About child care

young boy holding a pot plant

In Victoria, services that provide education or care (child care) for a number of children in the absence of their parents or guardians must generally have a service approval or licence - this includes kindergartens, long day care services, occasional care, kindergartens, outside school hours care services and family day care services.

Regulated early childhood services (child care) are required to operate in a way that ensures the safety, health and wellbeing of children and meets the educational and developmental needs of individual children.

Early childhood services that are approved or licensed must meet requirements for staff to child ratios and educator qualifications, and provide an educational program that is based on the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child.

Types of early childhood services

Each family is different, the early childhood service (child care) you choose will suit your own family’s needs. There are a range of types to choose from including:

Approval and license requirements

In Victoria services that provide education and care for children (child care), in the absence of their parents or guardians, are regulated and need a service approval or licence to operate.

Regulation ensures that your child is safe when they are educated and cared for, and that their developmental needs are met.

Kindergartens, long day care, family day care services and outside school hours care services must meet the requirements of the:

These services are assessed and rated as part of the National Quality Framework.

A number of services, including occasional care services and budget-based services, must meet the requirements of the Children's Services Act 1996 and the Children’s Services Regulations 2009.

More information

For more information about the regulations and standards that child care services are required to meet, see:

The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has created a family friendly website that provides information about regulated early childhood services (child care) available in your area, searchable by location and care type. It also provides information on fees charged by each service, their vacancies and the rating against the seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard. For more information, see:

For services that are licensed under the Children's Services Act, see:

To make a complaint or to find information to assist you when addressing concerns related to a Children's service, see:

Find a Maternal and Child Health Service or kindergarten in your area: