The National Law requires regulatory authorities in each state or territory to be responsible for the approval, monitoring and quality assessment of education and care services.

The main objectives of monitoring and compliance activities are to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children and improve educational and developmental outcomes for children attending education and care services.

Monitoring and compliance includes a range of activities that:

  • ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children attending education and care services
  • enforce compliance with the National Law
  • promote continuous quality improvement.

The ECU uses the following types of activities to monitor services, assess risks to children and/or address specific compliance issues:

  • the provision of information and/or guidance
  • targeted campaigns, which involve monitoring for a specific issue or service type
  • assessment and rating visits
  • unannounced visits (without prior notification) to investigate complaints and/or incidents and monitor services
  • announced visits (with prior notification) to investigate complaints and/or incidents; to monitor and provide information and/or guidance to services

Regulatory authorities use a range of compliance actions to address breaches of the National Law or National Regulations. These actions may include:

  • the provision of information and/or guidance
  • administrative actions (e.g.: notice of caution, increased monitoring)
  • statutory sanctions (e.g.: compliance notice, suspension or cancellation of approval), and/or
  • the prosecution of providers and/or others holding responsibilities under the legislation.

Regulatory authorities are guided by the principles of best practice regulation when undertaking all regulatory activities, including the principle of earned autonomy. This means regulatory intervention is focused on those that are the least willing, unwilling and/or unable to comply with legislation.

It is the responsibility of the Education and Care Unit (ECU) to consider both the objectives and guiding principles of the National Law when exercising the functions of the Secretary, Department of Education, as the regulatory authority for the jurisdiction of Tasmania.