Education and Care Regulatory Unit

The Department of Communities approves and monitors education and care services through the Education and Care Regulatory Unit (ECRU).

COVID-19 coronavirus update

The State Government is recommending, based on health advice, that child education and care services remain open. At the moment it is safe for children to attend education and care services in Western Australia, including out of school hours and vacation care programs.

The health, safety and welfare of children, families, educators and staff of education and care services continues to be a key focus for the Department of Communities.

Our Education and Care Regulatory Unit will continue to work closely with the WA Department of Health, other state and territory governments and the Commonwealth Government to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the education and care sector. 

The following documents provide a range of information and resources may support your service to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

About ECRU

The Education and Care Regulatory Unit:

  • assesses applications for provider approvals, service approvals
  • assesses education and care services against the National Quality Standard
  • supports and promotes continuous quality improvements in education and care services
  • investigates incidents and complaints
  • monitors and enforces compliance.

It also seeks to protect children from harm; stop unlawful conduct; ensure compliance with the law; and raise awareness of legislative requirement by publishing enforcement actions and using other compliance tools. The Education and Care Regulatory Unit ensures that all services are informed of their compliance roles and responsibilities, while providing them with appropriate support.

National Quality Framework

The National Quality Framework is in place for children’s education and care services across Australia. The framework in WA is comprised of the:

  • Education and Care Services National Law (WA) Act 2012
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2012
  • National Quality Standard
  • Rating and Assessment process.

Legislation

There are two regulatory schemes that run in Western Australia.

The majority of education and care services in Western Australia are covered by the:

The services that are covered under the national law are:

  • family day care services
  • education and care services previously known as long day care centres and outside school hours care.

Services regulated under state law

A small number of services in WA, including occasional (casual) care services, mobile services and services covered by, are covered by:

The acts and regulations aim to protect and promote the best interests of children who receive child care services. More details are at the State Law Publisher.

Non-compliance

If a service is found to be non-compliant with the legislation, a risk assessment will be undertaken to determine whether the non-compliance exposed a child to serious risk of harm. The assessment will also consider whether the continued provision of the service constitutes an unacceptable risk to the safety, health and wellbeing of the children attending the service. All actions by the Education and Care Regulatory Unit will be based on such an assessment, with high risk non-compliance resulting in the most serious action. Details of serious non-compliance are published as enforcement actions. Disciplinary action or reviews can be found at the State Administrative Tribunal.

Report a concern

To report a concern about an education and care service:
Telephone: (08) 6551 8333
Free call: 1800 199 383

Latest news

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates from the Education and Care Regulatory Unit.

Announcements

Media release

Centre fined for leaving a child on a bus

Childcare service operators are being warned to ensure they always know the whereabouts of every child after a service provider faced disciplinary action by the Department of Communities.
Page reviewed 20 September 2021