The Education and Care Services Act 2013 (ECS Act) supports quality outcomes for children and adopts elements of the National Law for some small scale services, especially those in rural and remote areas.
It applies to the following services not captured under the National Quality Framework.
Services funded by the Queensland Government to provide limited hours care:
- occasional care services
- services that were formerly budget-based funded, and which do not receive Australian Government Child Care Subsidy
- early childhood education and care services that are also disability services under the Disability Services Act 2006
- stand-alone care.
Requirements of the ECS Act
Under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (ECS Act) and ECS Regulation (PDF, 558KB), Queensland education and care services must meet specific operational requirements, including:
Staffing a service to meet qualification requirements, staff responsibilities and educator-to-child ratios.
- Applying nationally approved learning frameworks that inform and guide the delivery of consistent and high quality experiences and programs.
- Physical environment requirements such as those relating to fencing, toilet and hygiene facilities that the premises, furniture and equipment are to be safe, clean and in good repair and minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements.
The prescribed service approval application form (ECS09) requires approved providers to provide evidence that the premises comply with relevant building approvals.
The Early Childhood and Community Engagement division within the Department of Education is responsible for approving and regulating services under the ECS Act.
Regulatory response to non-compliance directly relates to the level of risk to children's health, safety and wellbeing, and ranges from verbal advice and guidance to closing a service or prosecuting an approved provider.
Read more about the department's risk-based approach to regulating early childhood services.
Learn more about what we do and the role of the department.
Stay up to date
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Education and Care Services e-bulletin – keep updated on important matters related to the ECS Act.
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A to Z of Early Childhood e-newsletter – keep updated on information about early childhood education and care reforms in Queensland.
ECS Act resources
Find resources and fact sheets on the Education and Care Services Act.