Children and study

You have the right to participate in study as a parent or carer of a child at The University of Sydney. The University provides various facilities to assist you with your childcare needs, such as change and feeding rooms

Bringing children to Uni 

Children are welcome on campus if they are under the supervision of an adult. Children will not be permitted to access spaces with potential hazards or that pose significant risk, such as laboratories. There may be times when your usual childcare arrangements fall through, and you may have to bring your child to class. In this situation make a request to your unit coordinator or person delivering the lecture or tutorial. Research students should consult your supervisor and fellow students if sharing a workspace. 

Breastfeeding on campus 

In Australia it is your legal right to breastfeed, including in public. Under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984, it is illegal in Australia to discriminate against a person either directly or indirectly for breastfeeding.  

All University of Sydney campuses have parent rooms with baby change facilities and feeding rooms. Many of these rooms are private and lockable. Some may require special access with a swipe card, which you can arrange by contacting the building administrator or precinct officer. Parent rooms are located in many buildings on all campuses. 

Facilities such as parent rooms and feeding rooms are provided for comfort and convenience, but this does not mean they are the only places you can breastfeed your child – it is legal to breastfeed in public in Australia. 

The Australian Breastfeeding Association provides practical breastfeeding support, chat support, and a 24-hour breastfeeding helpline. 


Types of childcare 

Childcare services in Sydney are expensive, and it can be competitive to get your child a place. Deciding on childcare may also depend on cost and the type of childcare provided. You can find out about different types of childcare on Startingblocks, the government’s childcare  website. You can also find information on childcare close to you on StartingBlocks. 

The University of Sydney childcare resources list also has useful information about services and University networks.  

Long daycare 

Usually operates 7am – 6pm, through a daycare centre. Meals are often included. Cost is per day. Birth to school age. Many domestic students, and some visa holders, may be eligible for substantial subsidies []. 

Family daycare 

Hours vary and are negotiable, but they are usually similar to long daycare. It is run at a family home. Meals are often included. Cost is hourly. Birth to 12 years of age. 

Occasional care 

For casual care only. Cost is hourly. It is usually run at a centre. Meals are usually provided. Birth to school age. 


For children aged 3 to 5 years. Preschools have a structured education program. They usually operate 9am – 3pm. Meals may or may not be provided.  

Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) or Out-of-school hours (OOSH) 

Runs before and after school. For school-aged children only, commonly run at their school. Meals are included. Hours are usually 7am – 9am for morning care and 3pm – 6pm for evening care, on school days.School holiday programs 

These are usually themed programs running for school aged children, e.g. sports programs. They typically cost $100 – $235 per day and can run over multiple days. 

Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) have school holiday programs

Childcare close to the University 

There are several childcare services both on and close to University campuses, offering occasional care, long daycare, and family daycare. A list of these services is provided by the University. Some of these services offer discounts to Usyd students who have USU memberships []. Note that long waiting lists may apply. 

Having trouble managing it all? 

If you have unexpected carer commitments that impact your ability to complete your assessments (including exams) you may apply for simple extensions (not for exams), special consideration or special arrangements. Contact us if you need assistance.  

Usyd Student Parents Network  

The Usyd Student Parents Network can help you to develop friendships with other students who have children. The group’s aim is to connect you with other parents studying at the University, to share experiences, help each other and meet new friends. SUPRA is a partner in the network. 

Join the Facebook group to share tips, experiences and learn about events for you and your family. 

Financial support for parents 

The Australian Government offers different forms of financial support to parents including subsidising childcare, payments and tax benefits.  

Child Care Subsidy  

The Australian government offers Child Care Subsidy (CCS) for eligible parents and guardians. Usually, you have to be an Australian resident or Australian citizen, although some visa holders may also be eligible. If you are eligible, the subsidy is paid directly to your childcare provider to reduce the fees you pay. You are required to pay the gap between the subsidy and the fees.  

Check your eligibility for CCS payments, and calculate your subsidy []. 

Parenting Payment  

The Parenting Payment is an income support payment for principal carers of young children. Eligibility requirements include being the principal carer; income and asset tests; and residence rules. Find out if you’re eligible for the Parenting Payment. 

Family Tax Benefit 

Family Tax Benefit (FTB) is a payment for carers of children that is split into 2 parts – Part A and Part B. 

Part A 

The Australian Government pays Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A per child. The amount paid depends on your family’s circumstances. You must meet an income test and residence rules. Find out about Part A income tests and eligibility

Part B 

Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part B is a payment for parents or carers who earn less than $100,900 per year. Additional parents or carer’s income, and the age of the child, also affects the amount payable. Find out about Part B income tests and eligibility.  

Contact us if you need any help or support with accessing government payments.

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Written by SUPRA Postgraduate Advocacy Service March 2023 

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