Families FAQs






Under the Education and Care Services National Law, anyone can advertise an education and care service as long as it is an approved service.

A family day care educator can advertise if they make clear they are part of an approved service. Any advertisement must show which approved service it is promoting and include contact details for that service.

Last updated on Wednesday 24 April, 2013

 

To ensure Australian children get the best possible start in life, all Australian governments have agreed to implement the National Quality Framework (NQF) for Early Childhood Education and Care.
 
The NQF sets consistent, high quality standards for early childhood education and care, and outside school hours care services. It typically covers long day care, preschool, outside school hours and family day care services across Australia.
 
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority or ACECQA guides the implementation of the National Quality Framework across Australia.
 
For more information, see the National Quality Framework section of this website.
Last updated on Wednesday 24 April, 2013

The NQF typically covers the following service types:

  • long day care
  • family day care
  • preschools/kindergartens, and
  • outside school hours care.
The National Regulations refer to these services as:
  • family day care, or
  • centre-based services.
There may be some exceptions in your state or territory. The information sheet 'Who is covered' provides more information.
 
You can find out who is not covered here.
 
Contact your regulatory authority for more information.
Last updated on Tuesday 8 April, 2014

Family day care is an approved form of child care that is provided in the family day care educator’s own home. Family day care educators are early childhood education and care professionals, registered with a family day care service that is responsible for approving, supporting, training and advising its educators. Education and care is provided by an individual educator who is an approved early childhood education and care professional working with small groups of no more than four children under school age.

A centre-based service is an education and care service other than a family day care service. This typically includes most long day care, preschool and outside school hours care services that are delivered at a centre.

Last updated on Friday 15 May, 2015

 

Some services excluded by the National Law include schools and preschool programs delivered in schools, personal arrangements (for example a nanny), services principally conducted to provide instruction in a particular activity (for example, a sport, language or dance class), services providing education and care to patients in a hospital or medical/therapeutic care service and care provided under a child protection law of a participating jurisdiction.
 
Some other services are excluded by the National Regulations. 
 
For more information, download our information sheet ‘National Quality Framework who is not covered’ here.
Last updated on Wednesday 24 April, 2013

A centre-based service approval states the maximum number of children that may be educated and cared for at any one time, and the approved provider must ensure this number is not exceeded (except for children being educated and cared for in an emergency under regulation 123). An approved provider must also ensure the maximum number of children is not exceeded during excursions. Children are considered as being educated and cared for by a service if they are enrolled at the service and have been signed in.

Ratios are not set specifically for excursions, however you have to meet the same minimum ratios that apply while at the service. You must consider if you will need extra people to provide adequate supervision at all times and a risk assessment should be completed before an excursion.

To assist you, ACECQA has designed a template excursion risk management plan that is available for download here. More information on excursion ratios is contained in the Guide to the National Law and National Regulations.

Last updated on Friday 30 May, 2014

There must be an appropriate number of first aid kits at each education and care service. When deciding how many kits are needed, approved providers must consider the number of children and staff, and where kits will be kept.

First aid kits should be checked regularly to make sure they are fully stocked and products have not expired. The Guide to the National Law and National Regulations has information to help decide what items to include and procedures for keeping kits current (see pages 61-62). 

Last updated on Friday 25 July, 2014

 

When developing the National Quality Framework, the Australian, state and territory governments agreed standards must be set very high and allow room for continuous improvement.
 
All services should aim to be Meeting or Exceeding the NQS. However, it is realistic to expect that during the transition period to the new system some services will need to improve in certain areas.
 
If a service receives an overall rating of Working Towards, it means the service has not met at least one of the 58 elements in the NQS. 
 
Working Towards does not mean that the service has failed to meet any of the requirements that pose a risk to the health and safety of children. In fact, a service may be Exceeding in a number of quality areas and receive an overall rating of Working Towards.
 
It may take time for services to meet each element required in the new higher standards, which will result in a Meeting or Exceeding NQS rating. This is why the rating of Working Towards is important during the transition phase of the NQF and is expected to apply to many services.
Last updated on Wednesday 24 April, 2013

If you have concerns about a service or centre, contact the service’s approved provider or your local state or territory regulatory authority.

Last updated on Wednesday 24 April, 2013

Each state and territory regulatory authority is responsible for employing their own authorised officers to conduct assessment and ratings visits, not ACECQA.

Last updated on Wednesday 19 March, 2014

Regulation 117 sets glazing requirements for family day care (FDC) services.

It is the approved provider’s responsibility to make sure any glazed area of an FDC residence or venue that is below a certain height and is accessible to children is glazed with safety glass, if this is required under the Building Code of Australia. If the Building Code does not require safety glass, the glazed area must be treated with a product that prevents glass from shattering if broken, or guarded by barriers that prevent a child from striking or falling against the glass.

As the National Regulations were amended on 1 June 2014 to align with the Australian Standard for Glass (AS 1288-2006), the exact requirement depends on whether the premises were approved by the service’s approved provider before or after this date, and whether the premises are a venue or a residence.

In addition, different requirements apply for FDC residences and venues in Western Australia, where the Regulations were amended from 1 December 2014.

FDC residences and venues in all states and territories apart from Western Australia

  • for FDC residences and FDC venues approved before 1 June 2014, the above requirements apply to any accessible glazed area that is 0.75 metres or less above floor level.
     
  • for FDC residences approved from 1 June 2014 onwards, the above requirements apply to any accessible glazed area that is 0.5 metres or less above floor level.
     
  • for FDC venues approved from 1 June 2014 onwards, the requirements for glass depend on the particular type of building and how it is classified under the Building Code. For more information, contact the agency responsible for applying building standards in your state or territory.

FDC residences and venues in Western Australia

  • for FDC residences and FDC venues in Western Australia approved before 1 December 2014, the above requirements apply to any accessible glazed area that is 0.75 metres or less above floor level.
     
  • for FDC residences and venues in Western Australia approved from 1 December 2014, the above requirements apply to any accessible glazed area that is 1 metre or less above floor level


Please also be aware that the Building Code includes other requirements about the size and location of glass panes. Contact the agency responsible for applying building standards in your state or territory for more information.

Last updated on Tuesday 26 May, 2015