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Regulation of the Education and Care Sector

The ACT Regulatory Authority, Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA), administers the Education and Care National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations covering approved early childhood education and care services in the ACT.

CECA provides:

Section 260 of the National Law specifies the functions of state and territory regulatory authorities:

Section 3 of the National Law sets out objectives and guiding principles that apply to these functions:

Guiding principles significant to CECA’s function include:

If you need advice or information about early childhood education and care arrangements in the ACT call 6207 1114 and ask to speak to a CECA Education and Care Adviser.

Assessment and Rating

The National Quality Standard is a key aspect of the National Quality Framework and sets a national benchmark for children's education and care services across Australia.

Every service across Australia is to be assessed and rated to make sure it meets the national benchmark. In the ACT, CECA’s authorised officers conduct quality assessments against the standard.

Further information on assessment and rating is available via the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.

Compliance and Enforcement

The Education and Care National Law works to protect children when they are in the care of people other than their parents or guardians. It sets out what the Regulatory Authorities, such as CECA, are supposed to do, what tools are available, and fundamental obligations.

CECA undertakes compliance audits and risk assessment audits of early childhood education and care services to ensure that services are meeting their minimum requirements as set under the National Law.

The National Law provides CECA with a wide range of powers to protect children from harm and hazards or address unlawful conduct. CECA undertakes investigation of information that becomes known to it, of risk or the potential for risk to the safety, health and well-being of children.

At times, CECA may require individuals to appear and give evidence or produce documents to an authorised officer.

Where breaches of the National Law are identified, CECA may undertake compliance actions like:

Further information on CECA’s compliance framework is available in the Compliance Framework Guidebook:

CECA Education and Engage Compliance Framework pdf icon (311kb)

Mandatory Reporting

Certain people are mandated to report situations where they form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child or young person has experienced abuse or neglect. The mandated reporter is not required to prove that abuse or neglect has occurred.

Section 356 of the Children and Young People Act 2008 provides a list of people who are mandated reporters, including:

Educate and Engage

CECA engages in educational development for the sector.

It convenes the Education and Care Sector Meeting at least three times a year, with the aim being to expand best practice and improve risk management across early childhood education and care services.

Email CECA@act.gov.au to find out when the next meeting will be held.