Frequently Asked Questions

The requirements for centre-based and family day care services are slightly different.

The approved provider of a centre-based service must ensure a staff record is kept that includes information about:

  • the nominated supervisor
  • staff members
  • the educational leader, and
  • volunteers.

The information that must be kept in a staff record for centre-based services is set out at regulation 145 of the National Regulations.

The approved provider of a family day care service must ensure a staff record is kept that includes information about:

  • the nominated supervisor
  • staff members
  • family day care educator assistants
  • the educational leader, and
  • volunteers and students.

The information that must be kept in a staff record for family day care services is set out at regulation 154 of the National Regulations.

The approved provider of a family day care service must also keep at the service’s main office a register of all family day care educators and any other person engaged to educate and care for a child as part of the service. Information that must be included on the register is set out at regulation 153 of the National Regulations.

Record-keeping requirements for relief or casual staff are the same as for full time or permanent staff. 

When applying to be an approved provider, every applicant must demonstrate they are fit and proper to be involved in providing an education and care service. Each person who will have management or control of the service must demonstrate they are a fit and proper person.

It is the provider’s responsibility to determine who will be in management or control of the education and care service. For companies, this will generally include the directors. For committees and associations, it will usually include the executive members. People in other positions may also have management or control if they are responsible for delivery of the education and care service.

You can contact your regulatory authority if you need more information about how to decide who needs to demonstrate they are a fit and proper person. 

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.

Approved providers must ensure a range of prescribed information is displayed at the entrance of the service.

Download the National Quality Framework Service Approval fact sheet for a list of items to be displayed.


The Operational Policy Manual is a document for authorised officers and staff of regulatory authorities to support them to apply the Education and Care Services National Law and National Regulations consistently across all states and territories.

The manual is not legal advice. However, it guides the regulatory authorities when they are interpreting and applying the National Law and Regulations. It is not a substitute for the law. 

Note: The Operational Policy Manual has been updated to include a chapter on Assessment and Rating.  


The National Law and Regulations do not define ‘medical condition’. The approved provider must ensure the service has a medical conditions policy that sets out practices for managing medical conditions including asthma, diabetes or a diagnosis that a child is at risk of anaphylaxis. In this context ‘medical condition’ should be taken to mean a condition that has been diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner.

A full list of matters that must be covered by the medical conditions policy is at regulation 90 of the National Regulations.

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 62-63).

Child seats or restraints are not covered by the NQF. The national standard for car seats, restraints and booster seats is AS/NZS 1754 and each state and territory applies the standard under its own law.

For more information about Australian Standards, contact Standards Australia.

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.

Services that provide food and drink for children must ensure it is based on individual children’s growth and development needs. The service must also take into account any specific cultural, religious or health requirements. Services must ensure that food and drinks are nutritious and that they provide enough for children. See regulation 79 of the National Regulations. 

In addition, all services must have a medical conditions policy that sets out procedures for meeting children’s health needs, including any special dietary requirements. A full list of matters that the medical conditions policy must cover is at regulation 90 of the National Regulations.


About prohibition notices

  • A prohibition notice may be issued to a person by a regulatory authority if they consider that there would be an unacceptable risk of harm to children if the person was allowed to remain at an education and care service or provide education and care to children. [Section 182]
  • A person who is subject to a prohibition notice is not allowed to work for an education and care service in any capacity. A penalty of $20 000 applies to the prohibited individual if they do not comply with this restriction. [Section 187]

Provider responsibilities when recruiting staff

An approved provider must not engage a person to work at a service in any capacity if the provider knows, or ought reasonably to know, that a prohibition notice applies to that person. The maximum penalty for failure to comply with this requirement is $20 000 for an individual or $100 000 for an entity. [Section 188]

Approved providers are expected to take reasonable steps when recruiting staff to ensure they do not engage a person who is subject to a prohibition notice. 

A robust recruitment process involves gathering information from the candidate and from other sources to verify what the candidate tells you.  It is important that you record this information and keep it on file. This will help you to show that you have taken reasonable steps to comply with your requirements under the National Law. 

