How we regulate early childhood services

​Most services for children are regulated to ensure children are protected from harm and that their opportunities for learning and development are maximised.

There are two different regulation schemes that run in Victoria.

Services regulated under the National Quality Framework

Most early childhood education and care services are regulated under a scheme known as the National Quality Framework.

An education and care service is any service providing or intending to provide education and care on a regular basis to children under the age of 13 years. Services that meet this definition are generally required to operate under the National Quality Framework. This includes:

  • family day care services
  • long day care services
  • outside school hours care services
  • preschools (kindergartens).

CSA service types

The Regulations streamline the former seven licence types into two new service types:

  • Limited Hours – extends the length of time a child can be educated and cared for under the former Limited Hours Type 1 licence type from 2 hours per day to 3 hours per day, up to 6 hours per week.
  • Occasional Care – all other services that are not Limited Hours services. These services now have no limit on the number of hours children can be educated and cared for each week.

Services regulated under state law

A number of services operate under the Victorian children’s services legislation. These services are generally occasional care services, mobile services, budget-based services not funded for Child Care Benefit or school holiday care programs.

For more information, see: Children's services regulated under state law

If you are not sure whether a particular service should be regulated you should contact a children’s services authorised officer at the nearest regional office of the Department.

The role of the Department

We are the regulatory authority for education and care and children's services operating in Victoria. The functions and powers of the regulatory authority are delegated to the Quality Assessment and Regulation Division (QARD) to administer and enforce the regulations (See: QARD Investigation Guidelines (docx - 587.62kb)​.​

We are expected to undertake the full range of functions and powers provided to us to promote the safety, health and well-being of children attending education and care and children’s services. For more information, see: Statement of Expectations 2018

Our regulatory framework explains how we undertake our regulatory functions, including driving continuous quality improvement in education and care services:

Quality Assessment and Regulation contacts​​

Quality Assessment and Regulation Division
GPO Box 4367
Melbourne, Vic 3001
1300 307 415
email: licensed.childrens.services@edumail.vic.gov.au

North-W​estern Victoria Region

Loddon​​ Mallee Area

7-15 McLaren Street
Bendigo Vic 3550
(PO Box 442 Bendigo Vic 3550)
(03) 4433 7502
email: lmr.qar@edumail.vic.gov.au

Northern Metropo​​​litan Area

Level 9, 1 McNab Avenue
Footscray Vic 3011
(PO Box 2141, Footscray Vic 3011)
(03) 7005 1989
email: nmr.qar@edumail.vic.gov.au

South-E​​​​astern Victoria Region

Gippslan​​​d Area

Corner of Kirk and Haigh Streets
Moe Vic 3825
(PO Box 381 Moe Vic 3825) 
(03) 5194 4101
email: gippsland.qar@edumail.vic.gov.au

Southern Metropo​​litan Area

Level 6, 165 - 169 Thomas Street
Dandenong Vic 3175
(PO Box 5 Dandenong Vic 3175) 
(03) 8765 5787
email: smr.qar@edumail.vic.gov.au

North-East​​ern Victoria Region

Eastern Metropol​​itan Area

Level 4, 295 Springvale Road
Glen Waverley Vic 3150
1300 651 940
email: emr.qar@edumail.vic.gov.au

Hume Ar​​ea

150 Bridge Street East
Benalla Vic 3671
(PO Box 403 Benalla Vic 3671)
(03) 5771 4471
email: hume.qar@edumail.vic.gov.au

South-Wester​​n Victoria Region

Barwon Sou​​th West Area

75 High Street
Belmont VIC 3216
(PO Box 2086 Geelong Vic 3220)
(03) 5215 5136
email: bsw.qar@edumail.vic.gov.au

Western​​ Metropolitan Area

Level 9, 1 McNab Avenue
Footscray Vic 3011
(PO Box 2141, Footscray Vic 3011)
(03) 7005 1801
email: wmr.qar@edumail.vic.gov.au

Gram​​pians Area

109 Armstrong Street
North Ballarat Vic 3350
(03) 4334 0589
email: grampians.qar@edumail.vic.gov.au

Enquiries and support

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