Information for Families

If your child has been nominated to come to Stewart House, please read on. 

What is the Stewart House Program?

Stewart House offers a free-of-charge 12-day residential program for children from Year 2 to Year 8 who are enrolled in public schools in NSW and the ACT. Children younger or older may only attend with prior approval from Stewart House.  Stewart House offers a busy activity and experience-based program, with a focus on building self-esteem, resilience, social skills and a personal sense of wellbeing.

The Stewart House Program includes:

  • Medical screening (dental, optical, hearing, hair, skin and general health)
  • Social-skills lessons and experiences
  • Activities designed to improve emotional wellbeing
  • Excursions across Sydney
  • Art and craft activities to build self-expression
  • Physical activities like dance, fitness, swimming and ball games
  • Activities designed to promote a healthy lifestyle like self-care skills and cooking

Popular excursions include:

  • Taronga Zoo
  • Australian Museum
  • Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
  • Harbour crossing on the Manly Ferry
  • Walks across the footpath on the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Visits to local parks & attractions

All children receive an activity book to remember their stay.

What happens at Stewart House

You may have some questions about your child’s nomination or about what Stewart House has to offer your child. We provide information on some of the most frequently asked questions, below.

Where will my child stay?
Stewart House provides four comfortable dormitory-style cabins with modern amenities for children of different age and gender. Cabins are supervised by suitably qualified adults throughout the night and across weekends.  On weekdays, children attend a government school on-site during normal school hours.
How is my child nominated for the Stewart House Program?
Your school Principal nominates children who will benefit from the Stewart House Program.  Children between school years 2 and 8 are invited to attend the program. If you need further information about their nomination, please contact the Principal of the school your child attends.
How long does my child stay at Stewart House?
Children stay for a period of two school weeks, usually arriving on a Monday and leaving on the Friday of the following week, making this a 12 day program.
How does my child get to Stewart House?
Travel to Stewart House is arranged by a local school in your area. Your school Principal will advise you about travel details. There is NO COST to families for the Stewart House Program.
Do the children only stay at Curl Curl?
Stewart House has a fleet of mini-buses to transport children to activities across Sydney.  Every second day children go on excursions to see the best of what Sydney has to offer. Children in the care of Stewart House attend a specific purpose school onsite for up to 10 days of their 12-day stay. The NSW Department of Education provides infrastructure and staffing support for this school. The program is designed to be different from regular school. On the days spent in and around Stewart House, children attend classes where social skills, emotional regulation, physical activity, arts and crafts and cultural awareness take centre stage.
Is there a free health check?
Your child’s hair, teeth, eyes, ears and general health will be checked by qualified medical staff and where appropriate, treatment will be given free-of-charge. Stewart House has professional staff who are sensitive and responsive to children with healthcare needs. No child will knowingly be placed in an embarrassing situation, so please advise us of your child’s needs.
What if my child is on medications?

Stewart House follows the NSW Department of Health guidelines, just like a hospital.

If your child takes medications, they must:

  • Be prescribed by a doctor
  • Supplied in their original packaging (the box you get them in from the pharmacist)
  • Have the child’s name and chemist instructions on the packaging

Medications cannot be re-packed into daily doses (even by the chemist). We cannot administer non-prescribed or ‘over-the-counter’ medication unless your doctor gives us directions.

All drugs, pills and medicines will be stored securely by our staff and administered to your child following the doctor’s or chemist’s instructions.

What if the doctor has given me special instructions?
Please send us your child’s anaphylaxis, asthma or medication management plans with your completed Student Health Information Form.
What if my child has a special diet?

Stewart House serves 5 meals each day (breakfast, early lunch, snack, dinner, and supper) and the 12-day program has a balanced meal plan. Fresh fruit is always available as a snack.

Stewart House is a nut-free zone.

If your child has food allergies or other dietary requirements, we will prepare different meals. The vast majority of our menu complies with food preparation requirements for different cultures. Please ensure that ALL relevant information is included in the parent permission referral forms or contact Stewart House by phone or e-mail if you are unsure. Children’s eating habits are monitored and we will contact you for advice if necessary, to ensure your child has a healthy stay.

What if my child comes from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background?
Parents or carers are encouraged to contact our Aboriginal Education Officer should you have any questions about the services we offer.  Indigenous and environmental studies are a focus of the program. We have strong ties with the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) Aboriginal Health Service (Bungee Bidgel Aboriginal Health Clinic) and will seek their advice on the best way to meet the health and wellbeing needs of your child.
How can I contact my child at Stewart House?

We ask the children to hand in their mobile phones and other personal devices which will be locked in a safe for the duration of their stay. These will be returned to them at the conclusion of the program.

We encourage children to immerse themselves in our program so they can enjoy the full 12-day experience. It is a busy schedule and children could be in class, at the beach, in the playground, in cabins or somewhere else in Sydney at any time.

Due to the busy Stewart House program, personal phone calls to your child are not encouraged. Staff are happy to answer any queries and will inform you of their progress during office hours on 02 9938 3100

Stewart House provides general SMS updates to parents throughout the program.

Email is the preferred mode for communication and can be sent to your child via   These emails will be forwarded to your child at a suitable time (excluding weekends). Your child will be given the opportunity to reply during their stay.

You will be contacted if we need to seek further medical permissions or your assistance in providing appropriate care for your child.

What happens if my child is sick?

If your child falls ill immediately before their visit, please contact Stewart House to discuss if they should still attend at this time.

If your child has had contact with a contagious disease within 4 weeks of their visit or if their illness requires ongoing adult care, please contact Stewart House on 02 9938 3100.

Why should my child attend?

We hope that the visit to Stewart House enables your child to:

  • Be more confident in social situations with their friends and with adults
  • Be more positive and aware of feeling good about themselves and their culture
  • Experience the sights and sounds of a major capital city and have lots of fun