Childcare support service ongoing

Published on Department of Defence (author)

Leading Seaman Emily Bridge with her husband Cameron and son Hunter moments before embarking in HMAS Newcastle for departure to the Middle East region.  (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Leading Seaman Emily Bridge with her husband Cameron and son Hunter moments before embarking in HMAS Newcastle for departure to the Middle East region.
Navy people and their families facing the daunting task of finding childcare, or before and after school care, can now get a helping hand from a dedicated team the Defence Community Organisation.

The Defence childcare individual case management service, which is now an ongoing service after a 12-month trial involves a team of specialist early learning staff help Navy families find childcare by negotiating on their behalf with all local registered childcare providers, including family day care, and before and after school care.
 
The service also gives families options to help them decide which childcare suits their family, including any children with special needs.
 
The new service is available not just when moving locations, but also for Navy people changing work arrangements, or perhaps returning to work after maternity or paternity leave.
 
Director General Navy People, Commodore Michele Miller, said she knows first-hand how challenging and stressful finding timely and appropriate childcare options can be.
 
“Navy people with young children face many challenges when posting to a new location, one of the most stressful is finding childcare,” Commodore Miller said.
 
“Gaining the right childcare can be the difference between an unaccompanied posting or not, or perhaps, whether a Navy partner may be able to work.”
 
This is further amplified for families when moving, and Navy has been at the forefront of advocating for this new service.
 
“In some cases, the challenges of finding the right childcare have meant some of our people think they need to leave the Navy,” she said.
 
“This service can make a difference to our families and ultimately, to our capability.”
 
The placement service is free and offered through Defence’s expert childcare service provider, Mission Australia Early Learning. However, normal childcare fees will apply for any options selected by families.
 
Defence Community Organisation has a range of programs to support the availability of childcare services to Defence families who might face difficulties in sourcing childcare.
 
Those seeking more information should contact the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608