About this guide
This guide is designed to assist family day care educators educating and caring for children in Victoria to understand their roles, obligations and responsibilities under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law) and Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 (National Regulations).
This guide should be read as supporting material to the legislative framework and does not constitute legal advice. The reader should contact the approved provider of their service to assist them in determining how the National Law and National Regulations may apply to their situation. The approved provider of a service may have requirements in place that are over and above the requirements contained in the National Law and National Regulations. The guide contains six parts:
Overview of the legislative framework provides a general overview of the regulatory system for family day care educators and outlines the roles and responsibilities of government, the regulatory authority, approved providers and family day care educators.
Being a family day care educator provides information about who can be a family day care educator, how many children can be educated and cared for, where education and care can be provided and minimum qualification and training requirements.
Key operational requirements outlines some of the specific operational responsibilities placed on educators around educational programs and practice, children’s health and safety, the physical environment, relationships with children and collaborative partnerships with family and communities.
Assessment, monitoring and compliance contains information about assessment and rating against the National Quality Standard and the regulations and the monitoring of approved providers, family day care services and educators to ensure compliance with the National Law and National Regulations.
Overview of the legislative framework
All education and care services, including centre based services (preschool (kindergarten), long day care and outside school hours care) and family day care services operate under the National Quality Framework.
National Quality Framework
Under the National Quality Framework, education and care services including approved providers and educators must ensure they comply with:
- Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
- Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011.
National Quality Standard
The National Quality Standard sets a national benchmark for the quality of education and care services and is divided into seven quality areas:
- educational program and practice
- children’s health and safety
- physical environment
- staffing arrangements
- relationships with children
- collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- leadership and service management.
The National Quality Standard requires education and care services to plan and deliver programs for children based on an approved learning framework. In Victoria the approved learning frameworks are:
Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (for children 0-5)
My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia (for school age children)
- Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (for children 0-8).
For further information on the National Quality Framework and National Quality Standard visit
National quality framework.
Roles and responsibilities
Under the National Law and National Regulations, there are a number of stakeholders who play a role in ensuring that quality education and care is provided to children being educated and cared for in family day care services.
The stakeholders are:
- Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
- Department of Education and Training (Victorian Regulatory Authority)
- Department of Education (Commonwealth)
- Professional Support Coordinators
- Approved Providers
- Nominated Supervisors/Certified Supervisors
- Family day care co-ordinators
- Family day care educators
- Professional Support Coordinator.
Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority
Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is the independent national statutory authority responsible for ensuring consistent implementation of the National Quality Framework across Australia.
Department of Education and Training
The State Department of Education and Training (the Department) is the Regulatory Authority for Victoria.
The Department has the primary responsibility for the administration of the National Quality Framework in Victoria including:
- issuing provider and service approvals and supervisor certificates
- conducting assessment and rating visits to assess services against the National Quality Standard, National Law and National Regulations
- monitoring compliance and enforcing the requirements of the National Law and National Regulations
- receiving and investigating notifications of serious incidents and complaints
- educating services and the community in relation to the National Quality Framework
- supporting and promoting continuous quality improvement in services
- undertaking information collection, review and reporting.
Authorised officers are appointed by the Department to assess, monitor and enforce compliance with the National Law and National Regulations.
Authorised officers will conduct assessment and rating visits to family day care services and residences to assess services and family day educator’s compliance with the National Quality Framework.
Additionally Authorised Officers will visit family day care services for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the National Law and National Regulation.
Department of Education
Through a range of services the Commonwealth Department of Education (DoE) helps to provide families with access to early childhood education and care.
To help with the cost of child care, the Australia Government provides Child Care Benefit (CCB) Child Care Rebate (CCR), Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance and Child Care Services Support Program. Further information on these services can be found at
Education and care services
An education and care service means any service providing or intended to provide education and care on a regular basis to children under 13 years of age. Education and care services include pre-schools (kindergarten), long day care, outside school hours care and family day care services.
An approved provider is a person who holds a provider approval granted under the National Law. Becoming an approved provider is a requirement to operate one or more approved services. Provider approval is granted subject to the condition that the approved provider complies with the National Law and National Regulations.
Applicants for provider approval must satisfy the Department that they are fit and proper to be involved in the provision of an education and care service.
An approved provider has responsibility for the overall operation of the family day care service and ensuring that the service complies with the National Quality Framework, National Law and National Regulations.
An approved provider must apply for and be granted a service approval in order to operate a family day care service.
A family day care service approval is granted subject to conditions including that:
- the service is operated in a way that ensures the safety, health and wellbeing of the children being educated and cared for by the service
- the service meets the educational and developmental needs of children being educated and cared for by the service
- sufficient persons are appointed as family day care co-ordinators to monitor and support the family day care educators engaged by or registered with the service
- each family day care educator is adequately monitored and supported by a family day care co-ordinator.
Family day care service
A family day care service is an education and care service that is delivered through the use of two or more educators to provide education and care for children in residences. Family day care can also be provided in an approved venue in some circumstances.
Family day care co-ordinators
A family day care co-ordinator is a person employed or engaged by an approved provider to monitor and support the educators in a family day care service.
The approved provider must ensure that sufficient family day care co-ordinators are appointed to monitor and support the family day care educators engaged by or registered with the service; and that each family day care educator is adequately monitored and supported by a family day care co-ordinator.
Family day care co-ordinators are required to:
- assist with the operation of the service
- support, monitor and train the educators of the service.
Family day care co-ordinators must have a diploma level qualification.
An educator should expect regular face- to-face training and advice and regular supervision and monitoring from their approved provider, this would normally be provided by family day care co-ordinators.
To ensure sufficient support is provided one (full time or full time equivalent) family day care co-ordinator for every 15 educators would generally be required. When family day care co-ordinators visit the family day care residence or approved venue this should be recorded in the visitor’s book.
A supervisor certificate makes the person or class of persons to whom it is issued eligible to be placed in day-to-day charge of an approved education and care service.
Your approved provider will nominate a nominated supervisor for the service. Nominated supervisors are responsible for the day-to-day management of approved education and care services. This person must hold a supervisor certificate and must consent to the nomination.
