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 provides or intends 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).

Services regulated under state law

A number of services operate under the Victorian Children's Services Act and offer care to children on a non-regular basis. These services are often in settings such as neighbourhood houses and recreational facilities. They may also be early childhood intervention services (ECIS), mobile services or school holiday care programs that operate for up to 28 days a year.

Following recent reforms to Children's Services Regulations, the former seven licence types have been replaced by two new service types: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.

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 an 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

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

North-W​estern Victoria Region

Loddon​​ Mallee Area

7-15 McLaren Street
Bendigo Vic 3550
(PO Box 442 Bendigo Vic 3550)
(03) 4433 7502

Northern Metropo​​​litan Area

Level 9, 1 McNab Avenue
Footscray Vic 3011
(PO Box 2141, Footscray Vic 3011)
(03) 7005 1989

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

Southern Metropo​​litan Area

Level 6, 165 - 169 Thomas Street
Dandenong Vic 3175
(PO Box 5 Dandenong Vic 3175) 
(03) 8904 2500

North-East​​ern Victoria Region

Eastern Metropol​​itan Area

Level 4, 295 Springvale Road
Glen Waverley Vic 3150
1300 651 940

Hume Ar​​ea

150 Bridge Street East
Benalla Vic 3671
(PO Box 403 Benalla Vic 3671)
(03) 5771 4471

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

Western​​ Metropolitan Area

Level 9, 1 McNab Avenue
Footscray Vic 3011
(PO Box 2141, Footscray Vic 3011)
(03) 7005 1801

Gram​​pians Area

109 Armstrong Street
North Ballarat Vic 3350
(03) 4334 0589

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: