Centre-based services staffing arrangements

This page is current as of 1 October 2017.

This fact sheet outlines the staffing arrange​ments for Victorian centre-based education and care services operating under the National Quality Framework (NQF).


Definitions

Educator

An educator is an individual who provides education and care for children as part of an education and care service.

Working directly with children

A person is working directly with children at a given time if at that time the person:

  • is physically present with the children; and
  • is directly engaged in providing education and care to the children (regulation 13).

Actively working towards a qualification

An educator is actively working towards a qualification if they:

  • are enrolled in an approved education and care qualification; and
  • provide the approved provider of the education and care service with documentary evidence from the training organisation that they have commenced the course, are making satisfactory progress towards completion and are meeting the requirements for maintaining the enrolment (regulation 10).

In the case of an approved diploma level education and care qualification, the evidence must also demonstrate that the educator holds an approved certificate III level education and care qualification; or has completed the units of study in an approved certificate III level education and care qualification determined by ACECQA (regulation 10).

General educator qualifications

Diploma level qualification requirements

The diploma level qualification requirements for educators are:

  • for children preschool age or under at least 50 per cent of required educators must hold, or be actively working towards, at least an approved diploma level education and care qualification (regulation 126(1))
  • for children over preschool age at least 50 per cent of required educators must hold, or be enrolled in and studying for, at least a diploma level qualification approved for educators working with children over preschool age in Victoria (regulation 356(2)).

Certificate III level qualification requirements

The certificate III level qualification requirements for educators are:

  • for children preschool age or under all other educators required to meet the relevant educator to child ratios must hold, or be actively working towards, an approved certificate III level education and care qualification. The qualification requirements do not apply to an educator who has been employed on a probationary basis for not more than 3 months (regulation 126).
  • for children over preschool age all other educators required to meet the relevant educator to child ratios must hold, or be actively working towards, an approved certificate III level education and care qualification or commence obtaining that qualification within six months of commencing to educate and care for children (regulation 356(3)).

The NQF educator to child ratio calculator and the NQF educator to child ratio calculator - mixed ages are available at: Fact sheets and resources

Educator to child ratios

The following fact sheets provide information about educator to child ratios and are located at:  Fact sheets and resources

Other staffing arrangements

Information about early childhood teacher requirements for centre-based services providing education and care to children preschool age or under is available at:  Fact sheets and resources

Educators who are under 18 years of age must be supervised

Educators who are under 18 must:

  • not work alone at the service; and
  • be adequately supervised at all times by an educator who has attained the age of 18 years (regulation 120).

First aid requirements

The following persons must be at any place where children are being educated and cared for by the service and immediately available in an emergency at all times that children are being educated and cared for by the service:

  • at least one educator who holds a current approved first aid qualification
  • at least one educator who has undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management training
  • at least one educator who has undertaken current approved emergency asthma management training (regulation 136).

The same person may hold one or more of the above qualifications.

Note: If children are being educated and cared for at the service premises on a school site it is sufficient that the required educators are in attendance at the school site and immediately available in an emergency.

Details of the relevant first aid qualifications, anaphylaxis management and emergency asthma training are available at: First aid qualifications and training

Approved qualifications

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) publish on their website the qualifications that have been approved for the purposes of the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law). These lists include the qualifications that are approved for early childhood teachers, qualified educators and certificate level educators.

Upon application, ACECQA will determine whether a qualification (including a foreign 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 (regulation 138). 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: ACECQA

Transitional and savings provisions

Person taken to hold an approved early childhood teaching qualification

A person is taken to hold an approved early childhood teaching qualification if immediately before 1 January 2012, the person:

  • was recognised under the former education and care services law of any participating jurisdiction as an early childhood teacher; and
  • employed or engaged in a declared approved service as an early childhood teacher; or
  • held a qualification that is published under regulation 137(2)(a) in the list of former qualifications approved as an early childhood teacher qualification (regulation 241(a) and (b)).

Person taken to hold an approved diploma level qualification

A person is taken to hold an approved diploma level education and care qualification if:

  • Immediately before 1 January 2012, the person
    -  was recognised under the former education and care services law of any participating jurisdiction as a diploma level educator; and
    -  employed or engaged in a declared approved service; or 
    -  held a qualification that is published under regulation 137(2)(a) in the list of former qualifications approved as diploma level education and care qualifications (regulation 243(a) and (b)); or
  • The person is actively working towards an approved early childhood qualification and – 
    -  can provide evidence to the approved provider that they have completed at least 30% of their course; or
    -  holds an approved certificate III qualification; or
    -  has completed approved certificate III units.

Person taken to hold an approved certificate III level qualification

A person is taken to hold an approved certificate III level education and care qualification if:

  • immediately before 1 January 2012, the person:
    -  was recognised under the former education and care services law of any participating jurisdiction as a certificate III level educator; and
    -  employed or engaged in a declared approved service; or
    -  held a qualification that is published under regulation 137(2)(a) in the list of former qualifications approved as certificate III level education and care qualifications (regulation 244(a)(b)); or
  • the person is actively working towards an approved early childhood qualification.

Educators not required to have a certificate III level qualification

The requirement to have, or be actively working towards, a certificate III level qualification does not apply to educators in centre-based services who, by 31 December 2011, completed a professional development course approved by the Secretary under the Children’s Services Regulations 2009; and

  • were employed full time and continuously as a staff member at a licensed children’s service or outside school hours care service for a period of at least 5 years immediately preceding 25 May 2009; or
  • were employed part-time and continuously as a staff member at a licensed children’s service or outside school hours care service for a period of at least 10 years immediately preceding 25 May 2009 (regulation 364).

Waivers

If, after exploring all possible options, the service is unable to comply with prescribed elements of the National Quality Standard and the National Regulations (regulations 41 and 44) the approved provider may apply for a waiver under section 87 (service waiver) or section 94 (temporary waiver) of the National Law. An application for a waiver may be considered where the approved provider can demonstrate extenuating circumstances and genuine difficulty in meeting the requirements and is operating in compliance with all other provisions of the National Quality Standard and the National Regulations.

Further information can be found in the Waiver fact sheet series at: Fact sheets and resources