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The requirements for operating an approved service are set out in the Education and Care Services National Law and Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011.

ACECQA, the independent national body, has also developed a Guide to the NQF with information about many aspects of operating a service. 

Here we outline some of the main topics, including links to fact sheets on our website.


If, for some reason, a service is unable to meet the requirements of the regulations, they may be able to apply for a waiver. 

View the Waivers fact sheet

You will need to pay a fee to apply for a waiver.

Changes to service facilities or operations

Providers wishing to make a change to their approved service must apply for approval for these changes. We have a number of fact sheets to help guide you in that process: 

You will need to pay a fee for some changes.

Risk assessments by services

Services are required to carry out risk assessments for a number of reasons, such as planning an excursion or setting up an outside play area.

Monitoring of services

To support compliance with the law, authorised officers from the Education Standard Board monitor services. Monitoring visits could be carried out for a range of reasons. More information about the purpose of visits and how they are carried out can be found here.

View the Monitoring and compliance visits fact sheet

Staffing ratios

The National Law sets out the minimum number of educators who need to be working with children of certain ages in certain settings. It also sets out what qualifications these educators must have. Ratio and qualification requirements are seen as critical in ensuring the best outcomes for children.

For information about ratios, see the ACECQA website.

For more information about specific requirements for South Australian services, see:

National Quality Standard

The National Quality Standard (NQS) sets a national benchmark for the quality of education and care services. It includes seven quality areas that are important to outcomes for children. Each of these quality areas are composed of a number of standards, and these standards are in turn composed of elements. 

For more information, see ACECQA’s Guide to the NQF.

Approved learning frameworks

South Australian education and care services are required to use the nationally approved learning frameworks. These are Belonging, being and becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia and My time, our place: Framework for school age care in Australia. These learning frameworks outline the principles and practices your services should adopt to address the developmental needs and interests of each child. 


Providers and services are required to notify the Education Standards Board about a range of information concerning their operations. 

Notification types and timeframes are set out on ACEQCA’s website. You may need to pay a fee for some notifications.

Most applications can be submitted online via ACEQCA’s website.