All early childhood services (services) must comply with the Child Safe Standards (Standards) that started on 1 July 2022.
Until 31 December 2022
Quality Assessment and Regulation Division (QARD) is the Regulatory Authority for early childhood services in Victoria.
QARD and the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) will continue to work together to regulate the Standards:
- QARD informs and educates services about their obligations under the Standards
- Where QARD finds any serious non-compliance with the Standards we may:
- refer it to CCYP to take compliance action under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 or
- take separate compliance action if the issue is also a non-compliance under:
- the Education and Care Services National Law (National Law)
- the Education and Care Services National Regulations (National Regulations)
- the Children’s Services Act 1996 (CS Act)
- the Children’s Services Regulations 2020 (CS Regulations).
From 1 January 2023
QARD will be the integrated sector regulator for the Standards in the early childhood sector. This means that we will:
- use our current powers under the National Law and the CS Act to monitor and enforce compliance with the Standards
- monitor compliance with the Standards as an integrated part of our regulatory approach
- collaborate with CCYP and other sector regulators where organisations operate in more than one sector.
Where an organisation operates in more than one sector
From 1 January 2023, every organisation that has to comply with the Standards has a ‘sector regulator’:
CCYP is the regulator for the Standards for organisations where there is no specified sector regulator.
Example 1: A non-government school operates an Early Learning Centre (ELC)
- QARD regulates compliance with the Standards by the ELC as an approved education and care service under the National Law
- VRQA regulates compliance with the Standards by the school
QARD collaborates with VRQA in monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Standards by the ELC.
Example 2: A local Council operates different services for children and adults at a recreation complex, including:
- a swimming pool which provides swimming lessons for children
- a gym for adults
- an approved children’s service that offers occasional care for children while their parent uses the pool or gym.
The Council has child safety policies that apply to all services operating from the Council complex
- QARD regulates compliance with the Standards by the approved children’s service
- CCYP regulates compliance by the other services provided by the Council.
QARD collaborates with CCYP in monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Standards.
Reviewed 03 August 2023