through Defence Community Organisation (DCO). They are employed as a member of the school staff by respective schools or education systems within each State or Territory.


Primary schools with Defence School Mentors


High schools with Defence School Mentors