Setting up a new service

To operate an education and care service in NSW, you will need to apply for provider approval and a service approval.

If you are an applicant for a provider or service approval, you must first determine which regulatory framework applies to your service.

Services covered by the National Law and National Regulations include: Family Day Care, Long Day Care, Out of School Hours Care and Preschools.

Out of Scope services are governed by the Children (Education and Care Services) Supplementary Provisions Act 2011 (NSW) and Children (Education and Care Services) Supplementary Provisions Regulation 2012 (NSW) these include Home Based Care, Occasional Care, Mobile services. and Shopping Centre services.

To operate an education and care service in NSW, you will need to apply for provider approval. A service approval is required for every individual service a provider operates.

Under the National Law and Regulations the Department of Education, as the Regulatory Authority, has the following timelines for processing applications:

  • 60 days to process a provider approval
  • 90 days to process a service approval

Processing of applications commences from the date which all necessary documentation is received and the application validated as complete.

The department will always aim to complete applications as early as possible within these time frames. However, the department strongly urges applicants to factor in the maximum time frame in their planning.

Terminology

Provider approval

A provider approval authorises a person or entity to operate an education and care service.

Service approval

A service approval can only be issued to an approved provider.

An existing service approval can be transferred from one approved provider to another approved provider.

Although a service approval application and/or an application to transfer an existing service may be lodged by a service before the provider approval application has been finalised, it is not recommended.

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