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Waivers under the ECS Act

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In special circumstances, including unexpected events, the Regulatory Authority (the department) may grant a waiver if an approved provider cannot meet relevant requirements of the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (ECS Act)

Approved providers having difficulty meeting operational requirements such as the following may apply for a waiver:

Read the ECS19—Application for service or temporary waiver form (PDF, 421KB) to learn more about the regulatory requirements for which you can seek a waiver.

The approved provider must provide the details and evidence of genuine attempts to comply with the requirement, and how they propose to ensure children’s safety, health and wellbeing during the waiver period.

The ECS19 form contains examples of the type of documentation that approved providers must supply with their application as evidence.

The department considers waivers on a case-by-case basis. When considering an application for a waiver, the department will assess whether the approved provider is operating in compliance with all other requirements of the ECS Act. The department may need to inspect the premises to determine whether to grant or refuse the waiver.

Types of waivers

There are 2 types of waivers:

  • service waivers which are ongoing and have no specific expiry date
  • temporary waivers which are granted for a period of no more than 12 months.

Conditions on service licences issued under the former Child Care Act 2002 continue to apply under the ECS Act as waivers.

How does a waiver work?

A service with a waiver is either taken to comply (service waiver), or is not required to comply for up to 12 months (temporary waiver) with the specified prescribed requirement of the ECS Act for which the waiver is sought.

How to apply for a waiver

Read the ECS19—Application for service or temporary waiver form (PDF, 421KB) to learn how to apply for a waiver.

The department charges a fee of $104 (payable by electronic funds transfer, cheque or money order) to process waiver applications.

In some circumstances the department may waive, defer or refund this fee.

You can submit a waiver application including required documentation via post or email to the relevant regional office.

How long does it take to process a waiver application?

Under the ECS Act, the department has up to 60 days to assess a waiver application.

Approved providers should submit their completed application including evidence with their payment at least 60 days before they require a decision.

The department can fast track the processing of an application where the matter is outside the approved provider's control or in extenuating circumstances (e.g. natural disasters).

Contact your regional office if you need your application fast-tracked or help to complete your waiver application.

Approved providers can submit service and waiver applications at the same time. 

However the department will only decide the waiver application once service approval is granted.

In some circumstances, changing the service approval application may enable the service to operate without needing a waiver.

For example reducing the number of children attending the service if there is insufficient outdoor space.

Related information

Read the relevant legislation on waiver requirements:

Approved providers that temporarily close their service/s due to a disaster or other unexpected event must notify the Regulatory Authority within 24 hours of closure. Further information about how to do this is available on our Early childhood service closures page.

Help and support

If you have questions about waivers, email ecis@qed.qld.gov.au.

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Last updated 28 September 2020