Reasonable steps you might take to ensure you do not engage a prohibited person include: 

  • Ask the candidate to sign a declaration stating they are not subject to a prohibition notice and keep this declaration on file
  • ACECQA has created a template declaration form for providers to use during the recruitment process. Download the template.
  • Conduct thorough checks of the candidate’s references, including their current and previous employers 
  • When undertaking reference checks, ask each referee if they are aware of any compliance action under the National Law or any other law in relation to the candidate
  • Record referee responses and keep this information on file.

If after taking reasonable steps you are still concerned about the candidate’s compliance history, you may contact your regulatory authority and enquire if the person is subject to a prohibition notice in any state or territory. 

Improved educator to child ratios started on 1 January 2016 in all states and territories, except Tasmania and Western Australia where they were already in place.

There may be state and territory provisions which affect requirements in your area set out in Chapter 7 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations. If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact your state or territory regulatory authority.

The approved provider and nominated supervisor are responsible for ensuring children are adequately supervised at all times (section 165 of the National Law).

A number of factorsmaybe considered when determining if supervision is adequate, including:

  • the number, age and ability of children
  • the number and positioning of educators
  • each child’s current activity
  • areas where children are playing, in particular the visibility and accessibility of these areas
  • risks in the environment and of experiences provided to children
  • the experience, knowledge and skill of each educator.

Meeting the educator-to-child ratio requirements may not always mean there is adequate supervision. At times services may need to provide additional educators to ensure children are adequately supervised at all times, for example, when going on an excursion or when children are engaged in a water activity.

More information about adequate supervision is in the Guide to the National Law and Regulations (pages 65-66). 

If a volunteer or student on practicum placement either holds or is actively working towards at least an approved certificate III level qualification, then they may be included in educator to child ratios (regulations10, 13, 122-3 and 126).

What to consider if your service has volunteers or students on placement

There are several factors to consider in deciding how best to involve volunteers and students on placement at the service. The approved provider and nominated supervisor are responsible for ensuring children are adequately supervised at all times (section 165 of the National Law),and that they are protected from harm or hazard (section 167). Ratios are a part of ensuring effective staffing arrangements, but ensuring children are adequately supervised also involves considering each educator’s experience, knowledge and skills, as well as their knowledge of children at the service (Guide to the National Law and Regulations, pages 65-66). Students on practicum placement are likely to be less familiar with children and their families, and have less knowledge about the service. This may also apply to people who volunteer at the service. Students on placement are attending the service to learn about providing education and care and develop their skills, and this should also be taken into account when considering whether they should be included towards ratios. Considering these factors when planning staffing arrangements will help ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children including adequate supervision.

It is also important to consider how the involvement of volunteers and students may affect children’s experiences and their learning and development. Continuity of educators is important for children’s wellbeing and development, enabling them to build trusting, secure relationships. When assessing a service against the National Quality Standard, authorised officers consider whether ‘every effort is made to promote continuity of educators and co-ordinators at the service’ (element 7.1.3). In addition, in assessing  element 4.1.1 ‘educator-to-child ratios and qualification requirements are maintained at all times’, authorised officers may discuss how the service arranges rosters to support continuity of care and positive transitions. They may also consider whether there are strategies in place to ensure a regular pool of relief educators is available (Guide to the National Quality Standard, pages 108-109).

Taking these factors into account will help ensure quality education and care for children while also allowing opportunities for students and volunteers to participate at the service. It will also be useful for informing the service’s policy about the participation of volunteers and students on practicum placements (regulation 168(2)(i)).

The service must also have a policy on providing a child-safe environment (regulation 168(2)(h)), and this should include requirements that apply under your state or territory’s child protection and working with children laws. For example, if your state requires people working with children to have a check, it will be helpful to keep the details of their check in the volunteer or student’s record.

Records for students or volunteers who are counted towards ratios should include evidence that they hold, or are actively working towards, an approved qualification. This is to allow the regulatory authority to check compliance with ratio and qualification requirements.

For students on placement, you will also need to consider any agreement between the employer and the registered training organisation. This includes making sure that the student and the training organisation understand what the student’s role at the service involves. Volunteers and students should only be counted towards educator to child ratios if they, and the training organisation, have consented to this. You should also check whether there are relevant requirements under industrial relations or work, health, safety regulations that apply in your state or territory.