The approved provider must designate, in writing, a suitably qualified and experienced educator, co-ordinator or other individual as educational leader at the service to lead the development and implementation of educational programs in the service.
The educational leader should spend a significant amount of time with educators. Element 7.1.4 of the National Quality Standard requires a suitably qualified and experienced educator or co-ordinator to lead the development of the curriculum and ensures the establishment of clear goals and expectations for teaching and learning.
Family day care educators
Family day care educators are early childhood education and care professionals, engaged by or registered with an approved provider to provide education and care to children in a residence or approved venue.
‘who can be a family day care educator’ for more details on requirements for family day care educators.
Family day care educator assistant
A person engaged or registered with an approved provider to assist family day care educators.
Relief family day care educators
An approved provider may engage or register another family day care educator to provide education and care to children during another educator’s annual leave or study leave in the other educator’s residence under the National Law and National Regulations, provided this educator meets the definition of a family day care educator (not a family day care educator assistant).
Being a family day care educator
Who can be a family day care educator?
To be a family day care educator you must:
- be at least 18 years of age
- have a current working with children check
- have a criminal history record check
- hold a current approved first aid qualification
- have undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management training
- have undertaken current approved emergency asthma management training;
- have, or be actively working towards, at least an approved certificate III level education and care qualification
- hold insurance against public liability with a minimum cover of $10,000,000.
The approved provider must read your working with children check and read and consider a current criminal history record check before you are engaged or registered as a family day care educator.
The approved provider will also ensure that you have, or are actively working towards, at least an approved certificate III level education and care qualification, hold a current approved first aid qualification and have undertaken an approved anaphylaxis management training and emergency asthma management training prior to you being engaged or registered.
There are additional requirements for other adults residing in the home in which children will be educated and cared for.
Your residence or approved venue must be assessed by the approved provider prior to you becoming a family day care educator.
Do I need a provider or service approval to be a family day care educator?
Individual family day care educators do not need a provider or service approval but need to be engaged by, or registered with, an approved provider and meet the requirements.
Your approved provider has a number of obligations and responsibilities towards you as a family day care educator.
Monitoring and support of family day care educators
Your approved provider will monitor each family day educator’s compliance with the National Quality Framework to ensure that education and care is provided in a way that:
- ensures the safety, health and wellbeing of the children being educated and cared for
- meets the educational and developmental needs of the children being educated and cared for.
They must also ensure at all times you are educating and caring for a child, one of the following persons is available to provide support:
- the approved provider or a person with management or control
- the nominated supervisor of the service
- a certified supervisor who has been placed in day to day charge of the family day care service.
This support includes being available to be contacted by telephone to provide advice and assistance to you. Furthermore your approved provider must ensure sufficient persons are appointed as family day care co- coordinators to ensure that you are adequately trained, monitored and supported.
The approved provider must ensure that the service has in place policies and procedures in relation to monitoring, supporting and providing supervision of family day care educators, including how the service will manage educators operating in remote locations.
You should feel comfortable contacting your approved provider to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.
During visits to your residence or approved venue, co-ordinators may:
- exchange information with you about children in your care
- observe the interactions between the children and you
- work with you to continually improve the education and care you provide for children, including assisting you to develop and deliver a suitable program for each child that is based on an approved learning framework, the developmental needs interests and experiences of each child, and designed to take into account the individual differences of each child
- support you in understanding and contributing to the assessment and rating process and meeting the National Quality Standard
- ensure that persons aged 18 years and over who reside at your residence are suitable to be in the company of children and discuss any changes that may have occurred with these individuals since their last visit (see ‘family day care educator’s family’ for specific requirements)
- discuss and plan for any further training and support you may need
- ensure that a record of visitors is kept for all visitors to your residence or approved venue
- assess the ongoing suitability of each family day care residence or approved venue
- assist you in meeting your obligations and responsibilities under the National Law and National Regulations.
How many children can a family day care educator look after.
You must not educate and care for more than seven children at your residence or approved venue at any one time.
- no more than four children preschool age or under
- your 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.
An approved provider may approve in writing for you to educate and care for more than seven children or more than four children who are preschool age or under, only under exceptional circumstances.
The National Law defines these exceptional circumstances as:
- all the children being educated and cared for are siblings in the same family
- 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
- the residence or approved venue is in a rural or remote area and no alternative education and care service is available.
Children visiting a family day care residence or venue as part of an excursion are not included in the maximum number of children allowed to be educated and cared for.
Family day care residence or approved venue
Family day care is provided at a residence or at an approved venue.
Your approved provider is obliged to conduct an assessment (including a risk assessment) of each residence and approved venue of the service to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of children being cared for by the service are protected.
This assessment must be conducted:
- before education and care is provided to children at the residence or approved venue as part of the service
- at least annually.
The following matters should be included as part of the assessment of residences and approved venues:
- the suitability of the residence (and areas within the residence) or approved venue according to the number, ages and abilities of children attending, or likely to attend the service at the residence or approved venue
- the suitability of nappy change arrangements for children
- the location and design of toilets and hand washing facilities and that they enable safe use and convenient access by the children
- that adequate, developmentally and age appropriate toilet, washing and drying facilities are provided for use by children for example, hot water taps should have temperature controls or safety guards fitted to reduce the risk of a child being scalded and young children should be supervised when using the bathroom or toilet
- the existence and management of any water hazards, water features or swimming pool at or near the residence or approved venue
- the risk posed by any animals at the residence or approved venue
- that premises, furniture and equipment are safe, clean and in good repair in areas of the residence or approved venue that are accessed by children
- that any outdoor space used by children at the residence or approved venue is enclosed by a fence or barrier that is of a height and design that children of preschool age or under cannot go through, over or under it; (this does not apply to a family day care service which educates and cares for children over preschool age)
- that sufficient furniture, materials and developmentally appropriate equipment is available
- that there are laundry facilities or access to laundry facilities or other arrangements for dealing with soiled clothing, nappies and linen in place and that laundry and hygienic facilities are located and maintained in a way that does not pose a risk to children
- that the indoor spaces used by children are well ventilated, have adequate natural light and are maintained at a temperature that ensures the safety and wellbeing of children
- that any glazed area of a residence or approved venue that is accessible to children and is 0.75 metres or less above floor level is either:
- glazed with safety glass if the Building Code of Australia requires this
- treated with a product that prevents glass from shattering if broken
- guarded by barriers that prevent a child from striking or falling against the glass.
