Children's services

Banksia Cottage and Gumnut Cottage cater for children aged six weeks to five years. Both centres provide a safe, healthy, sustainable and nurturing environment and have been recognised as exceeding the national quality standards. A vacation care centre is also offered during school holidays for primary school children.

  • Banksia Cottage

    Banksia Cottage was established by a committee of dedicated staff members of Macquarie University who needed childcare services on campus.

  • Gumnut Cottage

    Gumnut Cottage has a longstanding history of providing exceptional education and care programs to both the Macquarie University and the wider community.

  • Vacation care

    Macquarie University Vacation Care provides a recreational program for primary school aged children during the school holidays.

  • Junior Science Academy

    The course aims to teach the concepts through art, drama, physical activity, craft and other hands-on activities.

Staffing and ratios

We value the dedication and commitment of the educators employed within Campus Life Children's Services and are striving to be an employer of choice.

Our educators are highly qualified, experienced and passionate about their roles. They remain informed of developments and current research in early childhood education by attending in-services and participating in other professional development opportunities.

All educators at Banksia and Gumnut have a minimum of a Certificate III in Children's Services. Many Diploma qualified educators are also studying their Early Childhood Degree and there are a minimum of five Early Childhood Teachers employed at each centre.

Low staff to child ratios are considered important and linked to the level of quality. Where possible, our services implement ratios that improve on those required under the Education and Care Services National Regulations for many periods of the day and remain at the Regulated ratios at other times.

Age of ChildrenRequired RatioPreferred Ratio*
6 weeks - 2 years1:41:3
2-3 years1:81:5
3-5 years1:101:7
5-12 years1:151:12

*Ratio implemented where possible

Program

Banksia and Gumnut offer high quality educational programs based on their service philosophy and designed to provide positive outcomes for all children.  

These programs are child focused, play based and reflective of current research; children's learning is facilitated, guided and extended by our experienced team of educators. The indoor and the outdoor spaces are both considered to be learning areas and this is reflected in the written program.

Our philosophy and practices are underpinned by the Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics and reflective of the Early Years Learning Framework. We actively participate in research projects undertaken by other organisations such as the Institute of Early Childhood and Kids and Traffic. Staff are also encouraged to undertake centre based research in practice projects and to submit to early childhood publications.

Macquarie University Vacation Care offers a leisure and recreational program designed around the interests of the children. The program is play based, flexible and reflective of 'My Time, Our Place', the curriculum framework for School Aged Services. 

The Vacation Care Program changes each holiday period and children are encouraged to contribute to the program by offering suggestions.  At times of the day the children are separated into age groups to ensure the age appropriateness of the activities on offer.

Waiting list

Choosing a Childcare Centre is an important and very personal decision, therefore it is highly recommended you contact Banksia and/or Gumnut Cottages to book a tour.

This provides you with the opportunity to visit the centres, talk about their philosophy and decide if they are suitable to your needs before applying for the waiting list.

Gumnut and Banksia Cottages operate a waiting list through MyWaitList and there is no charge to submit your details. This Information Sheet provides assistance using MyWaitList.  

Offers to families are generally made from November for the following year or, less frequently, when vacancies arise during the year. Due to the high demand, there is no guarantee that a place will be available when the family requires so all families are encouraged to place their name on waiting lists for other services. 

Macquarie University Vacation Care does not operate a waiting list as all bookings are made on a 'first come, first in' basis, in line with our Priority of Access Policy, in the three weeks prior to the holiday period commencing. Please refer to Vacation Care for more information.

Hubworks Family Guide 

This guide gives you step-by-step instructions how to use Hubworks. Click here to view.

General information

Service nameHours of operationCapacity per dayChild ageAssessment and rating2017 fees
Macquarie University Vacation Care

7.30am - 6.15pm

Monday - Friday
Gazetted School Holidays only

55 children5 years - 12 years attending Primary SchoolMeeting the National Quality StandardsStudent: $59.50
Staff:
$60
Community: $65.50
Banksia Cottage

7.30am - 6.30pm

Monday - Friday
50 weeks per year

80 children6 weeks - 5 yearsExceeding the National Quality StandardsStudent:
0-2 years $119
2-3 years $118
3-5 years $117
Staff:
0-2 years
$122
2-3 years
$121
3-5 years
$120
Community:
0-2 years
$140
2-3 years $139
3-5 years $138
Gumnut Cottage

7.30am - 6.30pm

Monday - Friday
50 weeks per year

80 children6 weeks - 5 yearsExceeding the National Quality StandardsStudent:
0-2 years $119
2-3 years $118
3-5 years $117
Staff:
0-2 years
$122
2-3 years
$121
3-5 years
$120
Community:
0-2 years
$140
2-3 years $139
3-5 years $138
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