About Us

Rainbow Children’s Centre Ballina

Rainbow Children’s Centre is a community based non-profit organisation providing high quality flexible children’s services to the Ballina community at an affordable price. It provides a range of children’s services to families within Ballina Shire, and is supported by a committee of parents who utilise our services. All families using any of our services are welcome to become involved with the management of the Association.



Rainbow was established in 1986 on land provided by Ballina Shire Council and our main building was purpose built by the NSW Government as a child care facility. Our main premises is situated at 4 John Sharpe St East Ballina where the long day care service operate – while the out of School hours care services operate from four of the local primary schools.

As a community managed organisation, our Management Committee is comprised of community members, most of who are parents using our services. As a result the decisions made about our operations – our policies, our Mission, our annual objectives, our services and service levels, our fees, our staffing etc – are made by parents who use those same services. Hence we consider that we are very responsive to family needs and wishes and very flexible in meeting families’ best interests.

Rainbow Childrens Centre is situated in the beautiful Northern Rivers area of East Ballina. We are tucked away behind the shopping complex and main thoroughfare where we enjoy a quiet and peaceful outlook over the reserve, we are surrounded by many large Eucalypt, Tuckeroo and Cadagi trees, which all add to our beautiful and generous natural outdoor play environment.

Our natural environment is a strong influence on our play based learning program, providing many opportunities for children to delight in and learn through exploration, active social play and their inherent curiosity to learn about the world they live in.

We acknowledge our beautiful Centre is built on the land of  the Nyangbul people of the Bundjalung nation and pay our respects to this sharing of place where we live, learn and play together.

First established in 1986, Rainbow is a community based, not for profit organisation that continues to offer high quality education and care for children birth – 6 years in our long day care program, as well as our Out of School Hours Care programs for school age children. Our programs are focused around the individual and group interests of children, as well as the developmental needs of each child. We focus strongly on children being able to make choices about their day, their learning experiences and who they spend time with. These choices are supported by educators and assist children’s developing sense of belonging and autonomy in the Rainbow environment.

We believe a strong relationship between home and our services are vital, we are proactive in encouraging and promoting family involvement and participation in our programs and management committee. Communication between educators and family is crucial to the well being of children and we recognise children benefit most when the child’s family and the service work in partnership, we actively work with this goal in mind. This creates an environment where the child and family experience a sense of belonging, feel supported and is therefore the foundation to fostering a strong understanding of the goals within the program by all stakeholders.

The Management of Rainbow has made a number of important decisions about how we operate:

  • While we strive to provide high quality services we also recognise that not all families could afford to pay high fees and so we try to keep our fees at an affordable level.
  • We welcome parents and other family members to be involved within our program and family members are welcome to visit and become involved if they wish.
  • We do not do any fund raising. We set our fees each year to cover our operating expenses and ensure we can break even. Our staff spend their time working with children (not raising money)
  • In acknowledging the value of the natural environment, we have put in place a number of sustainability initiatives including solar energy, stormwater recycling, and a natural shady playground. Children are involved in gardening, including herbs and vegetables and we utilise a worm farm and compost heap.
  • We believe that well qualified and experienced staff are essential for good quality children’s services and have put in place staff wages levels and conditions to ensure we can attract and maintain a high quality workforce.
  • Our staff are also a diverse group with staff of all ages and backgrounds – reflecting the diversity of our community. Please see the individual pages to see details of our two service types
  • Rainbow Education and Care long day care centre
  • Rainbow Out Of School Hours Care offering before and after school and vacation care for primary school aged children

Rainbow has developed formal policies which set out how we plan to operate and meet all our external expectations. Full copies of those policies are available at the Rainbow main office and at each of the OOSHC services.    Please ask staff to show you a copy of the policies if you wish to see  them. If you would like to see any of the policies reviewed, please attend the next Committee Meeting and you are welcome to raise your interest or concern in the meeting.

