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).

  • 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 send them an singletonlittlediggers [at] (email) or visit the Singleton Little Diggers Playgroup Facebook page.


Generic school teacher

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


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 2020.

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) [hyperlink DCO to ]. 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


Enrolment Information

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