- for a residence or approved venue approved after 1 June 2014 the above requirements apply to any glazed area that is accessible to children and is of or below the height above floor level, specified by AS 1288-2006 Glass in buildings – selection and installation.
There are a number of indoor and outdoor space requirements which only apply to approved venues including:
- for each child being educated and cared for by the service, the venue has at least 3.25 square metres of unencumbered indoor space
- for each child being educated and cared for by the service, the venue has at least 7 square metres of unencumbered outdoor space.
Each family day care educator engaged by or registered with an approved provider must hold insurance against public liability with a minimum cover of $10,000,000. Evidence of public liability insurance must be kept at the family day care residence or approved venue and be made available for inspection by the regulatory authority or an authorised officer.
Family day care educator’s family
Your approved provider must take reasonable steps to ensure that persons 18 years and over who live at your residence are fit and proper by considering either the persons current working with children check or current teacher registration.
Furthermore it is your responsibility to notify your approved provider of any new person 18 years and over who resides or intends to reside at your residence. This includes overseas visitors who reside in the residence. Additionally the approved provider must be notified if any person who had previously been considered as fit and proper by the approved provider may no longer be fit and proper to be in the company of children.
Visitors to the family day care residence
You must keep a record of all visitors (individuals who do not reside at the home) to a residence or approved venue whilst children are being educated and cared for as part of a service. The record must include the signature of the visitor and the time of the visitor’s arrival and departure.
A child being educated and cared for at a residence or approved venue must not be left alone with a visitor.
All persons who do not normally reside in an educator’s residence may be considered as visitors, including, but not limited to, co-ordinators, gardeners, plumbers, children’s teenage friends and inclusion support workers. The record of visitors will assist services to clarify who is in attendance at a residence or approved venue at any given time. Children 13 years and over visiting the residence or approved venue should be recorded in the record of visitors.
Your approved provider must develop, implement and make you aware of policies and procedures in relation to visitors and you are required to follow these policies and procedures.
You must ensure that an unauthorised person does not remain at the residence or approved venue at which you are educating and caring for children as part of a family day care service unless the unauthorised person is under your direct supervision.
An unauthorised person is not:
- a person who holds a current working with children check or working with children card
- a parent or family member of a child who is being educated and cared for by you
- an authorised nominee of a parent or family member of a child who is being educated and cared for
- in the case of an emergency, medical personnel or emergency services personnel
- a person who is permitted under the relevant working with children law to remain at the service premises without holding a working with children check or card.
For example, persons who do not require a working with children check such as a gardener, a builder, a plumber are not ‘unauthorised persons’ and therefore do not need to be under the direct supervision of a family day care educator.
Family day care educator assistant
A family day care educator assistant must be approved and engaged by or registered by the approved provider and can assist you under specific circumstances. These circumstances are:
- in your absence, transporting a child between the residence or approved venue and school or another education and care service or children’s service or the child’s home
- providing education and care to a child in emergency situations, including when you might require urgent medical care or treatment
- providing education and care to a child while you attend an appointment (other than a regular appointment) if the absence is for less than four hours, and the approved provider has approved that absence, and the notice of that absence has been given to the parents of the child
- providing assistance to you in the education and care of children.
A family day care educator assistant cannot be approved (by the approved provider) unless you provide written consent from a parent of each child for which a family day care educator assistant may be used in the circumstances listed above.
A family day care educator assistant must:
- be at least 18 years of age
- have a current working with children check or current teacher registration
- hold a current approved first aid qualification
- have undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management training
- have undertaken current approved emergency asthma management training.
When a family day care educator is absent for any reason outside the circumstances above in which a family day care assistant would be used, for example annual leave or study leave, another family day care educator who has been engaged by, or registered with the service may provide education and care in your residence.
This family day care educator must meet all relevant requirements of the National Law and National Regulations as set out above in the paragraph titled
“who can be a family day care educator”.
Qualifications and training
To be a family day care educator you must have, or be actively working towards, at least an approved certificate III level education and care qualification.
However, if you meet any of the following provisions you are not required to hold, or be actively working towards a certificate III level qualification:
- A person is taken to hold an approved certificate III 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
- 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:
- An educator is not required to have a Certificate III qualification who, by 31 December 2011, completed a professional development course approved by the Secretary under the Children’s Services Regulations 2009:
- was employed full-time and continuously as a family day carer as part of an family day care provider for a period of at least 5 years immediately preceding 25 May 2009
- was employed at least part-time and continuously as a family day carer as part of an family day care provider for a period of at least 10 years immediately preceding 25 May 2009.
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 family day care co-ordinators, diploma level educators and certificate III level educators. These lists can be found at
If your qualification is not on the approved or former approved qualifications lists you may apply to ACECQA to have your qualification assessed as equivalent to an approved qualification. There is a fee to have your qualification assessed for equivalence.
Registers, records and information
Child attendance records
You must keep a record of child attendance which:
- records the full name of each child being educated and cared for in your family day care residence or approved venue
- records the date and time each child arrives and departs
- is signed on the child’s arrival and departure by either:
- the person who delivers or collects the child
- if the signature of the person who delivers the child cannot reasonably be obtained, the educator may sign.
Child enrolment records
The approved provider and educator must keep an enrolment record for each child enrolled at the service.
The enrolment record must contain the following information:
- full name, date of birth and address of the child
- name, address and contact details for:
- each known parent
- any emergency contact
- any authorised nominee
- any person who is authorised to consent to medical treatment or administration of medication
- any person who is authorised to give permission to an educator to remove the child from the education and care service premises.
- details of any court orders, parenting orders or parenting plans
- gender of the child
- language used in the child’s home
- cultural background of the child and parents
- any special considerations for the child, for example cultural, religious or dietary requirements or additional needs
- authorisations for:
- the approved provider, nominated supervisor or an educator to seek medical treatment for the child and/or ambulance transportation
- the education and care service to take the child on regular outings.
