Give feedback or make a complaint

The NSW Department of Education, as the NSW Regulatory Authority for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, regulates ECEC services and works to ensure that children are kept safe and have access to quality early learning experiences.

We welcome feedback from the community and aim to resolve any complaints promptly.

Making a complaint to the department

If you are concerned about the health, safety or wellbeing of a child while attending an ECEC service, you should contact the department as soon as possible on 1800 619 113 or via email and we will investigate the matter. You can call anonymously if you wish.

What you can complain about to the department

The department can assist with concerns about an ECEC service not complying with the national law and regulations, including a service's:

  • physical environment
  • quality of education
  • interactions between staff and children including inappropriate behaviours or inappropriate discipline
  • a service operating without approval.

To make a complaint about an ECEC service:

For feedback about NSW public schools, please use the Complaint, compliment or suggestion form.

For more information, visit Making a complaint about NSW public schools - guide for parents & carers.

How the department will respond

When we receive a complaint, we will:

  • immediately acknowledge complaints relating to risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of a child or children, or within 3 working days for other complaints
  • provide you with a reference number
  • investigate your complaint – this may involve further discussions with you, contacting the service, inspecting the service, questioning or formally interviewing staff at the service, or gathering evidence as necessary
  • aim to provide you with an outcome within 20 workings days.

All notifications to the department are kept confidential. Your identity won’t be revealed unless you give consent or a court requires us to do so.

If your complaint raises an immediate threat of significant harm to children, we will act immediately.

Some complaints may require more than 20 working days to investigate however we’ll email you to inform you of any delays.

You can ask us for an update by:

Parents and carers

If you have any suggestions, concerns, or complaints about your child's ECEC service, talk to the director, manager, or staff as in most cases it is best to talk to the service first.

When talking to the service to make a complaint, you should:

  • ask to see their complaint procedures
  • be clear about the topic or issue you want to discuss
  • focus on how the issue affects your child
  • always remain calm
  • ask about relevant facts relating to the topic or issue
  • think about what outcome you’d like
  • be informed – ask to see the relevant service's policies and procedures or access a copy of the National Law and Regulations on the ACECQA website.

If the service doesn't address your concern, or if it's inappropriate to raise it there, you can contact the department to make a complaint. You can also contact us at any time if you have serious concerns about the health, safety and wellbeing of children as the department is the regulator of ECEC services in NSW.

Download the raising concerns flyer (PDF 405KB) or supporting families following a serious incidient flyer (PDF 86.4 KB) for more information.

Other types of complaints

Service fees and business practices

To complain about service fees or business practices, you may wish to contact NSW Fair Trading who will be able to determine whether your matter is within their remit. Australian Consumer Laws protects customers from certain unfair behaviour by businesses that sell products and services.

Child Care Subsidy

To complain about the Child Care Subsidy, or other Australian Government programs please contact the Australian Government's Department of Education.

Services and providers

The Regulatory Authority

As the regulatory authority, we work hard to ensure children are kept safe and have access to quality education and care. We like to hear when things have gone well so we can continue to celebrate the positive contribution of the ECEC sector.

Services and providers can provide suggestions, concerns or feedback about us, including complaints about the conduct of our staff, by following one of the steps below:

When we receive a complaint we will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days
  • keep you informed of progress by email
  • investigate your complaint and provide you with an outcome within 20 working days.

Some complaints may require more than 20 working days to investigate however we’ll email you to inform you of any delay.

You can ask us for an update by:

Incidients, complaints and changes

Services should notify us of incidents, complaints made to the service and changes to information through the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA ITS).

Review of ratings

If you disagree with your service rating, you can request a first-tier review. To do so, submit a SA11 Application for Review of Ratings by Regulatory Authority '(Service Rating)’ form through NQA ITS.

For more information visit ACEQCA’s Review of ratings page.

Feedback and complaints poster

Access the feedback and complaints poster (PDF 5.59 MB) to display at your service. By scanning the QR code, parents and carers can access this page, for information on when and how they can make a complaint or provide feedback to the department.

Educators and staff

To complain about employment conditions and industrial relations issues at your workplace please contact NSW Industrial Relations.

For other complaints or concerns held by an educator or staff, you can contact the department on 1800 619 113 or by emailing

Complaint handling policy

For more information read our complaint handling policy (PDF 312 KB).

The policy is relevant to:

  • parents and carers
  • services and providers
  • educators and staff.

Engaging with and supporting families whose child is involved in a serious incident

For more information read our engaging with and supporting families whose child is involved in a serious incident policy (PDF 160 KB).

This policy outlines the department’s position about engaging with and supporting families during investigations about serious incidents that involve their child.


  • Early childhood education


  • Feedback and complaints
  • Manage school relationship

Business Unit:

  • NSW ECEC Regulatory Authority
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