Our role as the regulator

All approved services in NSW are monitored, regulated, assessed and rated by the NSW Department of Education to ensure children are kept safe.

Assessment and rating

All NSW early childhood education and outside school hours care services are assessed and rated by the NSW Department of Education.

Services are assessed against the seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard by an authorised officer from the NSW Department of Education.

Assessment and rating gives services an opportunity to showcase how they support, educate and care for children. It identifies the strengths of services as well as areas that could be improved.

Once assessed, services are given an overall quality rating which must be displayed on a certificate at the service. The certificate uses a star graphic which gives families important information about the overall rating of a service, as well as a rating against each of the quality areas.

You can also view a service’s quality rating using the early childhood education or outside school hours care service finders.

For more information on quality ratings visit understanding quality.

Monitoring and compliance

The NSW Department of Education undertakes monitoring and compliance activities to ensure the health and safety of children by checking that services are complying with the National Law and Regulations.

Examples of activities the department undertakes to assess risks to children and/or address specific issues include:

  • providing services with information and guidance
  • creating targeted campaigns to monitor a specific issue, service type or location
  • unscheduled visits (no notice given to service) to investigate complaints and/or incidents.

Examples of compliance actions taken to address breaches of the National Law or National Regulations include:

  • infringement notice
  • suspension or cancellation of service approval
  • direction to exclude a person from the service premises
  • prosecution.

When deciding how to respond to an incident or issue, the Department will consider the circumstances of each case and the risk to children (both short and long term).

National Quality Framework

The National Quality Framework (NQF) provides a national benchmark for safety and quality in early childhood education and school-aged care services.

The NQF includes National Laws and Regulations that services must comply with to ensure children are kept safe and have access to quality learning experiences.

The National Law and Regulations regulate the following service types:

  • long day care
  • family day care
  • preschools
  • outside school hours care

The NQF also sets the National Quality Standard which all services are assessed and rated against.

Find out more about the importance of quality in early childhood education and outside school hours care services.

Supplementary Provisions Act

Some service types are regulated under the Children (Education and Care Services) Supplementary Provisions Act 2011 and the Children (Education and Care Services) Supplementary Provisions Regulation 2019.

The services regulated under the Supplementary Provisions Act include:

  • mobile services
  • occasional care services.
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