Getting the best start to life in Cairns 

The services families can access play a big role in the development, health and wellbeing of children.

Support to reach developmental milestones, getting kids school ready, and developing resilience are key ways our Early Years Centres in Cairns are helping make the early years count.

Here are some highlights of the free services available in Cairns that help every child, parent and family live their best life.

Play & Grow

The Play & Grow program offers supported playgroup sessions focused on development activities to help parents engage with their children and build a support network.

Child health nurses are available at most play groups and group sessions, or you can make an appointment to have your baby weighed and a developmental assessment.

Yarn and Craft

The Yarn and Craft playgroup brings Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and children together once a week. Supported by a child and family worker, the parents and children engage in conversation and craft. 

Parents have a chance to build networks in what one group member described as a “helpful and supportive” environment. Turn up on the day - every Monday in school terms.


The Explorers Playgroup

The Explorers Playgroup is for children 0-5 years with a disability, or any developmental concerns.  And we make it easier on parents by making siblings welcome. 

Indy for Kindy!

Help your child to be ready for Kindergarten when you build the confidence to support their independence.

Parenting groups and skills

Programs include:

  • Premmie’s Play & Learn supported playgroup for babies born between 25-35 weeks and aged up to 2 years
  • Infant massage courses are available to learn how to nurture and comfort young children with a healing touch. 
  • The Triple P Program brings parents together in groups to learn positive parenting strategies.
  • The Circle of Security is a relationship-based program that helps parents understand children’s emotions and build skills in how to observe and connect. 
  • Parents and Learning (PaL) is a home-based program empowering parents to be their children’s first teachers in literacy and numeracy.

Find a Cairns early years centre

  • Gordonvale Early Years Centre Gordonvale State School, 33 Sheppards Street, Gordonvale 
  • Cairns Early Years Centre Bentley Park College, Borrowdale Close, Bentley Park 
  • Cairns Early Years Centre Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre, Trinity Park

For more information call 1800 236 762 or email