Childcare and schools


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


More childcare resources

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

  • Department of Defence Child Care Centres

  • Family Day Care Australia

  • My Child

  • Williamtown Playgroup: a place where parents and carers with children aged 0-5 can socialise and encourage development in a child friendly environment. For more information visit their website or send them an williamtownplaygroup [at] (email).

  • Williamtown Preschool: managed by a management committee comprising ADF parents on a voluntary basis. Relocating to Raymond Terrace in 2017, the preschool is open to both civilian and defence families for children 3-5 years old. For more information visit their website, wlmpres [at] (email) or phone (02) 403 47642.

  • Singleton Little Diggers Playgroup: Every Monday 9:30am-12:00pm at the Community Hall, Lone Pine Barracks, Singleton. Defence Mums, Dads and babies and children of any age are welcome. For more information visit the Singleton Little Diggers Playgroup on FaceBook.



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.


The Hunter region has both public and private schools.

  • School Choice is a useful site which covers all education institutions in the Newcastle and greater Hunter region.

  • The Private Schools Guide contains information on all private schools and independent schools in Newcastle, Maitland and nearby towns.

  • The Hunter Region Independent Schools website provides information about 16 member schools stretching from Port Macquarie in the north, Tamworth in the west and Erina in the south.


NSW School Terms

Click here to see the school terms observed in NSW during 2018.

Schools with Defence Aides and Mentors

The Defence School Transition Program provides support to children of ADF families, particularly during their transition into and out of a school on posting or during parental absences due to deployment, exercises or courses.

The in-school aides (for primary schools) and mentors (for high schools) are funded by the Department of Defence through DCO (Defence Community Organisation). 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 Transition Aides (DSTAs)


High schools with Defence Transition Mentors (DTMs)


Enrolment Information

  • Click here to see helpful enrolment information for NSW primary schools.
  • Click here to see helpful enrolment information for NSW high schools.