- name, address and telephone number of the child’s registered medical practitioner or medical service
- child’s Medicare number (if available)
- details of any specific healthcare needs of the child, including any medical condition, allergies or a diagnosis that the child is at risk of anaphylaxis
- any medical management plan, anaphylaxis management plan or risk minimisation plan for the child
- immunisation status of the child
- if the approved provider or staff member has sighted a health record for that child, a notation of that fact.
An authorised nominee is a person who has been given permission in writing by a parent or family member to collect the child from the education and care service or the educator.
A parent includes a guardian of the child and a person with ‘parental responsibility’ for a child under a decision or court order.67 Parental responsibility is defined in the Family Law Act 1975 as “all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children”.
Records available for inspection
You must keep the following prescribed documents at your residence or approved venue to be made available for inspection by an authorised officer:
- documentation of child assessments or evaluations for delivery of the educational program
- an accident, injury, trauma and illness record
- a medication record
- children’s attendance records
- child enrolment records
- a record of visitors to the residence or approved venue.
You must take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of these documents and ensure that they are made available to a parent of the child on request taking into consideration any court order in relation to the release of information concerning the child to the parent.
When ceasing to be engaged by or registered with your approved provider you must provide all the documents referred to in the list above to your approved provider.
The development of a statement of philosophy helps guide the way a service operates and forms the foundation of and guides the service decisions, policies and practices and assists the service to develop a consistent approach. A written philosophy also informs educators and families about the unique qualities of the service and how decisions are made.
Policies and procedures
Your approved provider must ensure that the service has in place policies and procedures as set out in the table below.
The policies and procedures must be available at your residence or approved venue and readily accessible by all educators, staff, volunteers and families.
Your approved provider must also ensure you are familiar with and follow these policies and procedures. The policies and procedures should be informed by the service’s philosophy statement.
When making any changes to policies or procedures your approved provider must ensure that parents of children enrolled at the service are notified at least 14 days prior to the changes being made.
It is recommended that when the approved provider makes changes to policies or procedures that family day care educators and families are consulted.
The following table contains the policies and procedures that must be in place at a family day care service.
|Health and Safety||Nutrition, food and beverages, dietary requirements|
|Water safety, including during any water based activities|
|Administration of first aid|
|Incident, injury, trauma and illness procedures|
|Dealing with infectious diseases|
|Dealing with medical conditions in children|
|Emergency and evacuation|
|Delivery of children to and collection of children from the premises|
|Providing a child safe environment|
|Staffing||A code of conduct for staff|
|Determining the responsible person present at the service|
|The participation of volunteers and students on practicum placements|
|Interactions with children|
|Enrolment and orientation|
|Governance and management of the service, including confidentiality of records|
|The acceptance and refusal of authorisations|
|Payment of fees and provision of a statement of fees charge by the service|
|Dealing with complaints|
|Assessment, approval and reassessment of approved family day care venues and residences|
|Engagement or registration of family day care educators|
|Keeping of a register of family day care educators|
|Monitoring support and supervision of family day care educators|
|Assessment of family day care educators, family day care educator assistants and persons residing at family day care residences|
|Visitors to family day care residences and approved venues while education and care is being provided|
|The provision of information, assistance and training to family day care educators |
|The engagement or registration of family day care educator assistants|
Prescribed information to be displayed
You must ensure that the prescribed information, listed in the table below, is displayed and clearly visible from the main entrance to your residence or approved venue. Your approved provider will assist you in achieving this.
|Provider approval||Name of the approved provider|
|Provider approval number|
|Service approval||Name of the approved service|
|Service approval number|
|Any conditions on the service approval|
|Nominated Supervisor||Name of the nominated supervisor|
|Service rating||Current ratings for each Quality Area in the National Quality Standard|
|Overall rating of the service||Where a service has not been assessed and rated, or is yet to receive its final rating, they must display ‘Provisional – not yet assessed under the National Quality Framework’|
|Service or temporary waivers||The elements of the National Quality Standard and/or National Regulations that have been waived |
|The duration of the waiver|
|Whether the waiver is a service waiver or temporary waiver|
|Service operation||Days and hours of operation |
|Name and phone number of the person who can be contacted to receive a complaint|
|Name of educational leader|
|Contact details for the Regulatory Authority|
|Health and Safety||If applicable, a notice stating that a child at risk of anaphylaxis is enrolled at the service|
|If applicable, a notice of an occurrence of an infectious disease at the service|
Key operational requirements
Educational program and practice
The curriculum or program is the child’s whole experience. It includes interactions, experiences, activities, routines and events.
This definition means that educators need to think about, pay attention to, plan for and evaluate all of the children’s experiences in the service, from the time they arrive until they go home. Educators need to plan the children’s program but things will happen that are unplanned, and children will learn from these spontaneous events too.
Your approved provider will work with you in developing an educational program for each child being educated and cared for by you.
The program must be:
- based on an approved learning framework
- delivered in a manner that accords with the approved learning framework
- based on the developmental needs, interests and experience of each child
- designed to take into account the individual differences of each child.
The approved learning frameworks in Victoria include the following learning frameworks:
Belonging, Being and Becoming: Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (for children 0-5)
My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia (for school age children)
Victorian Early Learning and Development Framework (for children 0-8).
These three documents are aligned with and complement the five learning outcomes for all children which are:
- children have a strong sense of identity
- children are connected with and contribute to his or her world
- children have a strong sense of wellbeing
- children are confident and involved learners
- children are effective communicators.
Documentation of child assessments or evaluations
Every service needs to have in place a system for assessing each child’s learning in an ongoing way. As with program planning formats, there is not one best or right way to collect this information. However, all effective ways of assessing children’s learning share certain characteristics, including the following:
- each child’s learning is assessed
- as educators become aware of information worth recording, they record it. This means that there may be several notes about a child one day and then no notes for a few days. This system of recording what is significant is better than having a set time for recording something about each child
- records may take the form of ‘snippets’ or informal notes
- at designated intervals, for example every two months, educators record a summary or synthesis of the child’s learning and development
- recorded information links to the five learning outcomes in the Early Years Learning Framework and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework
- educators critically reflect on the meaning and implications of what they learn about children and how the program can support each child’s learning and development most effectively.