Rainbow Philosophy

The following values are central to the operations of Rainbow Childrens Centre:

  • We believe a learning environment that combines the warmth and nurturing of a home with the stimulus of an early childhood educational setting, supports the holistic development of each child; we are committed to offering services that recognise and honour the whole person: body, mind, heart and spirit.
  • We recognise the traditional custodians of the land, the Nyangbul people of the Bundjalung Nation; we pay our respects to Aboriginal people past, present and future generations. Our services operate in ways that celebrate the diversity of Australian culture, demonstrating values of respect and mindfulness towards the many contexts of diversity for children and their families.
  • We respect each child as an individual with personal rights; the programs provided by Rainbow create an environment which supports and encourages the potential of each child. We prioritise the best interests of children, but also recognise that we must look at the best interest of families, community and staff in determining the best interests of children.
  • We respect families as the primary carers of their children; the centre and its staff support families in caring for and educating their children. Rainbow recognises the value of open and trusting communication between the centre and the child’s home and family.
  • We hold the values of respect, care, justice, unity and service to be central to our culture; we believe in demonstrating them in creative responsiveness to the family needs of our community. We foster in each child the values of respect and consideration for others.
  • We provide an environment for children to learn; as they discover, create and imagine through curiosity and learning, we seek to find a balance between child initiated and educator supported learning. We recognise and value the many learning opportunities for children when they engage within mixed aged peer groups, children have opportunities to spend time with same age peers, as well as younger and older peers throughout the day.
  • We value the natural environment, both within the centre and in the wider community; we encourage children to respect and nurture the environment. We recognise the many opportunities for children to play, explore, discover and challenge themselves as they engage in outdoor play, our learning program fosters children’s engagement with the natural environment.
  • We believe in responsible and sustainable stewardship of our resources; placing high value on our human resources, while promoting rigorous attention to the financial, structural and material.

Our play based, child focused program, reflects children’s interests and enthusiasm for learning

Our Educational Programs

Rainbow Education Care is a long day care program providing education and care to children from babies to five year olds prior to school.

Possum (Birth - 3 Years)

Work in partnerships with families and their child to create a safe and nurturing environment…

Pippi (2 - 4 Years)

Focus on supporting toddlers and preschoolers to follow their emerging ideas and interests through… 

Kookaburra (3 - 5 Years)

The Kookaburra room educators provide a child centered and inclusive Preschool Program. 

Before and After

School Care

Out of School Hours Care

Rainbow Out of School Hours Care (OOSHC) services – a place to have fun, be active and explore their potential. Our child-focused, stimulating activities reflect kids’ interests.  Nutritious snacks provided (for before and after school care) to fuel for learning and playing with friends.  Fun based excursions and projects are provided during vacation care. Our staff maintain a safe, nurturing environment, and with our qualified and experienced team members we can ensure each child will enjoy their time with us, make new friends  and benefit from the learning experiences.

September/October Vacation Care Program is now available

4 Handy Locations in Ballina

  • East Ballina OOSHC – at Southern Cross K-12 School, Chickiba Drive East Ballina.
  • Central Ballina OOSHC – at Ballina Public School, Martin St Ballina.
  • Lennox Head OOSHC – at Lennox Public School Byron St Lennox Head.
  • Teven Tintenbar OOSHC – at Teven Tintenbar Public School Fredericks Lane Tintenbar

Make a Reservation Now!

02 6686 6621

Children Painting

Here’s what parents are saying.

Parents Comments



I’ve seen such a positive change in my son since starting at Rainbow, he has become more independent and confident within himself. The educators provide a nurturing environment for him which allows him to have a strong sense of belonging & wellbeing.

Brooke & Isaac


We are really happy with the care our children receive at Rainbow. The centre is breastfeeding friendly, they cook delicious healthy food, have mixed age groupings so children can play and learn from peers, the outdoor area is huge and our children love the nature-based play. The Director, educators and staff are friendly, open to feedback and happily work with families and the community to provide high quality care.

Get in Touch. We look forward to hear from you soon

Contact Details


4 John Sharpe Street, East Ballina NSW 2478.


02 6686 6621