In Victoria, the early childhood education and care sector is regulated by two regimes - National and Victorian. They are similar, but not consistent.

Most early childhood education and care services are regulated under the National Quality Framework (NQF), with a small number of services operating under the Victorian children’s services legislation.

The distinguishing feature of children's services is that most children attend for short periods of time - no more than five hours a day and up to 15 hours per week - on an occasional basis.

The Victorian Government is progressing children's services law reform by aligning (where appropriate) the Victorian children’s services legislation with the NQF.

The proposed Children's Services Regulations 2020 aim to complete the alignment by simplifying arrangements for service providers and to ensure more consistent minimum standards across the two regimes.

The supporting Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) outlines the:

  • regulatory options and preferred option for regulation
  • requirements for meeting the new regulations
  • estimated costs associated with the preferred option.

The proposed regulations will not result in children's services being assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard.

There are three options identified in relation to the proposed regulations:

  • Option 1 (Base Case) - No regulations for Children’s Services
  • Option 2 (Status Quo) - No change to current Children’s Services Regulations
  • Option 3 (Preferred) - Regulations aligned with the NQF (where appropriate)

The preferred option is Option 3, which is the subject of this consultation.

The proposed regulations will affect the following people and services:

  • Children attending a children's service and their families
  • Current licensees and proprietors of children’s services, including Local Government, community and not-for-profit organisations
  • Operators of sport and leisure facilities that provide occasional care services adjunct to their main business function
  • Approved providers under the NQF who operate Approved Associated Children’s Services (AACS)
  • Prospective providers of children’s services
  • Qualified educators, other staff and volunteers
  • People undertaking studies with a view to entering the sector
  • Sector peak bodies
  • Employee and employer representative bodies.

For services prescribed under the proposed regulations, there will be key operational requirements and estimated costs associated with meeting any new or amended requirements. For information about the analysis of operational requirements and estimated costs, please review the Executive Summary (pg. 7-11), Preferred Option (pg. 103-111) and Appendix 10.1 Comparison Table of current and proposed regulations (pg. 119-127) in the RIS.

All costs to providers of children’s services are calculated on the basis of the time it will take staff to perform specific tasks, and do not reflect cash liability for any provider of children’s services.

The regulatory authority will assist services to implement any new or amended requirements under the proposed regulations, by providing updated information and guidance material.

The Secretary of the DET is the regulatory authority for education and care services and children's services operating in Victoria across both the NQF and Victorian regimes.

The functions and powers of the regulatory authority are largely delegated to the Quality Assessment and Regulation Division (QARD) of the DET to administer and enforce the regulatory regimes.

Public consultation closed

The Department of Education and Training (DET) would like to thank all those who participated in the consultation process, provided feedback and made submissions.

Two submissions and 28 responses to the online survey were received. 97 people participated in the face-to-face sessions and a videoconference.

The Public Consultation Summary Report, survey responses and submissions are now available for download in the Consultation Outcome section below.

Collection Notice

The proposed Children’s Services Regulations 2020 provide the operational detail to support the Children’s Services Amendment Act 2019, and are now presented for public comment and submission through this Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) and public consultation process.

The proposed regulations will impact on existing and future providers, educators and families. The RIS presents regulatory options, quantifies the cost of the proposed regulations to industry and government, includes economic analysis of costs and benefits, and invites public comment about the proposed regulatory options.

The primary purpose of collecting this information is to inform decision-making on the final Children’s Services Regulations 2020. It is intended that the Children's Services Amendment Act 2019 and the new Children’s Services Regulations 2020 will come into effect together on 17 May 2020.

Information provided during the consultation period will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Data and Protection Act 2014 (Vic), the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic).

Your email address will be used for the purposes of confirming receipt of your responses to the online survey, written submission or registration to attend a face-to-face consultation session.

All comments and submissions will be treated as public documents unless clearly marked as “confidential” and will be published in full or in part in a de-identified summary report on the DET website following the public consultation period.

For any queries in relation to the information contained in this notice or if you would like to make a request to access or correct your information, please contact cs.law.reform@edumail.vic.gov.au

Please see the DET’s Information Privacy Policy for more information.

Online Survey

Section one: Submitter details

Your email address will be used to confirm receipt of your survey responses

Stakeholder type

Select all that apply

Section two: Questions about the Regulatory Impact Statement

The Regulatory Impact Statement considers the operational and financial impacts of the proposed Children's Services Regulations 2020.

Refer to Executive Summary (pg. 7-11) and Appendix 10.1 (pg. 119-127) of the RIS.

Refer to Executive Summary (pg. 7-11) and Appendix 10.1 (pg. 119-127) of the RIS.

Section three: Questions about proposed Regulations

The proposed Regulations prescribe a range of operational changes to better align (where appropriate) the Children's Services regulatory regime with the National Quality Framework

Do you support the reduction of seven (7) licence types to two (2) service approval types? Required

Refer to pg. 33, 56 & 92 of the RIS

Do you support the requirement for outdoor space for new Occasional Care services? Required

Refer to pg. 39, 64 & 97 of the RIS

Do you support the alignment of staffing requirements with the NQF? Required

Refer to pg. 34, 57 & 93 of the RIS

Are estimated time assumptions for tasks such as record-keeping and the development of additional policies and procedures, reasonable or accurate? Required

Refer to pg. 67 & 99 of the RIS

Do you support the proposed fee structure? Required

Refer to pg. 70 & 101 of the RIS

Do you support the savings provisions for existing services? Required

Refer to Appendix 10.1 (pg. 119-127) of the RIS

Do you think the transitional arrangements are reasonable? Required

Refer to pg. 116 & Appendix 10.1 (pg. 119-127) of the RIS

If the preferred option is adopted, would your workforce or organisation need support to meet the proposed requirements? Required
Do you consent to your survey responses being published in full or in part? Required

Please refer to the Collection Notice

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

Submit a written response

Your email address will be used to confirm receipt of your submission

Upload a word or pdf file of your comments about the RIS and proposed Children's Services Regulations 2020

Do you consent to your submission being published in full or in part? Required

Please refer to the Collection Notice

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

Register for a session

Click the location to register.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the event start time (have photo ID with you) to allow for possible security screening.

Video-conference session

Friday 13 March 2020
  • Videoconference - 3.30pm to 5.00pm

Face-to-face consultation sessions

Monday 24 February 2020
  • Bendigo - 11.30am to 1.00pm
  • Melbourne CBD - 2.30pm to 4.00pm
  • Narre Warren - 3.00pm to 4.30pm
Wednesday 26 February 2020
  • Blackburn South - 3.00pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 27 February 2020
  • Geelong - 1.30pm to 3.00pm
  • Preston - 3.00pm to 4.30pm
Friday 28 February 2020
  • Footscray - 1.30pm to 3.00pm
Monday 2 March 2020
  • Wallan - 10.30am to 12.00pm