Learn how to obtain planning approval to run a family day care business.


Family day care is any service providing or intending to provide education and care on a regular basis to children under 13 years of age. 

This does not include a school, community kindergarten, a personal arrangement, providing instruction in a particular activity, e.g. sport, music, culture, language, or religious instruction, education/care and therapy to patients, care under child protection law, a prescribed class of disability service or a service of a prescribed class.

How family day care is different to child care premises

Although family day care provides a similar service as a child care premises, it is different in two ways:

  • A family day care facility can operate in conjunction with the residential land use of the subject site. That is, it operates from a dwelling that is also used as a permanent residence. New legislation also provides that a family day care venue other than a permanent residence may be nominated for operation as a family day care.
  • A family day care educator must not educate and care for more than 7 children at any one time, including the licensee’s own children, under the age of 13 years of age. No more than four children can be preschool age or under as per the Education and Care Services National Law (WA) Act 2012.

Apply for planning approval

Family day care is a discretionary use that may be approved on Residential, Rural Residential, Rural and commercial-zoned land. It is not permitted in the Industrial, Tourism or Chalet and Camping Zones.

Planning approval is required to run a family day care business.

To apply for planning approval, complete the application form and checklist below. 

Application for Development Approval (includes Checklist) (PDF)

The checklist outlines the documentation that must be submitted with your application, including:

  • General Application Checklist: Floor plans and site plans indicating the areas of the dwelling and the yard that will be used for family day care. Please also indicate on the site plan the location of the off-street car parking provided for the exclusive use of the family day care. Parking for the proposed family day care is required in addition to two (2) onsite parking spaces required for the residential use of the dwelling.
  • Family Day Care Questionnaire: It is important to complete the questionnaire accurately and to provide as much detail as possible. 
Family Day Care Questionnaire (PDF)

Note, each application for a family day care is assessed in accordance with Local Planning Scheme No. 1 and any relevant Local Planning Policy or Strategy. Consideration is given to, among other things, the health and safety of the children and the possible impacts that the land use may have upon the amenity of the surrounding area. Issues such as operating hours, vehicular movements, car parking and play area noise are important amenity considerations.

You will need to include a detailed statement, providing justification for any variations from the relevant Scheme, Policies and Strategy.

View Local Planning Strategy, Scheme and Plan
View Local Planning Policies

A bushfire management plan may be required for your family day care proposal. Please discuss your proposal with the Shire’s planning department before lodging your application to be sure you have the required bushfire planning information.

A fee is payable when applying for planning approval. This fee must be paid at the time of application.

Refer to Schedule of Fees and Charges.

Ensure you submit your application with all the required documentation, as outlined in the checklist at the end of the form, and fee.

You can submit your application in person or by post.

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