Changes to who is regulating the Child Safe Standards

From 1 January 2023, there will be changes to who is responsible for regulating the Child Safe Standards.

What is a regulator?

A regulator is an organisation that enforces the Standards and helps you to follow the rules.

Regulators provide information and guidance to organisations to help them comply with the Standards. They also have legal powers to hold organisations to account if they are not complying with the Standards.

The Commission for Children and Young People is one of the regulators of the Standards. There are currently a number of additional regulators for the Standards that you can read about here.

What’s changing?

New laws mean that the regulators for the Standards are changing from January 2023. The changes will make it easier for people to identify who the regulator is for their organisation.

From 1 January 2023, some organisations will have a different regulator. Some organisations that deliver multiple types of services to children may still have more than one regulator.

A summary of the key changes to Standards regulators is below.

You can find out more on the Standards and other recent changes here.

Who will be the regulator for my organisation?

Check the list below to see the regulators from 1 January 2023 and what they will be responsible for. Keep in mind that some organisations will have more than one regulator if they provide more than one type of service or facility to children (e.g., an early learning centre and a registered school).

A full list of the changes and the categories of organisations covered is listed in the table below.

Who will be regulating the Standards in 2023?

From January 2023, the Commission will only regulate some organisations that have to comply with the Standards. Laws have been passed that will allocate types of organisations to six different regulators, including the Commission.

The six regulators and their sectors are:

  • health services: Department of Health will be the regulator for hospitals, community health services, mental health services, drug and alcohol treatment services, and maternal and child health services.
  • social and human services: Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) will be the Victorian regulator for providers of disability services, housing services, family violence and sexual assault services, and support services for parents and families. They also regulate out of home care services.
  • schools and education providers: Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) will be the regulator for registered schools, school boarding premises, school-sector organisations providing courses to overseas students, student exchange organisations, non-school senior secondary providers and some registered training organisations.
  • early childhood education and care: Department of Education, through its Quality Assessment and Regulation Division, will be the regulator for early childhood services. This includes long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and vacation care services, as well as limited hours and occasional care services.
  • employers of children: Wage Inspectorate Victoria will be the Victorian regulator for organisations that employ children and hold a permit under the Child Employment Act 2003 (Vic).
  • other Victorian organisations: the Commission for Children and Young People is the regulator for the Standards for all other types of organisations as listed in the table below.

Complete list of sectors and their regulators from January 2023

Regulator Sectors
Commission for Children and Young People
  • An applicable entity that operates a school other than— a registered school within the meaning of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006; or a place at which home schooling takes place in accordance with a registration under section 4.3.9 of that Act (e.g. swimming schools, dance schools)
  • A post-secondary education institution/provider, within the meaning of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, except for Registered Training Organisations within the meaning of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • An applicable entity that provides coaching or tuition services specifically for children
  • An applicable entity that provides counselling or other support services specifically for children
  • A youth organisation (e.g. the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts)
  • An applicable entity that provides cultural, sporting or recreational services specifically for children.
  • An applicable entity that provides gym or play facilities specifically for children
  • An applicable entity that runs talent or beauty competitions in which children participate
  • An applicable entity that provides overnight camps for children
  • An applicable entity that provides photography services specifically for children
  • An applicable entity that provides professional babysitting services
  • An applicable entity that provides, on a publicly funded or commercial basis, a transport service specifically for children
  • An applicable entity that provides entertainment and party services specifically for children
  • An applicable entity that receives funding under a State contract to provide youth services
  • A religious body within the meaning of section 81 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010
  • A charity
  • A non-profit body within the meaning of the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000
  • A department within the meaning of the Public Administration Act 2004 (except the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing from 1 July 2024 when the SSR will be established)
  • An applicable entity that is constituted by or under any Act and that has functions of a public nature (e.g. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Zoo)
  • A council
Department of Health 
  •  A hospital listed in Schedule 1 to the Health Services Act 1988 as a public hospital
  • A hospital listed in Schedule 2 to the Health Services Act 1988 as a denominational hospital
  • An applicable entity that operates a private hospital within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1988
  • A public health service within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1988
  • An applicable entity that operates a day procedure centre within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1988
  • A multipurpose service within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1988
  • A registered community health centre within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1988
  • A mental health service provider within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 2014
  • An applicable entity that operates a Maternal and Child Health Centre
  • An applicable entity that receives funding under a State contract to provide drug or alcohol treatment services

Department of Families Fairness and Housing (DFFH) / Social Services Regulator (SSR) (once established)*

  •  A disability service provider within the meaning of the Disability Act 2006
  • An applicable entity, other than a disability service provider within the meaning of the Disability Act 2006, that provides disability services
  • An applicable entity that receives funding under a State contract to provide early therapeutic intervention specifically for children with a disability, additional needs or developmental delay
  • An applicable entity that receives funding under a State contract to provide services in relation to family violence or sexual assault
  • An applicable entity that receives funding under a State contract to provide support services for parents and families
  • An applicable entity that receives funding under a State contract to provide housing services or other assistance to homeless persons
  • An applicable entity that receives funding under a State contract to provide child protection services
  • An out of home care service within the meaning of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.
  • Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (from 1 July 2024 once SSR established)
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
  •  An applicable entity that operates a registered school within the meaning of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • An applicable entity registered under Division 3 of Part 4.3 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 in respect of accredited senior secondary courses, registered senior secondary qualifications, accredited foundation secondary courses and registered foundation secondary qualifications
  • An Applicable entity that is approved, under section 4.5.1 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, to provide a specified course to students from overseas
  • An applicable entity that is approved, under section 4.5A.1 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, as suitable to operate a student exchange program
  • A relevant entity that is a provider of school boarding services at a registered school boarding premises within the meaning of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • A relevant entity referred to in item 7 or 8 of Schedule 1 of the amending Act that is a Registered Training Organisation within the meaning of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
Department of Education and Training
  •  An approved provider of an approved education and care service with the meaning of the Education and Care Services National Law (Victoria) located in Victoria
  • An approved provider of an approved children’s service within the meaning of the Children’s Services Act 1996
 Wage Inspectorate Victoria
  • An applicable entity that employs a child and that is required to hold a child employment license issued under the Child Employment Act 2003 for that employment

Note: The Social Services Regulation Act 2021 establishes a Social Services Regulator that will then be a regulator for the Child Safe Standards. The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing will continue to regulate the sectors listed in the table until legislation to set up the Social Services Regulator comes into effect on 1 July 2024. The Commission for Children and Young people will continue to regulate DFFH for the Standards until the new Social Services regulator commences.

The following agencies will no longer be regulating the Standards from 1 January 2023:

  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
  • Department of Transport (DOT)
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC)
  • Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS)
  • Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR)
  • Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF).

While these departments will not be regulators of the Standards, they may still require you to comply with the Standards through your funding agreement. Check with the department that funds your organisation for details.

If your organisation was previously regulated by any of the above departments, check who will be your new regulator by finding your sector in the table above. If you are still unsure, you can contact the Commission for support.