Early childhood & children's services

This page provides an overview of the regulatory requirements for providers of early childhood and children’s services.

On this page:

No jab, no play

Under the No jab, no play legislation children being enrolled in an early childhood service must be appropriately immunised and an early childhood service must not approve the enrolment of a child unless they have been provided with an immunisation status certificate.

Education and care services

Education and care services provide, or intend to provide, education and care on a regular basis to children under the age of 13 years. This includes family day care, long day care, outside school hours care and preschools (kindergartens).

Education and care providers are regulated under the Education and Care Services National Law 2010 (Cwth) and the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 (Cwth).

In Victoria, the Department of Education and Training (DET) is the regulatory authority, responsible for:

  • granting service and provider approvals
  • carrying out the quality assessment and rating process
  • ensuring education and care services meet the requirements of the National Law and Regulations.

National Quality Framework

Education and care services must meet the requirements of the National Quality Framework.

Services operating under the Framework are assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard and requirements of the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations.

Applications and notifications

Education and care services require three levels of approval: provider approval, service approval and approval to hold a supervisor certificate.

Providers and services are required to notify the regulatory authority (DET) for incidents, complaints and changes to information.

Applications and notifications in Victoria are submitted through the National Quality Agenda IT System.

Licenced children’s services

Children’s services not covered by the National Quality Framework continue to be licenced and regulated under the Children’s Services Act 1996 (Vic) and Children’s Services Regulations 2009 (Vic).

These services include all limited hours and short term licensed services and a small number of services that provide occasional care or care in early childhood intervention or mobile and outreach settings.

Family and out of home care services

The Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) is responsible for the registration of Community Service Organisations (CSOs) and the development of performance standards for family and out of home care services.

Registered CSOs are expected to internally review their performance in relation to the registration standards. External reviews are required every three years, as part of their re-registration.

The Department of Human Services Standards provides a single set of quality standards for delivery of services to clients.

Early childhood professionals

The Department of Education and Training provides information and resources to support early childhood professionals providing services including child care and kindergarten, maternal and child health, supported playgroups, parenting support and early childhood intervention.

Funding

Your organisation may be funded through multiple funding streams. Funding provided by the Victorian government may be managed through a service agreement between the relevant department and the organisation.

Kindergartens

The Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) provides funding for kindergarten services. Their Kindergarten Guide contains information on the types of funding available, eligibility criteria and operational compliance requirements.

Further Information

  • for information about managing your organisation, including meetings and other constitutional obligations.

  • for information about managing your organisation's finances, including financial records and reporting.

  • for information on managing staff, volunteers and contractors in your organisation, including workplace health and safety.

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