Childcare and schools


Defence childcare centres

Defence Community Organisation (DCO) has a range of programs to support the availability of childcare services to Defence families, who might face difficulties in sourcing childcare.

We maintain a network of childcare centres around Australia. Children of newly-posted Defence families can receive priority of access to these centres, where the local community is unable to accommodate them. Defence employees can also choose to salary package childcare costs at these centres.

Defence families facing difficulties accessing childcare, such as when they move to a new area or change their work or care arrangements, can now also access an individual case management service to help them find childcare. For more information click here.

For more information about childcare options, visit the below websites:

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.

Sydney has a wide range of public and private schools.

NSW School Terms

Click here to see the school terms observed in NSW during 2020.

Enrolment Information

  • 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


Sydney is home to five main universities: