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Development Application Tool Kit for Education and Care Services

Thinking of building an education and care service? Please read through Council’s Development Application Tool Kit for Education and Care Services to provide you with useful information.

What is an Education and Care Service?

An Education and Care Service is an organisation that provides daily accommodation and care for groups of children. There are several settings to suit the needs of individual families such as long day care, occasional care, family day care, preschools, kindergartens and out of school hours care.

Development Application Tool Kit for Education and Care Services

Council plans to meet the current and future needs of the community by taking into consideration the social, economic, and environmental requirements and needs. Prior to commencement of planning and development, it is important to be aware of the various aspects that opening an education and care service entails.

Please use the links provided below as a guide to inform the process of planning and development.

State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021

Chapter 3 of the SEPP outlines provisions to streamline to approval process for education and care providers to build new and add to existing facilities. This instrument specifies relevant requirements that must be adhered too prior to any consent being given.

Chapter 3 Educational establishments and child care facilities

Childcare Planning Guideline

This Guideline is designed to inform providers on how superior design, incorporating the overall health and safety of the children can lead to better outcomes and the overall quality care for children.

Child Care Planning Guideline

Child Safe Organisations

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended 10 Child Safe Standards, drawing on its findings, research, and consultation about what makes organisations child safe.

Child Safe Standards

Local Environment Plan (LEP)

LEP’s provide the legislative framework for land use and development in a Local Government Area (LGA) through land use zones and planning controls. This is an important instrument as it will outline relevant land zones where an early education and care facility, a centre-based child care facility or home-based child care are considered permissible (subject to relevant consent where needed)

Local Environment Plan

Development Control Plans (DCP)

DCP’s provide guidance for the design and operation of development within an LGA to achieve the aims and objectives of the LEP. The DCP lists additional design and parking requirements for child care facilities which are found in Chapters E and G. Other Chapters may also be relevant dependent on the location and type of building being designed.

Development Control Plans

Documentation Checklist

To lodge a development application for a child care facility, specific documentation is required to be submitted for Councils consideration. This documentation should be prepared and submitted with any application.

DA Checklist – Major Development

Find Early Childhood Education and Care Providers

This tool from Service NSW offers a pathway to how many existing education and care services are in the vicinity of the service you would like to build. Simply input the address of your site to show you the services nearby.

Service NSW Find early childhood education and care providers

Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)

ACECQA works with all governments to provide guidance, resources, and services to support the sector to improve outcomes for children.

ACECQA - Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority

National Law and Regulations

The National Law and Regulations outline the legal obligations of approved providers, nominated supervisors and educators, explaining the functions of state and territory authorities and ACECQA.

National Law and Regulations


It is important to provide the right information to Council to ensure a quality child care facility development is achieved. To find out more about the planning process, exemptions and how to lodge a development application for a child care facility, please contact Council on 8757 9000 and speak to one of our enquiry officers.