National Legislation

Early childhood education and care services are grouped into two categories according to the legislation. Those that fall under a national quality framework (nationally in-scope services such as long day care, family day care, out of school hours care and preschools) and those under State legislation (residual services such as occasional care, rural and mobile care, in-home care and family day care services that are not within the meaning of the National Law).

National Quality Framework

In December 2009, all Australian Governments agreed to a new National Quality Framework (NQF) for Early Childhood Education and Care.

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The NQF was established under applied law, comprising of the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations. The NQF applies to most long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and preschools.

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National Regulations

The Education and Care Services National Regulations support the legislation and provide detail on a range of operational requirements for an early education and care service including:

  • application processes for provider approval, service approval and supervisor certificates
  • setting out the rating scale
  • the process for the rating and assessment of services against the National Quality Standard
  • minimum requirements relating to the operation of education and care services organised around each of the seven Quality Areas

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