Educators’ assessments of children’s learning inform the program that is planned and delivered.
The approved provider will assist you in the documentation of assessments and evaluations.
For children who are preschool age and under, this documentation must include:
- assessments of the child’s developmental needs, interests, experiences and participation in the educational program
- assessment of the child’s progress against the learning outcomes of the educational program.
For children who are over preschool age, this documentation should focus on evaluations of the child’s wellbeing, development and learning.
In preparing the documentation consideration should also be given to the period of time a child is educated and cared for by the service (for example, full-time or part-time attendance), how the documentation will be used by the educators and ensuring the documents are easily understandable by parents of the child.
Some services may choose to produce portfolios or learning journals as a way of documenting assessment and progress towards learning outcomes. If so, these must include an analysis of children’s learning to meet the requirements of the National Regulations.
Information for parents
Information about the educational program must be displayed at your residence or approved venue.
The following information must be given to a child’s parents when requested:
- information about the content and operation of the educational program so far as it relates to their child
- information about their child’s participation in the program
- a copy of assessments or evaluations in relation to their child.
Children’s health and safety
All children have the right to experience quality education and care in an environment that provides for their safety, health and wellbeing.
Fundamental to this is to ensure that routines, activities and experiences support children’s individual requirements for health, nutrition, sleep, rest and relaxation. This should be evidenced by the service’s policies and procedures that are in place in relation to healthy eating, children’s safety, dealing with any injury or illness, and preventing harm to children.
Health, hygiene and safe food practices
To minimise risks to children you must:
- implement adequate health and hygiene practices
- have in place safe practices for handling, preparing and storing food.
Food and beverages
You must ensure that children:
- have access to safe drinking water at all times
- are offered food and beverages on a regular basis throughout the day.
If you provide food or beverages to children you must ensure that the food or beverages provided:
- are nutritious and adequate in quantity
- have regard to the dietary requirements of the child taking into account each child’s growth and development needs and any specific cultural, religious or health requirements
- If you provide food and beverage (other than water) you must ensure that a weekly menu is displayed and accessible to parents and accurately describes the food and beverage provided.
Particular attention needs to be paid to storing and reheating of food brought from the child’s home.
Sleep and rest
You must take reasonable steps to ensure that children’s needs for sleep and rest are met, having regard to each child’s age, development and needs.This supports element 2.1.2 of the National Quality Standard where each child’s comfort is provided for and there are appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s needs for sleep, rest and relaxation.
Tobacco, drug and alcohol-free environment
You must ensure that children are provided with an environment that is free from the use of tobacco, illicit drugs and alcohol.
While caring for children you must not consume alcohol or be affected by alcohol or drugs (including prescription medication) so as to impair your capacity to provide education and care to the children.
Exposure to tobacco smoke poses major health risks for both children and adults. Strategies should be developed to ensure the safety of the children, while still recognising the rights of the educator’s family. You might suggest a space outside the residence or approved venue where other household members and visitors may smoke. Consideration should also be given to safe storage of items including ashtrays, cigarette lighters and matches.
The approved provider must ensure that all educators and staff at the service who work with children are aware of the current child protection law and understand the obligations they have under that law.
Your approved provider will ensure that you are aware of child protection law and your obligations through training, in house workshops or online training.
Information regarding child protection produced by the Department including an online training package can be found at Child Protection Protocol .
Incidents, injury, trauma and illness
Policies and procedures must be in place at the service in the event that a child is injured, becomes ill or suffers a trauma. These policies and procedures must be followed and include the requirement that a parent be notified as soon as practicable, but not later than 24 hours after the incident.
You must keep a record of any incident, injury, trauma or illness that occurs. Information should be recorded as soon as practicable, but not later than 24 hours after the incident, injury or trauma or onset of the illness.
The Department must be notified of any serious incidents at an education and care service. Your approved provider will work with you to ensure this occurs.
A serious incident includes:
- the death of a child while attending a service, or following an incident while attending a service
- any incident involving serious injury or trauma to, or illness of a child while being educated and care for by an education and care service:
- for which a reasonable person would consider required urgent medical attention from a registered medical practitioner
- for which the child attended, or ought reasonably to have attended, a hospital
- an incident at the service premises where the attendance of emergency services was sought, or should have been sought
- if a child:
- appears to be missing or cannot be accounted for
- appears to have been taken or removed from the service premises in a way that breaches the National Regulations
- is mistakenly locked in or locked out of any part of the service premises.
Your approved provider must have in place policies and procedures on dealing with complaints. This includes processes in place to ensure that all grievances and complaints are addressed, investigated fairly and documented in a timely manner.
Furthermore, the name and telephone number of the person to whom complaints can be addressed to must be displayed at your residence or approved venue. Your approved provider will assist you with this requirement.
The Department must be notified in writing within 24 hours of any serious incidents and complaints in relation to a family day care service as follows:
- any serious incident
- complaints alleging:
- the safety, health and wellbeing of a child was or is being compromised while that child or children is or are being educated and cared for by the appro provider
- the National Law or National Regulations has been contravened.
Complaints from any person can also b made directly to the Department where above circumstances are alleged.
If there is an occurrence of an infectious disease at a residence or approved venue it must be ensured that reasonable steps are taken to prevent the spread of the infectious disease. Additionally, a parent or an authorised emergency contact of each child must be notified of the occurrence as soon as practicable.
First aid kits
You must keep a suitable first aid kit at the residence or approved venue that is easily recognisable and readily accessible to adults. First aid kits should also be taken while on excursions, routine outings or emergency evacuations.
To assist you if you have a child with a medical condition in your care, see Children with medical conditions attending education and care services.
The policy must set out practices in relation to the following:
- the management of medical conditions including asthma, diabetes or a diagnosis that a child is at risk of anaphylaxis
- informing the nominated supervisor and staff members of, and volunteers at, the service of practices in relation to managing those medical conditions
- if a child enrolled has a specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition, procedures requiring parents to provide a medical management plan
- requiring the development of a risk minimisation plan in consultation with the child’s parents
- requiring the development of a communications plan for staff members and parents.
