The Bar Council has reserved places for children of Bar Association members across three centres operated by Guardian Early Learning Group. The three centres are: 

  • Martin Place Early Learning Centre, located at 39 Martin Place; 
  • Castlereagh Street Early Learning Centre, located at 9 Castlereagh Street; and  
  • Little Steps Early Learning Centre, located at 1 Bligh Street

All centres operate from 7:30am to 6pm. Once all reserved places have been filled, a waiting list will be created and places will be allocated as they become available. Members of the Bar Association are eligible to apply for the Childcare Benefit and the Childcare Rebate. Members of the Bar Association will also be able to request one or more casual days of care in the Sydney CBD on short notice.

About the centres

Castlereagh Street Early Learning Centre, located at 9 Castlereagh Street

The centre has been assessed as ‘Exceeding’ 7 of the 7 elements of the National Quality Standard. It is an indoor haven and is located in an atrium. It allows children to feel like they are outdoors while being protected from the weather all year round. The centre has two levels for children of different ages and each level has its own ‘outdoor’ play area. The daily rate is $150 per day.

Little Steps Early Learning Centre, located at 1 Bligh Street

Little Steps is accessible by public transport and a short walk from Martin Place and Circular Quay. There is a 25 minutes drop off and pick up parking area within the building. The centre also has an outdoor play area for children. The daily rate is $164 per day.


The Bar Association has reserved 15 full time places under the Management Agreement, for a period of three years from November 2016. This number can be increased, subject to availability. Members who apply for a place but are not immediately granted a place will be put on a wait list.

Information about Guardian Early Learning

Guardian has 91 centres nationally, and continues to expands its operations each year. Guardian currently has 19 corporate centres, with 13 in Sydney, 1 in Melbourne, 2 in Canberra and 3 in Brisbane. These corporate centres are supplemented by a large number of suburban centres located in metropolitan areas. More information about Guardian Early Learning Group, including a full list of centres it operates in the Sydney CBD can be found on their  website.

McArthur Management Emergency In Home Care

Members may access emergency in home care, which is run by McArthur Management. McArthur Management has provided emergency childcare to members of the NSW Bar since 2003. McArthur can make carers available in emergencies or when regular childcare arrangements break down. If, for example, the child’s usual carer is unwell, or if the member is detained in court, the carer from McArthur could be called upon to provide childcare at short notice. All McArthur carers are fully screened, have an early childhood certification/qualification and are personally interviewed and assessed by McArthur. The hourly rate for in home childcare is $46.50.

Families wishing to retain McArthur for in home child care are requested to register in advance, although this is not essential. Following registration McArthur will conduct a Home Safety Check. This is not an intrusive process, but it is required for McArthur to meet its workplace health and safety obligations. It is recommended that families who would like to have the same carer available to them when needed retain the services of that carer for a minimum of 4 hours per fortnight. 

McArthur can also arrange for the placement of permanent full time or part time in home carers. The fee for the recruitment of a carer is 13% of the annual salary plus superannuation. McArthur is also looking into the possibility of facilitating nanny share arrangements for a small fee.

Members with an enquiry, or who wish to make a booking, can contact the McArthur Early Childhood Education team on 02 9277 7000, or by email: Calls made outside of business hours go to a pager service and a McArthur consultant will be advised of your enquiry/request for a carer.

Results from the Childcare Survey

182 members responded to the Childcare Survey, which is an excellent result. We note the following from the survey results:

  • 86% of respondents considered the availability of places in childcare centres to be a problem for members.
  • Of those respondents who currently had childcare arrangements in place, 47% relied on family members, 41% relied on long day care and 33% relied on a part time nanny.
  • 50 respondents anticipated wanting access to a childcare centre in the Sydney CBD during the next 5 years.
  • 65% of respondents felt that priority of access to a childcare centre in the Sydney CBD would affect their capacity to continue or improve their career at the Bar.
  • 88% of respondents considered the availability of extended hours of operation to be important.


Information in relation to childcare will be regularly updated on the Association’s website. Members with enquiries in relation to childcare are welcome to get in touch with Alastair McConnachie on 9229 1739 or at