A family day care (FDC) educator must not educate and care for more than seven children at a family day care residence at any one time.

There may be occasions when a dwelling could include two self-contained residences with anFDC educator operating from each residence. In all cases the approved provider of the family day care service is responsible for assessing and determining the suitability of residences. If the provider assessed a dwelling suitable for two educators, then a regulatory authority would expect to see two residences that are sufficiently self-contained so that there is clear separation of responsibility for the education and care of children in each. For example, there should be separate indoor facilities.

The health, safety and wellbeing of the children being educated and cared for is paramount.

Other aspects of the National Law and National Regulations must be taken into account, including toilet and hygiene facilities, ventilation, and natural light. There are also sometimes local planning or land use rules (administered by other agencies) that the provider would need to consider.

The suitability of FDC residences may be examined during an assessment and rating visit or a compliance check by an authorised officer of the regulatory authority.

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. More information on excursion ratios is contained in the Guide to the National Law and National Regulations(pages 70-71).

A centre-based education and care service must have at least one of the following people present at the service at all times the service is educating and caring for children:

This person is sometimes referred to as the 'responsible person' for the service.

For a family day care service, one of these three people (the approved provider, the nominated supervisor or a certified supervisor placed in day to day charge) must be available to provide support to the family day care educators at all times the service is educating and caring for children. 'Available' includes beingcontactable by telephone.


You do not need to apply for a service supervisor certificate. Regulatory authorities issued a service supervisor certificate for each approved education and care service.

If you do not have a copy of your service supervisor certificate you can request it from your state or territory regulatory authority.

Please note the service supervisor certificate applies in all states and territories except Western Australia. 

Yes. You can continue to use a supervisor certificate that has been issued to you by the regulatory authority.

You are covered by the service supervisor certificate, and may be the nominated supervisor, if:

  • the approved provider identifies that you meet the new definition and
  • you give your written consent to be the nominated supervisor (required under sections 35, 44 and regulation 56).

You are covered by the service supervisor certificate, and may be placed in day to day charge of the service, if:

  • the approved provider or the nominated supervisor identifies that you meet the new definition and
  • you give your written consent to be placed in day to day charge of the service (required under regulation 54).

As part of assessing suitability for these roles, the approved provider or nominated supervisor may also seek a statement about your history of compliance with the National Law and Regulations, and other relevant laws. For example, this may involve making a statement about whether you have:

  • previously had an individual supervisor certificate that was suspended, cancelled or limited with a condition or
  • been subject to compliance action or disciplinary proceedings under a children’s services law, education law, or a previous education and care services law, in any state or territory. 

No. Any person who the approved provider or nominated supervisor identifies as meeting the new definition (regulation 238A) may consent to be covered by the service supervisor certificate.

The approved provider is responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children at the service and will consider a person’s qualifications, experience and age when deciding whether they are suitable to be the nominated supervisor or placed in day to day charge.

Under regulation 54, the service’s nominated supervisor may also place a certified supervisor in day to day charge of the service. 

Service approval applications must include the details of a person with an individual supervisor certificate, or who has applied for an individual supervisor certificate, who will be the service’s nominated supervisor (section 44, regulation 24). If the approved provider wishes to be the nominated supervisor, they must have an individual supervisor certificate, or have applied to their regulatory authority for an individual supervisor certificate. You can apply for an individual supervisor certificate online through the NQA ITS, or by using the application form (CS01).

If you are currently recognised under a service supervisor certificate and you move to a new service,the new approved provider can identify that your role within the service meets the definition. You may be covered by the service supervisor certificate if you give written consent to be the nominated supervisor or placed in day to day charge.


You must notify your regulatory authority of any changes that affect your service approval or provider approval. .

Download the Guide to the National Law and Regulations (pages 113-116) for more information about notifications and timeframes for notifying your regulatory authority.

You can notify your regulatory authority using the NQA ITS, or by downloading a notification form. Note: The NSW and Victorian regulatory authorities only accept applications and notifications submitted online using the NQA ITS.

