Service approval

Information on how new services can get approval to operate in NSW.

The NSW Department of Education is the regulatory authority (NSW Regulatory Authority) for the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in NSW. To operate an early childhood education and care service in NSW, you will need to apply and obtain a provider approval first and then you can apply for a service approval through the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA ITS).

  1. Preliminary, Section 5 of the National Law defines an education and care service as any service providing or intended to provide education and care on a regular basis to children under 13 years of age other than:
    1. a school providing full-time education to children, including children attending in the year before grade 1 but not including a preschool program delivered in a school or a preschool that is registered as a school; or
    2. a preschool program delivered in a school if:
      1. the program is delivered in a class or classes where a full-time education program is also being delivered to school children; and
      2. the program is being delivered to fewer than 6 children in the school; or
    3. a personal arrangement; or
    4. a service principally conducted to provide instruction in a particular activity; or
    5. a service providing education and care to patients in a hospital or patients of a medical or therapeutic care service; or
    6. care provided under a child protection law of a participating jurisdiction; or
    7. a prescribed class of disability service; or
    8. a service of a prescribed class.

Overview of steps

  1. Ensure you have a provider approval. Your provider application must be received, validated, assessed and approved prior to setting up a new service.
    1. The NSW Regulatory Authority validates the application for provider approval.
    2. Allow 60 days for the provider approval application assessment.
  2. Identify your service type and the related regulatory framework to determine how you must submit your application.
  3. Submit a service approval application:
    1. Includes submitting all prescribed information and documentation.
    2. Apply to offer the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) at the same time in NQA ITS if relevant to your service — for more information visit the Australian Government website.
  4. The NSW Regulatory Authority validates the application.
  5. The NSW Regulatory Authority assesses the application. Allow 90 days for this assessment which includes a pre-approval visit.
  6. Notification of service approval outcome.


  • Early childhood education

Business Unit:

  • NSW ECEC Regulatory Authority
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