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In Merri-bek, you can find a range of child care options that offer both full and part-time care for children up to 6 years of age and up to 12 years of age in Family Day Care and School Holiday Program.

All child care options offer qualified staff to provide safe and engaging learning environments and programs, which are designed to meet your child's needs.

All programs operate under the National Quality Framework and must meet the requirements of national legislation and regulations.

Council operates Family Day Care and School Holiday Programs and Child Care Centres are operated by community-based or private operators.

You can search for a child care option near you on the Australian Government's Child Care Finder website.

Family Day Care

Merri-bek Family Day Care is an approved early childhood education and care service that is offered in the homes of registered Family Day Care Educators. It is for children from birth to 12 years of age. The service is currently rated as Exceeding National Quality Standard as part of the National Quality Assessment and Rating Process.

Family Day Care Educators are experienced and qualified early childhood professionals who provide high-quality care and education for children in their own homes. Ongoing support, training, and monitoring are provided by our Coordination Unit.

Family Day Care offers flexible arrangements and can provide care:

  • outside business hours
  • on weekends
  • before and after school/kindergarten
  • during school holidays.

Family Day Care helps children develop confidence and social skills, and connects them with their local community.

You can contact our Family Day Care Coordination Unit on 9240 2300 or by emailing to find out more.

Apply for Family Day Care

Are you interested in becoming a Family Day Care educator?

Meet Hilary, a Family Day Care educator

Hilary provides flexible hours of care from her home for small groups of children aged from birth to 12 years, ideal for families working shift work or requiring weekend and overnight care.

This video has captions you can turn on and off using the video controls.

School Holiday Program

Council operates school holiday programs across the municipality to provide care for primary school-aged children during school holidays. 

You can learn more about these programs on our School Holiday Programs page.

Child care centres

Child Care Centres (also known as Long Day Care) provide child care programs for children 0-6 years. Age-appropriate programs are offered to all the children focusing on their interests and developmental needs.

  • Most child care centres provide a 3 and 4-year-old program, known as an integrated kindergarten, led by a degree-qualified teacher.

    Fees for integrated kindergarten programs will vary, and will need to be discussed with centre management prior to commencement.

    You can apply for the integrated kindergarten program by following the same process as applying for child care.

  • Child care centre fees will depend on how often your child is in care and the types of services you wish to pay for. It is best to speak directly to the centre your child will attend about this.

    You may be able to claim the claim the Child Care Subsidy to reduce the cost of child care.

    Contact Services Australia for eligibility enquires

Apply for child care

We have an agreement with Family Day Care and a number of child care centres in Merri-bek to take registrations for child care places on their behalf. This means booking a child care place is fair, accessible and easy. You can find out which centres are connected with our Central Registration System in our List of Central Registration System child care centres (PDF 93KB).

If the centre you want to apply with is not part of our Central Registration System, you will need to apply directly through the centre. You can see which centres are not part of this system in our List of child care centres outside of the Central Registration System (PDF 150KB)

Applying for a child care place is free. Make sure you read the below sections on supporting documentation so that you have everything you need before you apply.

Before applying for a child care place, please read the sections below on what supporting documentation is required.

  • Apply online at our online portal.

    If you are applying prior to your child's birth, please contact Council on 9240 2358.

  • Fill in our child care application form (PDF) and:

    • email your completed form to Child Care Registration
    • mail your completed form to the Child Care Registration Officer Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Merri-bek 3058, or
    • submit your completed form online in person at a Customer Services Centre.

    If you are applying prior to your child's birth, please contact Council on 9240 2358.

Supporting documentation

  • Child’s birth certificate, passport, immunisation history statement, or immigration document.

    If you do not have any supporting documentation, please contact Council on 9240 2358.

  • A recent document with your name and street address:

    • Rates notice
    • Property contract of sale (section with name of purchaser and address)
    • Tenancy agreement
    • Utility bill
    • Driver licence
    • Home or car insurance receipt
    • Medicare or Centrelink letter

    If you are a student from overseas and live in Merri-bek, and do not have any of these documents, provide a letter from a college or university to verify your address.

  • If you work or study in Merri-bek, a letter or invoice from your employer or education provider, or copy of student card.


  • A visa or immigrant document.

  • Support letter from a medical professional or community health service.

  • If you are employed, a letter or payslip from your employer.

    If you are self-employed, a recent BAS statement or other proof.

    If you are studying, a copy of your student card or fee invoice.

  • Upload an intervention, parental or custodial order document.

Occasional child care in Merri-bek

We offer occasional child care for children aged 3 months to 6 years in neighbourhood houses and leisure centres in Merri-bek. Occasional care is available for up to 3 hours per session or 15 hours per week.

Occasional care can be helpful if you need child care for short periods of time or at irregular times, such as when you have to:

  • attend an appointment
  • attend fitness classes
  • need to study, or
  • need a rest from full-time parenting.

Occasional care is a licensed service and regulated by the Victorian 'Children's Services Act and Children's Services Regulations'.

Occasional child care locations

To book occasional care, you need to contact one of the below centres directly. The fees and available hours vary at each centre.