Your child's rights in early childhood education

Your child has the right to access early childhood education on the same basis as all children without being discriminated against.

Discrimination is when someone, in this case, an early education provider, treats your child unfairly because of your child's disability.

Your child does not need to have a diagnosed disability to be protected by anti-discrimination legislation.

Your child’s rights under the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992

The Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 describes many conditions that could be called a disability, including physical disability, intellectual disability, developmental disability, brain injury, learning difficulties, physical illnesses and mental health conditions.

It includes conditions:

  • your child has now
  • your child is believed to have now
  • your child had in the past
  • your child might have in the future.

The Disability Discrimination Act applies to long daycare centres and all other forms of early childhood education.

Under the Act, these services are not allowed to discriminate against children on the grounds of their disability.

Your child might need some adjustments to allow them to join in daily activities and routines on the same basis as all other children in the service.

Early childhood education services have to make these reasonable adjustments for your child.

Reasonable adjustments will:

  • support your child with disability or additional needs to participate in education on the same basis as other students
  • consider your child's needs, and
  • balance the interests and safety of everyone involved, including early childhood educators and other children in the service.

So to decide if an adjustment is reasonable, the service will need to think how the adjustment affects your child's learning, the other children and educators and the cost to the service of making the adjustment.

An adjustment is reasonable when it is the result of consultation with everyone involved and balances all their interests.


Find out more about more about the Disability Discrimination Act and how it help students at Humanrights.gov.au.


Complaints and feedback

You can make a complaint or give feedback to the Department of Education about any early childhood education or care services including preschools, long day care, out of school age care and family day care.



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