Every child has the right to play and develop in a safe, secure education and care environment.
All education and care services need to comply with the National Law and Regulations, and the practices you see in a service may be different to your family’s practices at home.
If you feel concerned about any practices you see at the service your child attends, it’s important to be aware of how to raise this.
Services have complaints handling policies and procedures.They recognise that the care and wellbeing of your child is your top priority, and that every concern is important and needs to be addressed.
Transparent grievance and complaints handling policies and procedures are usually provided to you when you enrol your child. These provide information about who you should speak to if you’re feeling concerned about something and how the service manages concerns and complaints. If you don’t have a copy of the service’s complaints handling policies and procedures, you can ask for a copy.
Usually, speaking with the educator working with your child is a first step. The policy should advise if speaking to someone else first is advisable, depending on the issue.
All complaints handling procedures emphasise managing complaints professionally and confidentially, and maintaining your right to privacy.
The following tips may help you raise any concerns with confidence:
If you witness a situation or practice that could potentially harm a child you should take immediate steps to stop this from re-occurring.
You should advise the service’s management about your concerns to ensure they can put in place practices to ensure the children’s health and safety.
Serious issues such as child abuse/neglect, leaving children unsupervised or exposing children to danger should be raised with the relevant state or territory regulatory authority. They have a responsibility to ensure services comply with the National legislation, and will follow up your concern.
If you are unable to reach a satisfactory result with your service, you can contact the regulatory authority (RA) of your state/territory. The RA is responsible for the assessment and rating, and compliance of services and can investigate complaints.
Children’s Education and Care Assurance, Early Childhood Policy and Regulation, Education Directorate, ACT Government.
Website: ACT Government – Early Childhood
Phone: (02) 6207 1114
Fax: (02) 6207 1128
Early Childhood Education Directorate, NSW Department of Education
Website: NSW Department of Education – Early Childhood Education
Phone: 1800 619 113 (toll free)
Fax: (02) 86331810
Quality Education and Care NT, Department of Education
Website: Early Childhood (www.nt.gov.au)
Phone: (08) 8999 3561
Regulation, Assessment and Service Quality, Early Childhood and Community Engagement, Department of Education and Training
Website: Queensland Government – Early Childhood Education and Care
PO Box 15033, City East, QLD 4002
Phone: Early Childhood information service: 13 QGOV (13 7468)
Education Standards Board
Website: Education Standards Board – Early Childhood
Phone: 1800 882 413 (toll free) (08) 8226 0077
Department of Education, Education and Care Unit
Website: Tasmanian Government – Education and Care
Phone: 1800 816 057 (toll free)
Department of Education and Training
Website: Victoria Department of Education – Early childhood
Phone: 1300 307 415
Department of Communities, Education and Care Regulatory Unit
Website: Education and Care Regulatory Unit (www.wa.gov.au)
Phone: (08) 6277 3889
Freecall: 1800 199 383