How we regulate services

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

The two types of early childhood services

National Quality Framework services

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, including family day care services, long day care services, outside school hours care services and preschools (kindergartens), are generally required to operate under the National Quality Framework.

Victorian Children's Services

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.

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.

For more information for parents, see: Choosing the Best Child Care For You

For more information on choosing safe care, see: Safe Care for Children

Who we are

The Quality Assessment and Regulation Division is the authority 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

The Department of Education and Training's role as the regulatory authority is established by the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010. Additionally, the Department's role as the regulator of children's services is set out in the Children's Services Act 1996. The Regulatory Framework explains how we undertake our regulatory functions, including driving continuous quality improvement in education and care services. See: