How we regulate children's 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).

For more information, see: National Quality Framework

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: