The One Tree Defence Childcare Unit – supporting Defence families

As we welcome in 2019, the One Tree Defence Childcare Unit officially opens its services to children of Defence families.

The creation of the One Tree Defence Childcare Unit will see our organisation double in size. From 2019 we will accommodate an extra thousand children at childcare services nationwide. It’s a milestone for us. We’re exceptionally proud of the team who’ve worked hard to ensure we’ve reached this point successfully.

Individual case management

Under the One Tree Defence Childcare Unit, we will be operating an individual case management service for Defence families. This service can be accessed for free, as General Manager Claire McManus explains.

“Defence families can be posted anywhere across Australia and may not be familiar with different locations. We’ve invested in new software, so we can develop an up-to-date, informative database of childcare centres to help families select a place.”

“We can check availability, find out what facilities they offer and their quality ratings. We’ll then support families through the enrolment process,” adds Claire.

Heading up this department is Sally Campbell. Sally has worked with One Tree Community Services for two years in enrolments and human resources. Both Sally and Claire have been getting to know more about Defence families and their specific needs and requirements at Defence community networking events.

Sense of belonging

Defence families face unique challenges. Frequent postings can mean regular disruption to their everyday lives, so there’s plenty of support to those employed in the military.

“Children can have long stretches of time without one of their parents, which means as childcare providers we want to give them a sense of belonging in a community which they will enjoy. At the same time, we are fully aware that the likelihood is that they won’t be staying very long at our service,” explains Claire.

“We want to offer them as much support as possible because they may not have close family around them,” she says.

Potential training opportunities

The One Tree Defence Childcare Unit also offers opportunities to family members who may want to train and become educators.

“As well as providing childcare, One Tree Community Services is a registered training organisation. This means we have provision to train people in early childhood education and care, and for them to receive on the job experience,” Claire explains.

The One Tree Defence Childcare Unit has already had enquiries from people keen to take up training opportunities. As services open for the very first time under our management, we look forward to getting to know our families and establishing new relationships and becoming part of the wider Defence community.