How we Regulate Childrens Services

Most services for children are regulated to ensure children are protected from harm and that their opportunities for learning and development are maximised.

There are two different regulation schemes that run in Victoria.

Services regulated under the National Quality Framework

Most early childhood education and care services are regulated under a scheme known as the National Quality Framework

An education and care service is any service providing or intending to provide education and care on a regular basis to children under the age of 13 years. Services that meet this definition are generally required to operate under the National Quality Framework. This includes:

  • family day care services
  • long day care services
  • outside school hours care services
  • preschools (kindergartens).

For more information, see: National Quality Framework

Services regulated under state law

A number of services operate under the Victorian children’s services legislation. These services are generally occasional care services, mobile services, budget-based services not funded for Child Care Benefit or school holiday care programs.

For more information, see: Childrens services regulated under state law

If you are not sure whether a particular service should be regulated you should contact a children’s services authorised officer at the nearest regional office of the Department.

The role of the Department

The Department is responsible for:

  • regulating more than 4,000 Victorian education and care services under the National Quality Framework
  • regulating more than 400 services operating under the Children's Services Act 1996
  • regulating these services to ensure they protect children's safety, health and wellbeing and deliver quality education and care to support children's health, learning and development.

Our regulatory framework explains how we undertake our regulatory functions, including driving continuous quality improvement in education and care services:

Our role as the regulatory authority is established by the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010.

Our role as the regulator of children's services is set out in the Children's Services Act 1996.