The department is committed to ensuring that all Queensland children have the opportunity to access quality early childhood education and care.

A parent, educator, staff member or other member of the public who is concerned about the quality or compliance of an early childhood education and care service may make a complaint to the department.

They may also request access to documents held by the government in relation to an early childhood education and care service (applies to long day care services, kindergartens, outside school hours care services, family day care, limited hours care, occasional care and specific funded services).

Making a complaint

Is there anything I should do before lodging a complaint?

Yes. Before you lodge a complaint with the department, you are encouraged to first attempt to resolve the matter directly with the approved provider of an education and care service, or a person in a senior role at the service.

All education and care services that operate under the Education and Care Services National Law (National Law) are required to have policies and procedures for dealing with complaints and must display the name and telephone number of the person at the education and care service with whom you may raise your complaint.

Similarly, services that operate under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (ECS Act) are required to have a policy and procedure that provide processes for dealing with complaints relating to the service.

You may contact the department directly with your complaint if:

  • attempts have been made to resolve the matter with the service, but you consider the matter was not satisfactorily addressed
  • you do not feel comfortable raising the matter directly with the service or
  • the matter is very serious or critical.
What complaints can the department investigate or not investigate?

The department may investigate, for example, complaints about qualifications of educators, educator-to-child ratios, supervision and matters that impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of children attending a Queensland education and care service.

The following matters are generally not within the scope of the National Law or the ECS Act, and usually are not investigated by the department; however, the department will attempt to refer you to a relevant agency that can deal with the matter.

Complaints that are usually not investigated by the department:

  • unregulated services which includes (but is not limited to) care provided by nannies, babysitters, hotels or resorts, shopping centres, sporting facilities and vacation care offered for fewer than four weeks per year. Read our Adjunct Care Fact Sheet (PDF, 381KB) Office of Fair Trading and/or refer your complaint to the Office of Fair Trading or seek independent legal advice. 
  • waiting lists – if your complaint is about the management of waiting lists direct your complaint to the approved provider of the education and care service.
  • court orders – as part of a child’s enrolment record approved providers must include information provided to them about court orders relating to children at the service. All persons involved in the provision of education and care at the service must act in accordance with any court orders. This is particularly relevant when the service must determine if a parent is authorised to collect a child from the service, to be given information about their child, or to be allowed to attend the service. In some cases there may be disputes about the interpretation of court orders. Parents who disagree about compliance with relevant court orders and matters relating to their child are encouraged to attempt to resolve their issues privately, or to seek assistance available through a Family Relationship Centre, a family law service, a family dispute resolution service, the Family Court or a lawyer.
  • education and care services provided outside Queensland – complaints about services operating outside Queensland should be directed to the Regulatory Authority in the jurisdiction in which the service operates
  • Child Care Subsidy (CCS) – if your complaint is about the CCS direct your complaint to the Australian Government’s Department of Human Services on 13 61 50 or the Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line on 13 15 24. The Department of Human Services website contains useful CCS information for families.
  • Blue cards - complaints or enquiries relating to obtaining working with children checks (blue cards) for educators and staff should generally be directed to Blue Card Services.
Is there a time limit on making complaints?

Generally, the department accepts complaints about conduct or an incident that has occurred within the past 12 months. Matters older than 12 months may be investigated if appropriate.

How do I make a complaint?

To enable the department to effectively investigate the matter, please provide sufficient detail about the complaint. You can make a complaint in a variety of ways:

  • Phone or email your nearest regional office. Authorised officers have the power to investigate complaints and will answer your questions or concerns about the delivery of early childhood education and care.
  • Download a complaint form (PDF, 126KB) (DOCX, 16KB) to fill in and email your completed complaint form to your nearest regional office. If you do not know your nearest regional office, email your completed complaint form to central office at
  • Post your completed complaint form to:
    Attention: Executive Director
    Regulation, Assessment and Service Quality
    Early Childhood Education and Care
    PO Box 15033
    CITY EAST QLD 4002.
  • If you need an interpreter phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
  • If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment:
What happens after I make my complaint?

The department will initially assess your complaint and contact you to acknowledge receipt and/ or request further information if required. The nature of the complaint determines how the department will respond and investigate your complaint.

Will the information I provide with my complaint be kept confidential?

Some complaints may require referral to the Queensland Police Service, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women or Blue Card Services. In these cases, your name, personal information and complaint details may need to be provided to any of these agencies.

Within the department, information regarding a complaint will only be discussed with people directly involved in recording and responding to the complaint and staff involved in any subsequent monitoring and enforcement action, unless another use or disclosure of the information is authorised or required by law.

Your complaint is also likely to be raised with the education and care service, child care service, educator or person to whom the complaint relates, so he or she can respond to the complaint. This is to ensure that all relevant parties receive a fair hearing and that the service or educator can respond fully to the details of the complaint. In some cases, the department may not be able to investigate, or may only be able to partially investigate your complaint if you do not consent to sharing your name or details of the complaint with the other party or parties.

How long will it take for my complaint to be resolved?

The more complex or serious the complaint, the longer it may take to investigate. All complaints received by the department will be dealt with as quickly as possible and you will be kept advised should there be any delays encountered during the investigation of your complaint. Most complaints are finalised within a 30 day period.

What happens once the investigation is finalised?

The department will decide if your complaint can be substantiated or not, and take further action, if necessary to ensure compliance with the National Law or ECS Act.

When the investigation of your complaint has been completed, you will be advised of the outcome.

The department takes all complaints seriously and continues to monitor education and care and child care services on an ongoing basis for compliance with the relevant legislation.

What if I am not happy with the investigation or outcome of my complaint?

Contact details of the Authorised Officer managing your complaint are provided in the outcome correspondence sent to you. You should discuss the matter with this officer in the first instance.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint made to the department, you may request a review of the matter. The request should include the reason for the review and any new information that should be considered in reviewing the matter. A request for review should be sent to the Regulation, Assessment and Service Quality branch, by email,

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome after the department has reviewed the complaint outcome, you may wish to contact an external agency, such as the Office of the Queensland Ombudsman or seek independent legal advice.

What if I have more questions about the department's complaints management process?

Phone your nearest regional office to discuss the complaints management process in the first instance. Authorised officers will answer your questions or concerns about the investigation of complaints and the delivery of early childhood education and care.

Accessing information the department holds

A parent, educator, staff member or other member of the public may request access to documents held by the government in relation to an early childhood education and care service. If the early childhood education and care service is regulated under the Education and Care Services National Law, this request is made under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

This would apply in the case of long day care services, kindergarten services, outside school hours care services and family day care services.

Last updated 12 February 2019