Children's services regulated under state law

Information about early childhood services regulated under the Victorian Children's Services Act 1996, rather than the National Quality Framework.

Services regulated under the Children’s Services Act 1996

Children’s services offer care to children on a non-regular, or ad hoc basis. They include:

  • limited hours services (where children attend for a short period of time)
  • occasional care services
  • early childhood intervention services
  • mobile services
  • school holiday care programs that operate for less than 28 days a year
  • certain services that formerly received funding under the Commonwealth Government’s Budget Based Funded program or indigenous Advancement Program and were not funded for Child Care Subsidy(opens in a new window).

These services are often in settings such as neighbourhood houses and recreational facilities.

Children's services operate under the:

A children’s service provides education and care for four or more children under the age of 13 years when parents of the children are not physically present and:

  • where the service is provided for fee or reward, or
  • while the parents of the children use sports, leisure or other facilities provided by the provider of the service for the children.

Services that provide education and care to children on a regular basis are regulated under the National Quality Framework(opens in a new window), not under the CS Act. These services include:

  • preschools (kindergartens), long day care services, outside school hours care services, and family day care services
  • school holiday care programs that operate for 28 or more days a year.

Some services and activities for young children are not included in either regulatory scheme(opens in a new window).

Service approval types

Two types of service approval can be granted under the CS Act:

  • Limited hours services – services that provide education and care to each child for not more than 3 hours per day and 6 hours per week
  • Occasional care services – all other services. These services have no limit on the number of hours that children can be educated and cared for.

Regulatory requirements for children’s services

Most of the regulatory requirements for children’s services are the same as those for centre-based education and care services under the NQF.

However, there are some areas where the requirements differ:

  • The National Quality Standard does not apply to children’s services.
  • There is no assessment and quality rating of children’s services against the National Quality Standard.
  • There is no requirement for children’s services to have an educational leader.
  • There is no requirement for children’s services to have a quality improvement plan.

There are also some slightly different requirements for staffing (educator qualifications and early childhood teacher attendance) and outdoor space, depending on the type of service approval.

First aid, anaphylaxis and asthma management training

The requirements for first aid, anaphylaxis and asthma management training in children’s services are the same as for centre-based services in the NQF.

Read about First aid, anaphylaxis and asthma management training(opens in a new window).

Indoor and outdoor space requirements

  • All children’s services must provide 3.25 square metres of indoor space per child.
  • Limited hours services are not required to have an outdoor space.
  • Occasional Care services must provide 7 square metres of outdoor space per child.

Before the children’s services regulatory regime was aligned with the NQF in 2020, some service licence types were not required to have outdoor space.

Occasional care services that were former Limited Hours Type 2 services that do not have 7 square metres of outdoor space per child can operate under the occasional care service type while maintaining the previous 5 hours per day and 15 hours per week limitation on providing education and care for any child.

Verandah space:

  • may be included in either an indoor or outdoor space calculation with the approval of the Regulatory Authority
  • can be calculated for only one (either indoor or outdoor) of those spaces, not both.

Transportation provided or arranged by the service

The requirements for children’s services are the same as the requirements under the NQF relating to:

Read more about the NQF transportation requirements for early childhood services(opens in a new window) including videos and other resources. While this information was created for NQF services, it may assist children’s services in meeting the requirements for transportation. Please disregard the specific references to the Education and Care Services National Regulations as regulation references are different for the CS Regulations.

Persons with Management or Control of a service (PMC)

From 1 July 2023, the definition of persons with management or control (PMC) in the Children’s Services Act 1996 (CS Act) was broadened to include persons who:

  • have authority or responsibility for, or significant influence over:
  • the planning, direction or control of:
    • the activities of the service or
    • the delivery of the service.

Following these changes a PMC can now be a person:

  • employed by the provider OR
  • a person employed by a third-party management company associated with the approved provider OR
  • a volunteer OR
  • a person without a formal or contractual role who has significant influence over the planning, direction or control of the activities or the delivery of the service.

Approved providers must complete the following forms:

  • AP08 Notification of change to information about approved provider form
  • AP02 Declaration of Fitness and Propriety

and submit them by email to: in a new window).

Resources and guidance for children's services

Register of children's services

To find an approved children’s service, check the:

Register of Approved Children's Services - April 2024
Excel 106.49 KB
(opens in a new window)

For education and care services that operate under the NQF, check the national registers(opens in a new window).


Download the relevant form from the list below.

Complete the form and sign it, attaching all the information and documents requested.

For help completing the form, read the:

How to submit forms

Completed applications and notifications must be submitted by email to the Regulatory Authority at for assessment and processing.

Incomplete forms

Forms will not be processed unless:

  • all sections are complete
  • all supporting documents and colour copies of identification are supplied
  • prescribed fees are paid, where applicable.

Each form outlines the required information and documentation for the application or notification.

Providing false or misleading information to the Regulatory Authority is an offence under the CS Act.

Fees and penalties