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About us is the government website providing parents with information about early childhood education and outside school hours care is a starting point to:

Our aim is to provide you and your family with trusted information, all in one place – welcome to is brought to you by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).

ACECQA is the independent national authority that assists governments and services to achieve the objectives of Australia’s National Quality Framework (NQF) for children's early education and care in more than 16,500 approved services. 

The NQF consists of the National Law and National Regulations, National Quality Standard (NQS), assessment and quality rating process and approved learning frameworks. Together, these elements form Australia’s regulatory system for education and care services.

The priorities of the NQF are children’s optimal education and development outcomes in a safe, healthy and inclusive environment. This sets children up for the best start in life.

Another important thing to note.....

There are many different terms used for early childhood education and care services in Australia, including:

  • long day care
  • family day care
  • preschool/kindergarten
  • occasional care
  • outside school hours care.

And one last thing.....

While we use the words ‘education’ and ‘early learning’ when talking about these services, we are not referring to formal classroom education which occurs when children start school.

Children learn through a range of play-based activities, from playing peek-a-boo with a baby to preschoolers playing dress-ups.

All of these activities build a strong foundation for the development of children’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive and language skills. The early years of life are one of the periods of greatest brain development and building a strong foundation in the early years increases the probability of positive outcomes for children in school and through to adulthood.


  • Search for a children's education and care service near you
  • Watch the video above to learn about the different types of children's education and care services
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ACECQA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of country throughout Australia and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay our respects to the people, the cultures and the Elders past and present.