The intent of the National Regulations is to ensure that regulatory authorities are notified of circumstances that pose a significant risk, or represent significant change to the service's usual operation. These notifications are largely reporting on situations that have happened to, or impacted on the operation of the service, but could also include non-serious incidents that may pose risks to children.

An example of circumstances that need to be notified is where parents may be unable to get to a service to collect their children because the service is in a flood affected area with flood water rising. Another example would be a land subsidence at the property adjoining a service. The service may be deemed structurally safe by experts and remain operational, but a large hole in the neighbouring property could potentially pose a risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of children.

NL01 Notification of complaints and incidents (other than serious incidents) should be used to advise regulatory authorities when there are circumstances at the service posing a risk to the wellbeing, health or safety of a child or children at the service.

Approved providers also need to notify the regulatory authority if their centre-based service is educating and caring for extra children in an emergency. The notification must be made within 24 hours from when the service starts providing education and care to the extra child or children. It must include a statement from the approved provider that they have considered the safety and wellbeing of all children at the service when deciding whether to provide education and care for extra children.

Note: The NSW and Victorian regulatory authorities only accept applications and notifications submitted online using the NQA ITS.

The intent of the National Regulations is to ensure that regulatory authorities are notified of incidents that seriously compromise the health, safety or wellbeing of children. The regulatory authority is then able to take appropriate action.

The National Regulations were amended on 1 September 2013 (31 December 2013 in Western Australia) to clarify the definition of serious incidents. The definition of a serious incident from the Education and Care Services National Regulations is:

Regulation 12: meaning of serious incident:

(a) The death of a child:

(i) while being educated and cared for by an education and care service or

(ii) following an incident while being educated and cared for by an education and care service.

(b) Any incident involving serious injury or trauma to, or illness of, a child while being educated and cared for by an education and care service, which:

(i) a reasonable person would consider required urgent medical attention from a registered medical practitioner or

(ii) for which the child attended, or ought reasonably to have attended, a hospital.

e.g whooping cough, broken limb, anaphylaxis reaction

(c) any incident where the attendance of emergency services at the education and care service premises was sought, or ought reasonably to have been sought

(d) any circumstance where a child being educated and cared for by an education and care service

(i) appears to be missing or cannot be accounted for or

(ii) appears to have been taken or removed from the education and care service premises in a manner that contravenes these regulations or

(iii) is mistakenly locked in or locked out of the education and care service premises or any part of the premises.

You need to notify the regulatory authority within 24 hours of becoming aware of a serious incident.

Submit the form SI01 Notification of Serious Incident using the National Quality Agenda It System (NQA ITS).. Note: The NSW and Victorian regulatory authorities only accept applications and notifications submitted online using the NQA ITS.

It may be sometime after the incident that it becomes apparent it was serious. If this occurs, you will need to notify the regulatory authority within 24 hours of becoming aware that the incident was serious.

For example, a child may hurt their arm at the service, be in no obvious pain and continue to play. If the parent later advises that the child’s symptoms had worsened and a fractured arm had been confirmed, then the service should report this as a serious incident.

Submit the form SI01 Notification of Serious Incidentusing the National Quality Agenda It System (NQA ITS).  Note: The NSW and Victorian regulatory authorities only accept applications and notifications submitted online using the NQA ITS

You can post documents to your regulatory authority to seek an approval, amendment or to provide notifications, or use the NQA ITS for an easier and faster way. Note: The NSW and Victorian regulatory authorities only accept applications and notifications submitted online using the NQA ITS.


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

Under the National Quality Framework, assessment and rating of children's education and care services is one of the roles carried out by the regulatory authority in each state and territory. Contact your state or territory department for information about authorised officer employment opportunities

Authorised officers are responsible for assessing and rating services against the National Quality Standard and monitoring and enforcing compliance with the National Law and Regulations. Authorised officers are employed by state and territory regulatory authorities who determine the skills, experience and qualification requirements necessary for their employment. Contact the regulatory authorities for employment opportunities. 

Authorised officers may consider the service’s history and planning records to gain a complete view of current performance.

