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Policies and procedures in early childhood services

Information on the policies and procedures services must have in place. Applies to NQF services and those approved under the Children’s Services Act (CS Act).

Required policies and procedures for all services

All providers must make sure their service has policies and procedures in place about the following situations:

  • nutrition, food, and dietary requirements
  • sun protection
  • water safety
  • first aid
  • sleep and rest
  • incidents, injury, trauma, and illness
  • infectious diseases
  • medical conditions
  • emergency and evacuation
  • delivery and collection of children
  • excursions, regular outings, and transport
  • child safe environment
  • staffing - must include:
    • a code of conduct
    • determining the responsible person present at the service
    • the participation of volunteers and students on practicum placements
  • interactions with children
  • enrolment and orientation
  • governance and management of the service, including confidentiality of records
  • acceptance and refusal of authorisations
  • payment of fees
  • dealing with complaints.

Resources for services

The Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has detailed information and guidance for all policies and proceduresExternal Link services must have in place.

They steps providers and services through the information to consider when:

  • preparing policies
  • reviewing policies - to make sure they are still up to date.

They offer a starting point to develop policies that will cover all requirements, and should be tailored to suit each service.

Following policies and procedures

Providers must take reasonable steps to ensure staff follow their service’s policies and procedures.

This requires:

  • training for all staff and volunteers
  • orientation for new staff and volunteers.

Read ACECQA’s guidance ‘Six reasonable steps to ensure staff follow policies and procedures’ at Preparing NQF policies and proceduresExternal Link .

Additional policies for Family Day Care (FDC) services

Family Day Care (FDC) providers are required to have all the policies and procedures listed above as well as additional policies and procedures specific to FDC.

They also need to have systems in place to support employees who often work alone, and at large distances from each other:

  • educators
  • FDC co-ordinators
  • FDC assistants.

FDC providers must have policies and procedures that describe:

  • how proposed FDC residences and venues will be assessed before education and care are provided to children to ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of children is protected
  • how FDC educators, and educator assistants will be engaged or registered
  • how the register of all FDC educators, coordinators and educator assistants that includes the information required by the Children's Services Act 1996 (CS Act) regulation 153 will be kept
  • how all FDC educators will be monitored, supported and supervised, including those in remote locations
  • how FDC educators, assistants and all persons over 18 that live at the FDC residence will be assessed to make sure they are:
    • ‘fit and proper’ people under CS Act regulation 163
    • including checking their WWCC or VIT registration
  • how visitors to the residence or venue will be managed
  • how information, assistance and training will be provided to FDC educators.

FDC resources

Read ACECQA’s policy guidance: Engagement or registration of family day care educatorsExternal Link .

Reviewed 04 April 2023


Contact us

Quality Assessment and Regulation Division (QARD)

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