Educators (formerly child care workers)
Educators care for the social, physical, emotional and educational needs of infants and young children through a variety of programs in various care settings. In Queensland there are different types of education and care services established to assist parents to participate in the workforce and the general community.
The Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is the national body responsible for the administration of the National Quality Framework (NQF). The NQF comprises of the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations that apply to most education and care services including long day care, family day care, outside schools hours care and kindergartens.
The Department of Education, Training and Employment (the department) is responsible for the regulation of these education and care services in Queensland under the NQF.
An approved centre-based service provides education and care for children up to school age (birth to 13 years) and includes:
long day care centres (usually open from 7.00am to 6.00pm)
kindergartens (for children aged from three and a half years to school age)
school age care services (for primary school age children before and after school hours and during school holidays)
vacation care (not attached to a before or after school care service).
An approved family day care service provides care and education for a small group of children in one or more homes. This form of care does not include care in the child's own home or care by relatives. Family day care is a service where care and education is provided in private homes of educators under a family day care scheme. Educators are supported by the service's coordination unit.
Other types of education and care services that are out of scope of the National Quality Framework in Queensland include:
the majority of limited hours care services
stand alone care (including what was formerly known as independent home-based care)
children's activity services
nannies and babysitters
resort care (a service, conducted by a hotel or resort, to provide child care to children who are short term guests).
Most types of services are still regulated under the Child Care Act 2002 and Child Care Regulations 2003. From early 2014, the new Education and Care Services Act and Regulation 2013 will replace the Child Care Act. Further information is available on the Office for Early Childhood Education and Care (OECEC) website.
Educators have different position titles with responsibilities in accordance with their level of qualifications, skills and training. Usually educators work in a team managed by a child care director or coordinator (also known as a 'nominated supervisor') and are assisted by other educators.
For details about the prescribed/approved level of qualifications required to work in an education and care service in Queensland, please visit the ACECQA website and OECEC website for further information.
The nominated supervisor directs the activities of an education and care service and may perform the following tasks:
direct and supervise educators in providing care and supervision for young children
develop and implement programs to enhance the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of young children
provide care for children in before school, after school, long day care, kindergarten and vacation care centres
manage physical facilities and make sure all buildings and equipment are maintained
make sure that the service is safe and suitable
maintain records and accounts for the service
make sure that procedures are in line with government standards
keep in touch with parents
recruit staff and coordinate professional development
develop and implement policies on a broad range of issues.
An educator (depending on their level of qualification, skills/experience) may perform some or all of the following tasks:
plan and implement educational and developmental programs, based on observation of individual children
observe and record children's learning, behaviour and development, and discuss with parents
integrate children with special needs into the program, modifying the program and the physical environment if necessary
supervise and train staff and students undertaking child care training programs
prepare play and learning materials and set up the children's environment
supervise children, making sure of their physical safety at all times
help children with daily routines such as toileting, dressing, eating and sleeping
guide children's behaviour and social development
prepare light snacks and meals
maintain a safe, clean, appealing environment
perform simple first aid in emergencies.
The myfuture website provides further information about child care careers including educational requirements, salary ranges, related courses and professions.
For information about the relevant assessing authority for migration purposes, please visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for further information.
Approvals, assessment and ratings
The Regulatory Authority in Queensland will have primary responsibility for the approval, monitoring and quality assessment of services in accordance with the National Quality Framework including the National Quality Standard.
Education and care services are required to meet minimum quality standards in areas such as staff/child ratios, programming, employing appropriately qualified staff, the physical environment and health, hygiene and safety.
In Queensland approved centre-based services (such as long day care and kindergarten services) employ people who hold appropriate qualifications and also people who are undertaking training.
Educators wanting to work in an education and care service or provide child care through an arrangement with an education and care service must also obtain a blue card.
Blue cards assess a person's eligibility to work with children and young people based on their known past behaviour. The blue card is issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian.
Every person wanting to work as an educator must hold a blue card. For further information, visit the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian.
In addition, information from police investigations into allegations of serious child-related sexual offences will be taken into account, even if no charges were laid because the child was unwilling or unable to proceed.
It is an offence for a disqualified person to apply for a blue card. Further information about a 'disqualified person' or general blue card information is available on the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian website.
Steps to skills recognition
Check to see if the qualification that you hold is on the approved qualification lists, available on the ACECQA website. Please note: Queensland only qualification lists include international qualifications.
Before applying for an assessment through ACECQA applicants are required to have their overseas qualifications assessed by the Overseas Qualifications Unit. Further information is available on the Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) website.
Once assessed by the Overseas Qualification Unit, applicants are then required to have their overseas qualifications assessed by ACECQA.
Overseas Qualifications Unit
Department of Education, Training and Employment
Locked Mail Bag 527
Brisbane QLD 4001
Telephone: 1300 369 935
Determination of child care qualifications
Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
PO Box A292
Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone: 1300 422 327
National Quality Framework in Queensland
Department of Education, Training and Employment
Office for Early Childhood Education and Care
PO Box 15033
City East QLD 4002
Telephone: 1800 637 771
Fax: (07) 3234 0310
Applying for a blue card
Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
(for issue of Blue Cards)
Level 14, T & G Building
141 Queen Street
Brisbane QLD 4000
PO Box 12671, George Street
Brisbane QLD 4003
Telephone: (07) 3247 5145 or 1800 113 611
Fax: (07) 3247 5200
Information about working, living and settling in Queensland
Queensland Government - employment and jobs