The authorised officer may consider:

  • provider approval
  • service approval
  • notifications
  • complaints
  • investigations
  • conditions on provider approval or service approval
  • waivers
  • inspections
  • compliance action
  • other intelligence, and
  • previous assessment or accreditation visits (where relevant).

The outcomes of past concerns can also be relevant.

More information is available in the Assessment and Rating chapter of the Operational Policy Manual for Regulatory Authorities.

The regulatory authority will give between 0 and 5 days’ notice of the educator sample to be visited. As is the case for all service types, the regulatory authority will give the approved provider at least five days’ notice of the date of the visit to the service.

Yes. If an outside school hours care provider is notified that a visit will be conducted during school holidays, it is important to let the regulatory authority know if:

  • the service will be operating with significantly lower than usual numbers of children
  • excursions are planned, or
  • a number of key staff have scheduled leave.

These circumstances won’t necessarily result in a change to the assessment schedule, but you should make the regulatory authority aware of the relevant circumstances.

When developing the National Quality Framework (NQF), 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 National Quality Standard (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.

All services assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard must display their ratings at the service.

The rating needs to be clearly visible from the entrance of the service premises, including all family day care residences, venues and offices. Services that have not yet been rated need to display a ‘Provisional - Not yet rated’ certificate. 

Services that were accredited by the National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC) but are not yet assessed under the new system must display both their provisional certificate and their NCAC accreditation until they are assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard. 

If you have questions about what certificates you need to display, contact your regulatory authority.


The National Quality Framework(NQF) was the result of an agreement between all Australian governments to work together to provide better educational and developmental outcomes for children using education and care services.

The NQF introduced a new quality standard to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten, and outside school hours care. 

The Education and Care Services National Law and National Regulations apply to services that educate and care for children aged from birth to 13 years of age. 

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.

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 in your state or territory. 

The information sheets  'Who is covered' and ‘Who is not covered’ provide more information.

Contact your regulatory authority for more information.

All NQF education and care services are assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard.   

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 works with small groups of up to 7 children – and  no more than four children under preschool age.

A centre-based service typically includes long day care, preschool/kindergarten and outside school hours care services that are delivered at a centre.

A regulatory authority in each state and territory administers the NQF.

If you are a provider or educator, go to your regulatory authority for information on:

  • assessments and ratings
  • provider/service and certified supervisor approvals
  • submitting application and notification forms
  • temporary and service waivers
  • transitions and savings provisions unique to your jurisdiction.

ACECQA guides and monitors the implementation of the NQF to ensure consistency across all states and territories. Go to ACECQA for:


There are three levels of approved education and care qualifications in Australia:

  • early childhood teacher (ECT)
  • diploma level educator
  • certificate III level educator.

ACECQA also approves the following early childhood education and care (ECEC) training qualifications:

  • first aid
  • anaphylaxis management
  • emergency asthma management training. 

Approved providers must ensure that relevant staff hold, or are actively working towards,  ‘approved qualifications’.

Approved qualifications are education and care qualifications that have been approved by ACECQA. A list of approved qualifications can be found on our website. Individuals who do not hold  an approved qualification may still be able to work as qualified educators in Australia.

Some educators and teachers are 'taken to hold' approved qualifications if transitional requirements in the National Regulations are satisfied. For example, individuals who obtained a qualification on the list of formerly approved qualifications (approved before 1 January 2012) will be taken to hold an approved qualification. Individuals that were previously recognised as a qualified educator or teacher under a former law and worked in the sector before 2012 continue to be recognised. To check if you hold a recognised qualification under the NQF, use our online qualifications checker.

Individuals may also apply to ACECQA to have their qualifications assessed as being equivalent to an approved qualification.

You should check ACECQA's lists of approved qualifications and former approved qualifications.

If your qualification appears on one of the approved qualification lists, you hold an approved qualification and may be employed at that level.

If you were recognised as a qualified educator under the former law in any Australian state or territory before 1 January 2012 (or 1 August 2012 in WA), you will be taken to be a qualified educator under the NQF.

If your qualification appears on one of the former approved qualification lists, and you obtained that qualification before 1 January 2012, then you hold an approved qualification.

