Recognition as a 'suitably qualified person'

Since 1 January 2020, providers of long day care services and preschools/kindergartens have had to have a second early childhood teacher or, alternatively, a ‘suitably qualified person’  when 60 or more children preschool age or under are being educated and cared for.

'Suitably qualified person’

In October 2018, ACECQA determined the following qualifications are required for a ‘suitably qualified person’:

  • An individual who is ‘actively working towards’ (see Regulation 10 of the National Regulations) an approved early childhood teaching qualification AND has completed at least 50 per cent of the qualification or holds an approved early childhood education and care diploma


  • An individual who is registered (accredited in New South Wales) as a primary or secondary school teacher in Australia AND holds an ACECQA approved early childhood education and care diploma (or higher approved qualification)

Services located in NSW are unaffected by these changes, as additional ECT staffing requirements have been in place for several years under regulation 272.

These qualifications are published on the ACECQA approved qualifications list. You should retain evidence of your primary or secondary teaching qualification, teacher registration/accreditation and ACECQA approved diploma level (or higher) qualification as evidence that you meet the requirements.

Please note that the requirement for an ACECQA approved diploma level (or higher) qualification is separate to the requirement for a primary or secondary teaching qualification (i.e. two separate qualifications are required).

In its deliberations, ACECQA carefully considered the context of the National Quality Framework (NQF) and the early childhood education and care workforce, including the ongoing:

  • aim of building a highly skilled workforce 
  • sector workforce pressures and challenges, particularly in rural and remote areas.

As part of its deliberations, ACECQA also agreed to monitor and review the implementation, administration and impact of this determination at the end of 2022.

Please note: This review has been delayed by the impact of the covid-19 global pandemic and is likely to occur in 2024.

See the 'summary of the early childhood teacher requirements for centre-based services' for more information. Full details are set out in Regulation 133 and 134 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations.

This is the final scheduled step up in staffing arrangements for NQF approved services that have been progressively introduced since 1 January 2012.

Please note that a ‘suitably qualified person’ can be counted towards educator to child ratios when working directly with children, in the same way that an ECT can.