National Legislation

Early childhood education and care services are grouped into those that fall under a national legislative framework (nationally in-scope services) and those under State legislation (residual services).

National legislative framework

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

For further information:


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.

For further information:

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

For further information:

National Quality Standard

The National Quality Standard sets a national benchmark for the quality of children’s education and care services and gives services and families a better understanding of a quality service.

For further information:

Assessment and Rating

The National Quality Standard is accompanied by a national quality rating and assessment process providing a national approach to the assessment and reporting of the quality of early childhood education and care services across the variety of service settings.

For further information:


Forms for the following may be accessed from the below link.

  • Provider approval
  • Service approval
  • Supervisor certificate approval
  • Notifications

For further information:

Click here for associated fees