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Our role

The Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Board, now known as the Education Standards Board (the Board), was established in 2012 in accordance with the Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011 (Act). 

The Board is an independent statutory authority responsible for the registration and regulation of early childhood services and registration of schools for domestic and overseas students. This work is carried out to ensure high-quality education services and high standards of competence and conduct by providers.

The Board’s priority is to minimise any risks to the safety, health and wellbeing of children. We respond with regulatory action that is responsive and proportionate to the risks and harms being addressed.

Our Regulatory Practice Statement

Our regulatory practice statement provides an overview of the Education Standards Board's approach to regulating the provision of education and care services to children and young people from birth through to secondary school in South Australia. 

Regulatory Practice Statement

View online >

Our regulatory framework

Early childhood education and care

The National Quality Framework (NQF) introduced a new quality standard in 2012 to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool and outside hours school care services, agreed between all Australian governments.

The NQF includes:

The current NQS (the 2018 NQS) commenced in February 2018. 

The Board also sets standards for, approves and regulates South Australian early childhood residual services out of scope of the NQF, including in-home care and occasional care services.

Authorised officers undertake several types of regulatory activities to meet the Board’s functions under the National Law:

  • Monitoring: authorised officers proactively assess and influence compliance with the National Law and Regulations, providing a strong incentive for providers to comply with their regulatory obligations and to improve quality of education and care at their services.
  • Assessment and rating: the process of assessing and rating a service against the National Quality Standard, including by conducting a service visit.

Regulatory activities are scheduled using a risk-based approach. Indicators considered when scheduling an activity include the service rating, length of time since the last assessment and the frequency and type of notifications received by the Board.

Learn more about how our approach to regulating early childhood services. 


The Act requires the Board to:

  • maintain a register of Government and non-government schools
  • set standards for registration
  • regularly review schools’ registration.

To be registered, schools must meet the Standards for Registration and Review of Registration of Schools in South Australia (the Standards) and once approved, registration is ongoing. Registration gives the public confidence that a school has:

  • governance arrangements in place to ensure accountability for the satisfactory quality of the education instruction provided
  • policies and procedures for student learning and assessment that effectively deliver education services for each stage of schooling
  • adequate provision for the safety, health and welfare of students.

Newly registered schools are reviewed against the standards 12-18 months after commencing education services. Established schools are reviewed at least once every five years to ensure they continue to meet the Standards.

International education

The Board is the designated State authority responsible for recommending school providers for registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), and monitoring schools’ compliance under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000. Schools must be registered to provide education services to overseas students.

The Board is also responsible for registering student exchange organisations under the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019. Student exchange organisations must comply with the standards in the National Guidelines for the Operation of International Secondary Student Exchange Programs in Australia.

Legislation administered by the Education Standards Board

The Board approves, registers and regulates early childhood providers and services as well as schools, according to:

The Board assesses and recommends schools for registration on CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students) under:

The Board is responsible for registration of student exchange organisations as determined by: