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 Department of Education and Training (Department) 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 Department to administer and enforce the regulatory regimes.
Tell us what you think
Your views on the proposed regulations and the options presented in the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) will inform the final Children's Services Regulations 2020
Section one: Submitter details
Submit a written response
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|Friday 13 March 2020|
Face-to-face consultation sessions
|Monday 24 February 2020|
|Wednesday 26 February 2020|
|Thursday 27 February 2020|
|Friday 28 February 2020|
|Monday 2 March 2020|