Guidance for early childhood services regulated under state law. Includes training and qualifications, forms, fees and penalties and practice notes.
Some services are regulated under the Victorian Children’s Services Act 1996, rather than the National Quality Framework. These include:
- all limited hours and short-term licensed services
- budget-based services not funded for Child Care Benefit
- occasional care
- early childhood intervention
- mobile services
- some school holiday care programs.
Requirements for services
Victorian children's services must meet the requirements of:
The expiry date of the Children's Services Regulations 2009 has been extended to 18 May 2020.
The Victorian government is considering reform of the Children's Services Act 1996 to align it with the Education and Care Services National Law. Learn more about Reform of Children’s Services Law.
Register of services
For the latest copy, see Victorian Children's Services Act Register.
For services that operate under national law, see National Quality Framework.
Training and qualifications
For a person to work as a staff member in a licensed children's service they must satisfy minimum training requirements:
A current list of approved qualifications for minimum trained staff members employed in licensed children's services can be found in the Victorian Government Gazette No. 69.
If your qualification does not appear in the Schedule you can apply to have your qualification assessed for equivalence. For more information, see Assessment of qualifications for equivalence.
Services that transitioned to the National Quality framework should access the relevant approval forms from Approval and certificates.
Applications for a licence to operate a Children's Service under the Victorian Children's Services Legislation:
Complaints and incidents
Fees and penalties
Licensing fees and penalties are prescribed in units under the Children’s Services Act 1996 (the Act) and Children's Services Regulations 2009 (the Regulations) and are updated each year from 1 July.
The Treasurer announces the new amount for fee and penalty units in April of each year.
For more information, see:
From 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019:
- a fee unit is $14.45
- a penalty unit is $161.19
From 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020:
- a fee unit is $14.81
- a penalty unit is $165.22
To view the 2019-20 fee amounts, see:
Make sure you include the correct fee with your application, otherwise it may delay your application or it may be returned to you.
If you do not comply with the Act and Regulations, you may be prosecuted in court. If you are found guilty, you may have to pay a penalty up to the maximum penalty unit amount listed in the Act and Regulations.
To view the 2019-20 penalty amounts, see:
These fact sheets, guides and practice notes do not constitute legal advice. You should determine your own obligations under the legislation and, if necessary, seek legal advice to find out how the legislation may apply to your situation.
Practice notes are policy information sheets that are designed to assist children's services by setting out the Department's approach to the requirements of the Children's Services Act 1996 and the Children's Services Regulations 2009.
Behaviour guidance practice note series