If you were enrolled in a qualification on the former approved early childhood teacher qualification list before 1 January 2012, you will hold an approved early childhood teacher qualification when you complete the qualification.

If your qualification does not appear on one of the lists of approved or former approved qualifications and you wish to work in Queensland, you should check the list of approved qualifications for Queensland only; if your qualification appears on this list, you may work as an educator or family day care co-ordinator in Queensland.

Regulations 241, 243 and 244 set out some other circumstances where individuals will be taken to hold an approved qualification. You should check these regulations to see if any apply to you.

You should check ACECQA's list of approved qualifications.

If your qualification appears on one of the approved qualification lists, you hold an approved qualification and may be employed at that level.

If your qualification is not on the list, you may apply to ACECQA to have your qualifications assessed. ACECQA will determine if your qualifications are equivalent to an approved qualification in Australia.

If you need help contact ACECQA.

Note: Some international qualifications are approved in Queensland only. If your qualification is approved in Qld only and you wish to work in another state, you will have to apply to ACECQA for qualification assessment.

You may apply to ACECQA to have your qualifications assessed. ACECQA will determine if your qualifications are equivalent to an approved qualification.

If ACECQA assesses your qualifications as equivalent to an approved qualification, you will be able to work as a qualified educator in education and care services across Australia.

Note: If you wish to work in Outside School Hours Care (OSHC), ACECQA will assess your qualifications against the relevant state/territory requirements(where applicable). You will only be approved to work in OSHC in the state or territory in which you apply.

To have your qualifications assessed by ACECQA, you must:

Completed applications (electronic applications are preferred) can be posted to: 

Qualifications Assessment 

ACECQA

PO BOX A292

Sydney NSW 1235 

Yes. The National Law requires the application fee be paid before ACECQA can consider the application. The application fee is set by the National Regulations and is not subject to GST. 

Your application should include your completed application form and certified copies of key documents, including:

  • proof of identity and evidence of any name changes
  • qualification(s)
  • transcript(s) of academic record
  • Evidence of English language proficiency.

If your documentation is in a language other than English, you must provide translated and certified copies. You can search for NAATI accredited translators here: NAATI Translators.

Applications that do not provide the requested information will be delayed until all the information has been provided.

When assessing your qualifications, ACECQA may take the following into account:

  • the levelling of your qualification against the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
  • your English language proficiency
  • any supervised placements you have undertaken
  • your educational history
  • how your qualifications satisfy the ACECQA Board’s assessment guidelines*.

*The criteria contain a specific requirement that ECT qualifications include a professional experience component with children in the ‘birth to under 3 years old (0 – 35 months)’ age range. 

 There are four possible outcomes:

  • your qualifications are assessed as equivalent to an approved qualification at the level you requested
  • your qualifications are assessed as equivalent to an approved qualification, but at a lower or higher level than you requested
  • your qualifications are assessed as not equivalent to an approved qualification
  • you are advised you already hold or are ‘taken to hold’ an approved qualification.

If ACECQA determines that your qualifications are equivalent, this does not guarantee teacher registration or a job in Australia. 


The approved first aid, anaphylaxis management and emergency asthma management courses are not specific to individual states even though some have a state abbreviation at the end. If you search each unit on the training.gov.au website you will find training organisations who offer the training in each state.

The industry standard is that first aid qualifications should be renewed every three years and refresher training in CPR should be undertaken annually.

Regulatory requirement

Regulation 136 requires your first aid qualification to be current. Your certificate will state the date on which you completed the course. It may also include information about the expiry date or requirements for refresher training. Please note that the validity of some first aid certificates may be subject to specific requirements, e.g. your certificate may state that you must complete refresher training in CPR every 12 months for the qualification to remain valid.

First aid certification

The Safe Work Australia First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice recommends that first aiders attend training on a regular basis to refresh their first aid knowledge and skills and to confirm their competence to provide first aid. The Code of Practice recommends that first aid qualifications should be renewed every three years.

