Reform of Children’s Services Law

The Victorian government is progressing the reform of the Children’s Services regulatory regime to align it with the National Quality Framework (where appropriate).

The reform aims to simplify licensing arrangements for providers, and ensure more consistent minimum standards across the two regulatory regimes.

The Children’s Services Act has changed

Amendments to align the Children’s Services Act 1996 to the Education and Care Services National Law (where appropriate) were passed by Parliament in November 2019. The Children’s Services Amendment Act 2019 will come into effect in May 2020.

Proposed new Children’s Services Regulations

The Children’s Services Regulations 2009 expire on 18 May 2020. They must be replaced with new regulations by that date. They'll also need to be updated to reflect the changes to the  Act.

Visit Engage Victoria to read more about the proposed new Children’s Services Regulations.

Consultation on the proposed new regulations closed on 17 March 2020. We will publish a summary of the feedback here and on the Engage Victoria website. The feedback received will help inform our work on the final Children’s Services Regulations 2020. We will update this page when the new regulations have been made. It is intended that the new Children’s Services Regulations 2020 will come into effect together with the amended Act in May 2020.

Who is affected

You will be affected by the reform if you are:

  • a child attending a children's service (or their family)
  • a current proprietor, licensee, licensee representative, or responsible person of a children’s service
  • a primary nominee, nominee or accepted nominee under the Children's Services Act 1996
  • an operator of a sport or leisure facility that provides occasional care services adjunct to its main business function
  • an approved provider who operates an approved associated children’s service (a children’s service operated as part of an education and care service under the National Quality Framework)
  • a qualified educator, another staff member or a volunteer
  • studying and planning on entering the sector
  • a sector peak body
  • an employee or employer representative body.

What is changing 

From May 2020 the changes to the act will align:

  • the objectives and guiding principles of the law
  • terminology
  • licensing and service approval processes
  • operational requirements that are in the law
  • compliance, monitoring and enforcement approaches
  • offences and penalties
  • the regulator’s powers and duties.

Existing approvals and roles will change to approvals and roles equivalent to those under the National Quality Framework.

Approved associated children’s services (services operated as part of an education and care service under the National Quality Framework) will be phased out by 2022.

We will provide information and resources to help providers and services transition to the new arrangements when the changes are implemented.

Read more about the changes to the Act.

What is not changing

Contact us

For queries or further information about the reform, email us at cs.law.reform@edumail.vic.gov.au.

How children's services are currently regulated

Read more about the current Children’s Services Act 1996​, the Children’s Services Regulations 2009, and how children’s services are currently regulated at Children's services regulated under State Law.