Staffing arrangements in family day care

Information on this page is valid as of 1 October 2017.

This page outlines the number of children a family day care educator can educate and care for, qualifications, other staffing requirements for Victorian family day care services operating under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law) and the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 (National Regulations).

Educator to child ratios

A family day care educator must not educate and care for more than seven children at a family day care residence or approved family day care venue at any one time.
This includes:

  • no more than four children preschool age or under; and
  • the family day care educator's own children and any other children at the residence, if those children are under 13 years of age and there is no other adult present and caring for the children (regulation 124).

In exceptional circumstances, an approved provider may provide written approval for a family day care educator to educate and care for more than seven children, or more than four children who are preschool age or under.

Exceptional circumstances exist if:

  • all the children being educated and cared for are siblings in the same family; or
  • a child to be educated and cared for is determined to be in need of protection under a child protection law and the educator is determined to be the best person to educate and care for the child; or
  • the residence or approved venue is in a rural or remote area and no alternative education and care service is available.

Children visiting with another family day care educator as part of an excursion are not included in the maximum number of children allowed to be educated and cared for by the family day care educator at a family day care residence or venue.

Requirements for family day care educators, family day care educator assistants and family day care co-ordinators

Family day care educators

From 1 October 2017, the approved provider must consider if a person is suitable to educate and care for children as a family day care educator before engaging or registering them with the service.   

The approved provider must:

  • take reasonable steps to ensure that they have adequate knowledge and understanding of the provision of education and care to children; 
  • take into account their  history of compliance with the National Law and other relevant laws
  • take into account any decision under the National Law to refuse, suspend, refuse to renew, or cancel a licence, approval, registration, certification or other authorisation granted to the person under the National Law and other relevant laws. 

The approved provider must also take reasonable steps to ensure that each family day care educator maintains adequate knowledge and understanding of the provision of education and care to children.

Before engaging or registering a family day care educator

The approved provider, nominated supervisor or the person in day-to-day charge of a family day care service must have:

  • read a person's current working with children check or Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registration (regulation 358); and
  • read and consider the person's current criminal history record check (regulation 359). Note: Criminal history record checks must be no more than six months old. 

Qualification requirements

A family day care educator must:

  • have or be actively working towards, at least an approved certificate III level qualification (regulation 127);  
    hold a current approved first aid qualification; and
  • have undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management and emergency asthma management training (regulation 136(3)).

An educator is ‘actively working towards’ an approved qualification if they:

  • are enrolled in a course for the qualification
  • have commenced the course
  • are making satisfactory progress towards completion of the course
  • are meeting the requirements to maintain enrolment in the course (regulation 10). 

 
The staff record must contain documentary evidence that they meet all of these requirements (regulation 145).

Family day care educator assistant

A family day care educator assistant may be engaged by or registered with a family day care service to assist family day care educators in providing education and care to children. 

A family day care educator can be replaced by another family day care educator in their absence as long as the family day care educator meets all the requirements of a family day care educator and their details are recorded in the service register of educators.   

The family day care educator assistant can only stand in the place of an educator: 

  • to transport children between the educator’s residence or venue, to a school, another education and care service or children’s service, or a child’s home
  • in emergency situations, including when the educator requires urgent medical care or treatment
  • to enable the educator to attend an appointment (other than a regular appointment) of less than four hours in unforeseen or exceptional circumstances. The approved provider must have approved the absence and notice of that absence must have been given to a parent of each child being educated and cared for at the time.

Family day care educator assistants may also assist the educator to educate and care for the children as part of the family day care service.

 Approving a family day care educator assistant

The approved provider must approve a person as a family day care assistant before they can assist a family day care educator.  The family day care educator must:

  • seek written consent from a parent of each child to allow the family day care educator assistant to educate and care for the child in the circumstances prescribed in regulation 144; and
  • provide the written consent/s to the approved provider.

The approved provider must:

  • have received the written consent the educator obtained from a parent of each child to allow the family day care educator assistant to educate and care for the child in the circumstances prescribed in regulation 144;    
  • must take reasonable steps to ensure the family day care educator assistant is a fit and proper person to be in the company of children 
  • read the person’s current working with children check or registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (regulation 163). 
  • ensure that the family day care educator assistant has completed current approved first aid, anaphylaxis management and emergency asthma management training.

Family day care co-ordinator

Before employing, appointing or engaging a person as a family day care co-ordinator the approved provider, the nominated supervisor or the person in day-to-day charge of a family day care service must have:

  • read the person's current working with children check or Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registration (regulation 358).

Qualification requirements

Family day care co-ordinators must hold at least an approved diploma level qualification (regulation 128).

If the family day care co-ordinator will be providing education and care to children, they must have completed current approved first aid, anaphylaxis management and emergency asthma management training (regulation 136).

Other staffing arrangements

Relief family day care educator 

An approved provider may engage or register a family day care educator to provide education and care to children in another educator's residence or at an approved venue, provided this educator meets the definition, qualifications, training and criminal history requirements of a family day care educator. For example, during another educator's annual leave or study leave. 

A family day care educator can be replaced by another family day care educator in their absence as long as the family day care educator meets all the requirements of a family day care educator and their details are recorded in the services’ register of educators (regulation 119).

Approved Qualifications

The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) publishes on their website the qualifications that have been approved for the purposes of the National Law. These lists include the qualifications that are approved for early childhood teachers, qualified educators and certificate level educators. See: Qualifications list

Upon application, ACECQA will determine whether a qualification (including an overseas qualification) is equivalent to a qualification required by the National Regulations (section 169(7)). An application for an assessment of equivalence must include the information prescribed in regulation 139 and regulation 140.

A person may also apply to ACECQA to have a qualification assessed and included in the list of approved qualifications. The application must include the information prescribed in regulation 138. 

More information regarding applications for assessments of equivalence of qualifications or an application to have a qualification approved under the National Law is available at Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). See: Qualifications