CPR renewal

The Australian Resuscitation Council states in its Guideline 10.1 that repeated CPR refresher training is needed for individuals who are not performing resuscitation on a regular basis. Both the Australian Resuscitation Council and the Safe Work Australia First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice recommend that all those trained in CPR should refresh their CPR skills at least annually.

Please contact your training provider to check any information about your training and speak to your employer to confirm your workplace requirements.

ACECQA will assess your organisation’s training qualification against criteria relevant to first aid, emergency asthma management and anaphylaxis management.

The training qualifications must be ECEC specific and must be nationally endorsed or state/territory accredited. Further information is available in the guidelines and criteria.


Individuals are not eligible to seek employment as a qualified educator in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in Australia unless they hold, or are actively working towards, an ‘approved qualification’.

Individuals who obtain, or are actively working towards an ‘approved qualification’ will automatically be able to be employed as a qualified educator in the ECEC sector in Australia.

You should first check the lists of approved qualifications on our website. If your organisation’s qualification is on one of the approved lists, the qualification is considered an ‘approved qualification’ under the National Quality Framework (NQF).

Qualifications that were approved under schemes that existed before the introduction of the NQF can be found on the lists of ‘former approved qualifications’. Students who obtained any of these qualifications before 1 January 2012 will be taken to hold an approved qualification and may continue to be able to be employed as qualified educators under the NQF. If an individual was enrolled in an early childhood teacher course on 31 December 2011 of a qualification on the former approved early childhood teacher qualifications list they will be taken to hold that qualification at the completion of that course.

To have your organisation’s qualification assessed for inclusion on one of the approved qualifications lists, you must:

Completed applications (electronic applications are preferred) can be sent:

By email:       apply@acecqa.gov.au

By post:         Qualifications Assessment

                       ACECQA

                       PO BOX A292

                       Sydney NSW 1235 

Yes. The National Law requires the application fee be paid before ACECQA can consider the application. The application fee is set by the National Regulations and is not subject to GST. 

Further information about the qualifications assessment process for organisations can be found at:


If you have read the guidelines and require further information, please email ACECQA at enquiries@acecqa.gov.au

ACECQA will consider requests for internal review in limited circumstances. Those circumstances include where the application process has been flawed or unfair, or if ACECQA failed to give weight to special circumstances or facts existing at the time of the assessment.

If you believe you have been unfairly treated by ACECQA, you may complain to the Education and Care Services Ombudsman


An education and care provider can apply for either a service waiver or a temporary waiver.

A service waiver has no specific expiry date and a temporary waiver applies for no more than 12 months.

Applications for waivers can be submitted electronically using the NQA ITS or using SA08 Application for Service or Temporary Waiver form.

Note: The NSW and Victorian regulatory authorities only accept applications submitted online using the NQA ITS.

Regulatory authorities are responsible for considering applications for waivers and will only approve a waiver when the provider demonstrates:

  • genuine difficulty in meeting the requirements of the NQF
  • children's safety, health and well-being is not compromised or at risk
  • a plan is in place for the service to meet the requirements by the time the waiver is due to expire, in the case of temporary waivers.

A complete waiver application will be assessed within 60 days. Incomplete applications will be returned to providers for further information.

Yes. A regulatory authority can revoke a waiver at any time.

Yes. If a service is operating with a waiver it can still achieve a 'meeting' or 'exceeding' rating under the National Quality Standard

Service waivers are not considered permanent.

Once granted, the regulatory authority can revoke any waiver.

If the regulatory authority decides it is appropriate to revoke a service waiver, for example because the circumstances that led to the granting of the waiver have changed, the approved provider will be given 60 days' notice of the decision, or another time period agreed with the provider.


If you have concerns about an education and care service, first contact the service’s management to try resolve the issue.  If you still have concerns, you can contact your local state or territory regulatory authority.

We welcome feedback about our services – it helps us improve what we do.

If you have a complaint about a service you have received or a decision we have made, please write to us. Your complaint should include:

  • What happened?
  • When did it happen?
  • Who was involved?
  • What outcome do you hope to get from your complaint?

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two working days. If you are not happy with how we have handled your complaint, you may contact the Education and Care Services Ombudsman.

If you would like to discuss your options with us, please contact our enquiries team on 1300 422 327.