Staff members including family day care co-ordinators, educators and volunteers must be informed about the practices to be followed.
Your approved provider must ensure that a copy of the medical conditions policy document is provided to the parent of a child enrolled at the service if the provider is aware that the child has a specific health care need, allergy or other relevant medical condition.
Where a child has been diagnosed as at risk of anaphylaxis, a notice stating this must be displayed at the residence or approved venue.
Administration of medication
You must ensure that if medication is administered to a child, that its administration is authorised and that it is administered in accordance with the details below.
Medication may be administered without authorisation in the case of an anaphylaxis or asthma emergency. The educator must ensure that as soon as practicable a parent of the child or emergency services are notified.
The medication must be administered:
- from its original container, bearing the original label with the name of the child it is to be administered to and before the expiry or use by date
- in accordance with any instructions attached to the medication or provided by a registered medical practitioner
- if prescribed by a registered medical practitioner it should also bear the name of the child to whom the medication is to be administered
- for family day care services there is no requirement for a second person to check the dosage and witness the administration of the medication.
An approved provider may permit a child over preschool age to self-administer medication.
You must keep a medication record for each child being educated and cared for to whom medication is to be administered.
Your approved provider will meet with you to develop and rehearse emergency procedures with the children in your care.
A risk assessment will be conducted by your approved provider to identify potential emergencies that are relevant.
The emergency and evacuation procedures must be rehearsed every three months and those rehearsals must be documented.
A copy of the emergency and evacuation floor plan and instructions must be displayed in a prominent position near each exit at the residence or approved venue. Your approved provider will assist you with your emergency procedures.
Managing bushfire risks
An additional condition has been placed on the service approval for all Victorian family day care services that states that on declared Code Red days in the relevant Bureau of Meteorology district family day carers must not provide education and care for children at any residence or approved venue in a high risk location.
Your approved provider will notify you if you have been identified as being located in a high risk location. You must not operate on days in which the relevant Bureau of Meteorology District which your residence or approved venue is located, has been deemed to be Code Red. This information will normally be communicated in the media or can be sourced from the Country Fire Authority website at
However it should be expected that your approved provider will notify you on the day before the expected Code Red day. It is then your responsibility to notify the parents of the children expected to be in your education and care for the next day that you will not be operating.
Further information can be obtained from the factsheet found at
Fact sheets and resources.
Telephone or other communication equipment
You must ensure that you have ready access to an operating telephone or other similar means of communication to enable immediate communication to and from parents and emergency services at all times you are providing education and care to children.
Means of communication can include fixed-line telephone, mobile phone, satellite phone, 2-way radio, video conferencing
Adequate supervision of children
There are known risks to children’s safety when they are not adequately supervised. You must ensure that the children being cared for by yourself are adequately supervised.
You should know where children in your care are and what they are doing at all times. This does not mean that they are within sight at all times but you should be able to respond immediately to each child’s individual needs and intervene to protect a child from hazards or harm.
Some children may be playing in different parts of your home or approved venue and you will need to consider how these children will be supervised.
The adequacy of supervision should be determined by a range of factors including:
- the number, ages and abilities of children
- each child’s current activity
- areas where children are playing, in particular the visibility and accessibility of these areas
- risks in the environment and experiences provided to children
- your knowledge of each child and each group of children.
Collection of children
You must ensure that a child who is being educated and cared for at your home or approved venue does not leave the residence or venue unless:
- a parent or authorised nominee collects the child
- a parent or authorised nominee provides written authorisations for the child to leave the premises
- a parent or authorised nominee provides written authorisation for the child to attend an excursion
- the child requires medical, hospital or ambulance treatment, or there is another emergency.
Excursions and regular outings
Excursions are outings organised by yourself when the children leave your residence or approved venue in your company. A routine outing is a type of excursion undertaken on a regular basis. A regular outing means a walk, drive or trip to and from a destination that you visit regularly for example picking up and dropping off children at school. The circumstances relevant to a risk assessment will be the same on each outing.
Excursions, including regular outings, provide valuable opportunities for children to explore the wider community and extend the educational program. Educators and approved providers must be mindful of additional risks that may be present. Excursions must be conducted in a way that:
- ensures the safety, health and wellbeing of the children being educated and cared for by the service
- meets the educational and developmental needs of the children being educated and cared for by the service.
Each time a family day care educator takes children outside the family day care residence or approved venue they will need to consider whether the excursion is a regular outing.
If an excursion is a regular outing the authorisation is required every 12 month period. However, it is advisable to obtain authorisations in these circumstances more regularly. For an excursion written approval must be given before the child attends the excursion.
You as an educator must carry out a risk assessment for the proposed excursion or regular outing. The risk assessment must be available at the service prior to authorisation from parents for their child to go on the excursion is sought.
The risk assessment must identify and assess the risks that the excursion may pose to the safety, health or wellbeing of any child being taken on the excursion, and detail strategies for minimising and managing those risks. When taking a child on an excursion every aspect of the environment must be considered at each stage of the excursion to make sure that risks have been identified and addressed.
The risk assessment must consider:
- the proposed route and destination for the excursion
- any water hazards and risks associated with water based activities
- the method of transport
- the number of adults and children involved in the excursion
- given the risk/s posed, the number of educators or other responsible adults that is appropriate to provide supervision and whether any specialised skills are required to ensure children’s safety
- the proposed activities
- the likely length of time of the excursion
- the items that should be taken on the excursion.
Authorisations from parents
A child must not leave a residence or approved venue unless authorisation from parents have been given. In the case of an excursion or routine outing this authorisation must include:
- the child’s name
- the reason the child is to be taken outside the residence or approved venue
- a description of the proposed destination for the excursion
- the method of transport to be used for the excursion
- the proposed activities to be undertaken by the child during the excursion
- the period the child will be away from the premises
- the anticipated number of children likely to be attending the excursion
- the anticipated ratio of educators attending the excursion to the anticipated number of children attending the excursion
- the anticipated number of staff members and any other adults who will accompany and supervise the children on the excursion
- that a risk assessment has been prepared and is available at the service.
Additional information on excursions and routine outings can be found at
Excursions and routine outings.
