Element 3.1.1: Fit for purpose

Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures and fittings are suitable for their purpose, including supporting the access of every child.
National Law & Regulations

National Law and National Regulations underpinning Element 3.1.1

Regulation 104 Fencing and security

Regulation 106 Laundry and hygiene facilities

Regulation 107 Space requirements—indoor space

Regulation 108 Space requirements—outdoor space

Regulation 109 Toilet and hygiene facilities

Regulation 110 Ventilation and natural light

Regulation 111 Administrative space

Regulation 112 Nappy change facilities

Regulation 114 Outdoor space—shade

Regulation 115 Premises designed to facilitate supervision

Regulation 116 Assessments of family day care residences and approved family day care venues

Regulation 117 Glass (additional requirement for family day care)

Jurisdiction specific provisions

NSW – Regulation 274 Swimming pools

Tasmania – Regulation 345 Swimming pool prohibition

What Element 3.1.1 aims to achieve

To support each child’s access to indoor and outdoor environments, services (including family day care residences and venues) should have sufficient space, equipment and facilities that are fit for purpose and promote children’s learning and development. Well-designed indoor and outdoor spaces:

  • are flexible
  • are welcoming and accessible
  • reflect the diversity within the local and broader communities
  • support the health and safety of children, service staff and families
  • facilitate convenient and integrated access between indoor and outdoor areas, as well as convenient access to toilet (including nappy-changing, if applicable) and hand-washing facilities
  • are environmentally sustainable
  • promote an understanding of and respect for the natural environment
  • supports the grouping of children in ways that:
    • minimise the risk of injury
    • minimise conflict between children
    • reduce prolonged exposure to excess internal and external noise
    • promote children’s learning and development.

Age-appropriate furniture and equipment helps to minimise accidents and support children’s learning, growing independence, confidence and self-esteem.

Assessment guide for meeting Element 3.1.1 (for all services)

A fit for purpose service environment


Assessors may observe:

  • appropriately sized and equipped indoor and outdoor spaces
  • a physical environment that is safe and includes adequate space for solitary play, and for children to work, play and talk together in small and large groups
  • outdoor spaces with shaded areas that meet the recommendations of relevant recognised authorities for protection from the sun
  • environments designed to support each child’s access and assist educators to:
    • adequately supervise children
    • group children in ways that minimise the risk of injury and conflict, reduce prolonged exposure to excess noise, and promote children’s learning and development
  • fencing that provides safety
  • facilities that enable interaction and convenient access between indoor and outdoor spaces, including toilet (and nappy-changing, if applicable) and hand-washing facilities
  • a balance of natural and artificial lighting, adequate ventilation and fresh air
  • appropriate areas for food preparation and storage
  • quiet, comfortable and well-ventilated areas for sleeping and resting
  • space available for administrative functions, private conversations and consultation with families and for educator and staff breaks
  • facilities designed or adapted to support access by every child, family, educator and staff member, including adaptive equipment to support the inclusion of all children
Birth to three
  • nappy-changing and related facilities for services with children under three years of age
  • care is taken to meet the needs of non-mobile babies, including providing adequate indoor space
School age children
  • appropriate areas and resources for children to rest and relax.

Assessors may discuss:

  • the administration spaces used to consult and discuss confidential matters with families
Centre-based services
  • where relevant, how the service has considered the impact of any building modifications and/or the installation of new furniture, storage areas and fixed equipment on the unencumbered space available
Family day care
  • how educators balance their family members’ need for privacy with providing sufficient space for the children being educated and cared for.

Assessors may sight:

  • the service’s approach to grouping children
Centre-based services
  • plans of indoor and outdoor areas, including information about soft fall
  • plans that show evaluation of and changes to the placement of furniture and equipment, if available
Family day care
  • where the service shares multi-purpose areas with a school, documented risk assessment of the physical environment in relation to:
    • access to, and use of, multi-purpose areas
    • the impact of multi-purpose areas on service delivery
    • the service’s approach to sharing the multi-purpose areas with the school
Family day care
  • the service’s registration documentation and assessments of educators’ approved premises.