Prospective Service Providers
There are different options for setting up a new education and care service such as building a new centre, buying an existing centre or buying/leasing suitable premises. The building must meet certain regulations and be leased for the purpose of operating as a children’s education and care service.
Before finalising any building plans, lease agreements or the purchase of premises, you should consult with the Children’s Policy and Regulation Unit for advice on compliance with the physical environment requirements of the Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011.
The Australian Government subsidises the cost of child care to families by providing a means-tested Child Care Benefit and a non-means tested Child Care Rebate for parents or carers who attend work, study or training. The rebate covers 50 percent of out-of-pocket costs up to an annual cap of $7,500 per child per year.
You will need to apply to the Department of Education to become an approved service for the purposes of Child Care Benefit.
You should obtain copies of the Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011, the Education and Care Services National Regulations, and the National Quality Standard. These documents outline the operational requirements and quality standards for approved education and care services.
These documents can be downloaded from ACECQA
Applications and approvals
Application forms can be downloaded at ACECQA - Applications and Notifications
An application for provider approval must be submitted to the Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) if the applicant resides in the ACT, or in the case of an entity, the principal office is located in the ACT.
The application should be submitted to the Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) only if the proposed service will be located in the ACT. CECA recommends that prospective services are discussed with the CECA in the planning stages, to ensure facilities and service operations are likely to comply with legislative requirements.
Supervisor certificate applications should be submitted to the Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) only if the applicant lives in the ACT.
Establishing a new family day care service
Educators operating on their own are not eligible for a service approval under the Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011. If you are a single educator, you might wish to consider coming under a family day care service that is already approved and operating in the ACT. These services welcome new educators and provide support and monitoring through their coordination unit.
Alternatively, you may offer care in your own home for up to seven children, including a maximum of four children under school age, without requiring a license or service approval. This option will not allow you to offer Child Care Rebate to families using your service. You may be eligible to become a registered carer which would attract a minimum Child Care Benefit for families. For more information, contact the Department of Human Services on 13 61 50.
Two or more educators
If a proposed family day care service will employ or engage two or more educators, it must be approved under the Education and Care Services Law (ACT) Act 2011.
The first step is to apply for and be granted a provider approval. This process assesses your fitness and propriety, and capacity to operate an education and care service.
An application for service approval may be submitted at the same time, or at any time after a provider approval has been granted. The application must contain information about the proposed operation of your service, such as policies and procedures, location of the principal office and educators, and hours of operation.
Operating a family day care service
A family day care service must have a Nominated Supervisor. This person must meet particular requirements for qualifications and/or experience, and hold a supervisor certificate issued by the Regulatory Authority. The Nominated Supervisor, along with the approved provider, has responsibility for ensuring the service operates in accordance with the Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011 and the Education and Care National Regulations.
Family day care services must appoint enough family day care coordinators to monitor and support their educators, such as through visits, phone calls and training. Family day care coordinators must hold at least an approved early childhood diploma level qualification.
All family day care educators must hold, or be actively working towards, at least an approved Certificate III level qualification in early childhood education and care. Approved qualifications are listed at ACECQAThe service must also appoint a suitably qualified and experienced educator or coordinator to be the educational leader of the service.