The physical environment plays a critical role in keeping children safe; reducing the risk of unintentional injuries; contributing to their wellbeing, happiness, creativity and developing independence; and determining the quality of children’s learning and experiences.
Your approved provider will conduct an assessment of the physical environment at your residence or approved venue before children are educated and cared for and at least annually.
A list of matters that will be considered as part of the assessment can be found above at
“family day care residence or approved venue".
Protecting children from harm and hazards
You must ensure that every reasonable precaution is taken to protect a child in your care from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury.
Furthermore, the same obligations are placed on your approved provider to ensure that children are protected from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury.
Examples of how a hazard may arise include but are not limited to:
- Inappropriate placement of furniture and equipment indoors and outdoors
- Inadequate fencing, gates and locks
- Broken, worn or dirty equipment furniture or facilities
- Lack of rails, guards and other safety fittings
- The presence of toxic plants and materials in areas accessible to children
- Activities being undertaken by children without adequate supervision or assistance
- Inadequate cleaning and maintenance of residence or approved venue
- Poor understanding of a child’s medical or dietary requirements
- Inadequate procedures for storing and administering medication.
Children who wear nappies must be changed in a safe and hygienic manner. Wet and soiled nappies cause discomfort for children, and can lead to skin inflammation such as nappy rash.
If a change table is being used you should take care to ensure that children are not likely to fall. Change tables should be sturdy and have suitable protections such as a child safety harness and smooth, raised edges at all sides. During nappy change, a child should never be left alone on the change table and physical contact should always be maintained with the child.
Washable changing mats should be cleaned after every use. Soiled and wet nappies should be immediately disposed of, or kept in covered storage to be washed later. You should also ensure that your hands are thoroughly washed after nappy changing to prevent cross-contamination with food and other items.
Your approved provider can assist you to make sure that your nappy-changing facilities and practices are safe and hygienic.
Toilets and washing facilities
Children in family day care must have access to adequate and age-appropriate toilet, washing and drying facilities.
For young children, this might mean access to toilet training equipment such as potties, junior toilet seats or a firm non-slip step to assist children’s access to toilets, washing and drying facilities.
Your approved provider will assist you to make sure toilets and hand-washing facilities in your home or approved venue are safe and appropriate for the children in your care.
Nappy changing and toileting rituals are also valuable opportunities to promote children’s learning, meet individual needs and to develop strong relationships with children. Having their needs met in a caring and responsive way builds children’s sense of trust and security – which relates strongly to the Early Years Learning Framework.
Relationships with children
The term ‘discipline’ is often associated with punishment and modifying child behaviour. You must not use any form of corporal punishment or use discipline that is unreasonable in the circumstance towards any child who you are educating and caring for. You should use positive behaviour guidance techniques to guide children’s behaviour.
Examples of corporal punishment and unreasonable discipline include (but are not limited to):
- Hitting or slapping
- Dragging a child by the arms or legs
- Depriving a child of food or drink
- Yelling at or making fun of a child
- Shaking a child
- Humiliating a child
- Locking up or otherwise unreasonably restraining a child
Interactions with children
Children attending your service should be educated and cared for in a way that:
- encourages the children to express themselves and their opinions
- allows the children to undertake experiences that develop self-reliance and self-esteem
- maintains at all times the dignity and rights of each child
- gives each child positive guidance and encouragement toward acceptable behaviour
- has regard to the family and cultural values, age, and physical and intellectual development and abilities of each child being educated and cared for by the service.
Relationships in groups
Children being educated and cared for should be given opportunities to interact and develop respectful and positive relationships with each other, with you and volunteers at the service.
This will be achieved by having regard to the size and composition of the groups in which children are being educated and cared for.
Collaborative partnerships with family and communities
Learning outcomes are most likely to be achieved when educators work in partnership with families and communities.
Access for parents
You must not prevent a parent of a child from entering the residence or approved venue at any time that the child is being educated and cared for by you unless:
- permitting a parents entry would:
- pose a risk to the safety of the children and staff of the education and care service
- conflict with any duty of the educator under the law
- you reasonably believe that permitting the parent’s entry would contravene a court order.
There is no requirement for your approved provider to have policies with regards to access to children. However, your approved provider may develop policies about access to children to provide clarification to pare t of the circumstances in which they may denied access. In addition your approved provider may require that a record of an decision to refuse access to parents is k and for you to notify them if this occurs.
Family day care educators
You must advise your approved provider of:
- any proposed renovations to your residence or approved venue
- any changes to your residence or approved venue that may affect the matters considered as part of the assessment of the premises – for example, acquiring a pet
- any other changes to your residence or approved venue that will affect the education and care provided to children at the service
- any new person aged 18 years or over who resides, or intends to reside, at the your residence
- any circumstances relating to a person who has been previously considered by the approved provider that may affect whether the person is a fit and proper person to be in the company of children.
Assessment, monitoring and compliance
The Department appoints authorised officers to assess, monitor and enforce compliance with the National Law and National Regulations. An authorised officer will carry an identity card issued by the Department whenever the officer is exercising their functions under the National Law. They will show the identity card before and at any time when asked to do so while exercising any power of entry under the National Law.
Assessment and rating
Key to the National Quality Framework is continuous quality improvement. Authorised officers from the Department are responsible for assessing and rating approved providers against the National Quality Standard, National Law and National Regulations.
The approved provider must ensure that a Quality Improvement Plan is prepared for the service which must:
- include an assessment of the quality of the practices of the service against the National Quality Standard and the National Regulations
- identify any areas that the approved provider considers may require improvement
- contains a statement of philosophy of the service.
The Quality Improvement Plan must be reviewed and revised by the approved provider at least annually and at any time as directed by the Department.
As part of the assessment and rating process of a family day care service, an authorised officer will visit the principal office of the family day care service and one or more residences or approved venues.
During the assessment of the service the Department must consider:
- the current Quality Improvement Plan
- any rating assessment history of the service
- the service’s history of compliance with the National Law and National Regulations.
