Reform of Children’s Services Law and Regulations

The Victorian government has reformed the Children’s Services regulatory regime to align it with the National Quality Framework (NQF), where appropriate.

The reform simplifies licensing arrangements for providers and ensures more consistent minimum standards across the two regulatory regimes.

Changes to the Children's Services Act 1996 and the new Children's Services Regulations 2020 came into effect together on 17 May 2020. 

What has changed 

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.

On 17 May 2020 existing service approvals and roles were automatically converted to approvals and roles equivalent to those under the NQF:

  • Existing licensees and services will become approved providers and approved services
  • Existing responsible persons, primary nominees and other nominees will become persons with management or control, nominated supervisors, and persons in day-to-day charge.

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.

Read more about the changes to the Act.

Children's Services Regulations 2020

The new Children's Services Regulations 2020 provide the supporting details for the new processes in the Act and establish new operational requirements for services

There will be a two-year transition period for existing services.

The new regulatory requirements will however apply to all new providers and new services approved after 17 May 2020

The new Regulations reflect the changes to the Act in the following areas:

  • Approval processes and service types
  • Staffing: educator to child ratios, and educator qualifications
  • Educational programs and relations with children
  • Indoor and outdoor space requirements
  • Safety, health and wellbeing of children
  • Policies, procedures and practices
  • Fees and waivers

You can read more about the new Regulations.

Visit Engage Victoria to read about the consultation process undertaken before the Children's Services Regulations 2020 were made.

What has not changed

Implementation of the new regulatory regime

You can read more about the implementation of the new regulatory regime.

Enquiries and support 

For further information and assistance about the processes for transitioning services to the new requirements, contact our Enquiries and Support Team at: