2.1 What is an education and care service?

National Law & Regulations

[ National Law & Regulations, Section 5, Regulation 5 ] An education and care service is any service providing or intended to provide education and care on a regular basis to children under 13 years of age.

Services that are excluded by the National Law and Regulations and are not in scope of the National Quality Framework are listed below.

Services out of scope of the National Quality Framework

A school providing full-time education to children, including children in the year before Grade 1, but not including a preschool program delivered in a school or a preschool that is registered as a school (as these are within scope)

A preschool program delivered in a school if the program is delivered in a class or classes where a full-time education program is also being delivered to school children and the program is delivered to fewer than six children in the school (a composite class)

A personal arrangement

A service principally conducted to provide instruction in a particular activity (for example, a language class or ballet class)

A service providing education and care to patients in a hospital or patients of a medical or therapeutic care service

Care provided under a child protection law of a participating jurisdiction

Disability services defined under state or territory law, and early childhood intervention services for children with additional needs

Education and care in a child’s home

Except in WA, education and care in a residence, other than as part of a family day care service

Primarily ad hoc or casual education and care (commonly referred to as occasional care)

Education and care provided by a hotel or resort to children of short-term guests at the hotel or resort

Education and care that is provided on an ad hoc basis to children of a guest, visitor or patron where the person who is responsible for the children is readily available at all times

Education and care where it is primarily provided or shared by parents or family members

Education and care provided at a secondary school to a child of a student attending the school, where the parent retains responsibility for the child

Mobile services

Services that provide education and care for no more than four weeks per calendar year during school holidays

Transition to school programs provided by a school to orient children to that school

Services that on 30 June 2018 were funded under the Budget Based Funded program and were not approved under family assistance law

Services that on 30 June 2018 were funded under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy but were not approved under family assistance law nor regulated under the National Quality Framework

Playschools licensed in the Australian Capital Territory

Stand-alone services in Queensland

Playcentres in South Australia and New South Wales

Services licensed as Centre-based Class 4 or 5 services under the Child Care Act 2001 in Tasmania

Licensed limited hours or short-term services in Queensland or Victoria

Government-funded services under the Children and Community Services Act 2004 of Western Australia.

Education and care services can include services that educate and care for children under 13 years of age and also provide services for children over 13 years of age.

A transport service

Children can be transported as part of participating in education and care.

Whether this transport is part of the education and care service will depend on the circumstances. For example, where children are transported on an excursion as part of the service, or between a service and a home, school or other site and that transport is provided or arranged by the service, the National Law and Regulations would apply. For further information on specific requirements relating to transportation, see Section 2.14 – Transportation.

Where children leave the premises under transport that is not part of the education and care service, the approved provider must ensure children leave the premises in accordance with regulation 99.

Approved providers should also consider other laws and rules that might apply to transport services in their state or territory, such as road safety, driver licensing or vehicle operator accreditation, safe operation of vehicles including the use of age-appropriate and standardised safety restraints and any Working with Children and Vulnerable People requirements.