Following an assessment visit, approved providers receive an assessment report, a rating against each of the seven quality areas and an overall rating. These ratings must be displayed by each service and are published on the ACECQA and the MyChild websites. The ratings are:
- Excellent (by application to ACECQA)
- Exceeding National Quality Standard
- Meeting National Quality Standard
- Working Towards National Quality Standard
- Significant Improvement Required
Assessment and rating visit
At an assessment and rating visit, you should carry on with your usual daily practice. The authorised officer will conduct the visit in a way that ensures their actions minimise disruption as much as possible.
During the visit the authorised officer will follow a standard process to gather the evidence required to assess and rate the service.
You can expect the authorised officer to:
- observe what children, families, educators, co-ordinators and staff members are doing
- talk with the key contact person, educators, coordinators, family day care educator assistants or staff members about the practices within the service
- look at documentation required by the National Law and National Regulations and other documentation as evidence to support particular practices at the service.
Additional information on the
assessment and rating process.
The Department monitors compliance through unannounced compliance visits, assessment and rating visits and through the investigation of serious incidents and complaints.
Compliance visits are generally unannounced and assess service compliance against the National Law and National Regulations.
Investigations are conducted when the Department is notified of a serious incident or a complaint where there is an allegation:
- that the safety, health or wellbeing of a child or children being educated and cared for by the service may have been compromised
- of a contravention of the National Law or National Regulations.
An investigation may include all, or any of the following:
- an investigation compliance visit
- collection of relevant documentary evidence
- taking statements from witnesses, parents, other relevant persons
- interview of the approved provider, educator and any other person(s) directly involved in the alleged incident
- collection of evidence from other relevant sources.
Where there is serious and/or ongoing non-compliance with the National Quality Framework the Department may take compliance action against the approved provider and/or the family day care educator. There are a range of actions available to the Department to enable appropriate and proportionate responses to non-compliance in relation to family day care.
If a person has allegedly breached the National Law or National Regulations, the Department may enter into a written agreement where the person agrees to take certain action, or refrain from taking certain action, to comply with the National Law or National Regulations.
A compliance direction is a written enforcement notice that directs an approved provider to take certain steps to comply with a provision of the National Regulations, within a specified timeframe.
A compliance notice is a direction from the Department to the approved provider to take certain steps within a specified period of time to comply with the provision contained in the National Law and National Regulations. It is an offence under the National Law to fail to comply with a compliance notice.
The Department may issue a prohibition notice to a person if it considers that there may be an unacceptable risk of harm to a child if the person was allowed to provide education and care to a child.
Notice to suspend a family day care educator
The Department may issue a notice directing an approved provider to suspend education and care provided by a family day care educator, if the Department is satisfied that because of the conduct of, or the inadequacy of the service provided by, a family day care educator that:
- the approved provider or nominated supervisor is not compliant with the National Law or National Regulations
- there is a risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of the children at the service.
Emergency action notice
If the Department is satisfied that an approved provider is operating in a way that poses (or is likely to pose) an immediate risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of children being educated and cared for by that service, the Department may direct the service to take certain steps to remove or reduce the risk within a specified time frame.
Emergency removal of children
If the Department considers on reasonable grounds, that there is an immediate danger to the safety or health of a child or children being educated and cared for, the Department may remove or cause the removal of, the child or children from the premises. The Department may be assisted by persons as reasonably required including police officers. They may enter the premises and if necessary remove the children using reasonable force. The child’s parents must be notified immediately by the Department.
Suspensions or cancellations of provider, service approval or supervisor certificate
The Department may suspend or cancel a provider approval, service approval or supervisor certificate under a number of circumstances.
Offences under the National Law and Regulations
The National Law and Regulation sets out a range of higher order offences. Most offences apply only to the approved provider as the person with the overall responsibility for ensuring that the approved service complies with the National Law and National Regulations. However, in limited circumstances, some offences apply to nominated supervisors, family day care educators, or staff members based on the person’s control over the particular action or omission.
There are a number of possible offences by family day care educators; these are set out in the following table.
For more information
This guide provides a broad range of information regarding your obligations under the National Law and National Regulations and regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Department and your approved provider. If you would like further information regarding any of the topics covered in this guide or any other obligations you may have as an educator, please contact your approved provider.
Additional details about your responsibilities and obligations under the National Quality Framework can be found in the National Law and National Regulations at
National Quality Framework.
The independent statutory authority ACECQA has further information and resources available which is contained on its website at
ACECQA. Additionally, ACECQA can be contacted on
The Department also has further information and resources available regarding education and care services on its website at
Regional offices of the Department can be contacted for assistance. Contact details for Regional Offices can be found at
Furthermore, assistance can be sought from the Children’s Services Regulations Enquiry Line on
1300 307 415 or
|Claim to be a Certified Supervisor without a Supervisor Certificate||section 132|
|Inadequate supervision||section 165|
|Inappropriate discipline||section 166|
|Fail to protect children from harm and hazards||section 167|
|Fail to meet minimum staffing requirements ||section 169|
|Allow unauthorised person to remain on premises ||section 170|
|Fail to comply with direction to exclude inappropriate person||section 171|
|Fail to keep enrolment and other documents||section 175|
|Obstruct an authorised officer ||section 207|
|Fail to assist an authorised officer||section 208|
|Destroy or damage notices or documents||section 209|
|Impersonate an authorised officer||section 210|
|Fail to comply with notice or requirement||section 217|
|Hinder or obstruct Regulatory Authority||section 218|
|Health and hygiene practices and safe food practices||regulation 77|
|Access to safe drinking water and regular food and beverages||regulation 78|
|Service providing food and beverages ||regulation 79|
|Weekly menu||regulation 80|
|Sleep and rest ||regulation 81|
|Tobacco, drug and alcohol free environment||regulation 82|
|Staff members not to be affected by alcohol and drug||regulation 83|
|First aid kits||regulation 89|
|Administration of medication ||regulation 93|
|Children leaving the education and care service premises ||regulation 99|
|Risk assessment must be conducted before excursion||regulation 100|
|Authorisation for excursions||regulation 102|
|Access for parents||regulation 157|
|Children not to be alone with visitors ||regulation 166|
|Prescribed enrolment and other records to be kept by family day care educator||regulation 178|
|Confidentiality of records kept by family day care educator ||regulation 182|