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Child protection obligations in early childhood services

The Victorian Government has introduced a range of measures to better protect children.

There are a range of different schemes and legal obligations that aim to protect children from the risk of harm, abuse and neglect.

These obligations apply to:

  • approved providers of early childhood services
  • service leadership
  • educators and staff
  • volunteers
  • students on placements.

This page provides links to more detailed information and online training for all early childhood services.

The information applies to all providers and services regulated under the Education and Care Services National Law and the Children’s Services Act 1996.

The Child Safe Standards

The Child Safe StandardsExternal Link (CSS) require organisations involving children to have policies, procedures and practices to keep children safe.

Information and guidance for early childhood services about:

Information about the different legal obligations to protect children including:

  • duty of care obligations
  • criminal offences - failure to disclose, failure to protect
  • obligations under the Education and Care Services National Law and the Children’s Services Act 1996.

Mandatory reporting

All early childhood workers, including approved providers and volunteers are mandatory reportersExternal Link .

They must make a report to Victoria Police or Child Protection, if:

  • in the course of practising their profession or carrying out duties of their office, position or employment
  • they form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection from physical injury or sexual abuse.

Access the free Mandatory Reporting eLearning moduleExternal Link .

Reportable conduct

The Reportable Conduct SchemeExternal Link requires organisations involving children to notify the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) of alleged abuse by workers or volunteers.

Approved providers of early childhood services must respond to allegations of child abuse (and other child-related misconduct) made against their workers and volunteers.

Child information sharing and privacy

There are three inter-related information sharing schemesExternal Link that allow professionals working with children to share information to:

  • promote the wellbeing or safety of children and
  • facilitate assessment and management of family violence risk to children and adults.

The three schemes are:

  • Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS)
  • Family Violence information Sharing Scheme (FVISS)
  • Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM).

Free online webinars and eLearning is available at: Training on Information sharing and MARAM reformsExternal Link .

Problem sexual behaviour

Information for services to help them to differentiate, and respond to problem sexual behaviour in the best interests of the child.

Reviewed 11 July 2023


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Quality Assessment and Regulation Division (QARD)

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