CHILD CARE CENTRES
Childcare centres and its operation have strict regulations that childcare owners must comply with.
In New South Wales, the requirements for compliance for child care centres is outlined under the Children (Education and Care Services) Act 2010 (NSW) and the National Quality Framework (“Framework”) administered by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (“ACECQA”).
Types of Childcare Services
There are several child care services and centre types.
- Centre-based childcare – the most common type of childcare, where it is run in a formal centre setting
- Family Day Care – more private than centre-based childcare and run in a carer’s home;
- Before-and-After school care – run outside of school hours (before and after) in a formal centre setting; and
- In-home care – run by educators in the child’s home
What licences and approvals do I need?
All childcare owners are required to obtain approval and certificates for the following:
- Supervisor certificates;
- Provider approval; and
- Service approval
In addition to the approvals and certificates, owners will be required to pass an evaluation which covers the following issues:
- If they are a previous or existing approval holder, their history of compliance with the approvals;
- Working With Children Checks;
- National criminal history checks; and
- Supporting documentation
Owners must then satisfy with the Department of Education that they are qualified and a fit and proper person to operate a childcare business.
This includes further interviews and checks, including:
- Attending information and training sessions;
- Knowledge assessments;
- Attending interviews with the Department of Education;
- Knowledge of your obligation to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the children
Further Approvals from and Local Government and Council
Childcare centres will require development approval from Council. Along with the application, the following supporting documents must be provided:
- An access plan;
- An environmental hazards report;
- A land contamination assessment;
- A landscape plan;
- A Statement of Environmental Effects; and
- A traffic plan
Considerations must be also made depending on the location of the premises.
These considerations include:
- Whether the location is away from noise, air pollution and other hazards (such as a bushfire zone);
- If the location is nearby these factors, it may be necessary to conduct an acoustic assessment, bushfire risk report, air quality assessment, electromagnetic field assessment, flooding assessment, hazardous materials report, stormwater plan and heritage impact statement
- Whether there is sufficient parking;
- Space per children (at least 3.25 square metres of indoor space and 7 square metres of outdoor space)
Childcare owners must comply with strict requirements in relation to food hygiene and preparation and health.
Food Hygiene and Preparation
All employees and owners must be aware of the food hygiene and preparation standards outlined by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (“FSANZ”).
The standards include, but are not limited to:
- Allergy advice;
- Food recalls; and
- Risk management
They must also comply with the strict requirements of the handling and preparation of food to ensure that they are compliant with the hygiene standards and food safety guidelines.
All employees and owners must be aware of the strategies and reporting requirements in place on how to deal with children who come to childcare ill or become ill whilst at the centre. The standards are regulated by the Australian Department of Health.
How We Can Help You
If you want assistance with complying with Child Care Centre laws, please contact us today to find out how we can help you!