The following kinds of entities may apply for provider approval:
- an individual (such as a sole trader)
- a body corporate (such as a company)
- two or more individuals or entities who have formed a partnership
- an unincorporated body that has a distinct governing committee
- certain other 'eligible associations' or 'prescribed entities' as defined under the Education and Care Services National Law.
To deliver child care services for which an individual may be eligible for Child Care Subsidy, a provider must be approved by a delegate of the Secretary of the Department of Education and Training.
A child care provider can operate under the National Law or other state or territory child care laws (as approved or registered by the relevant state or territory authority) and charge fees for its services. However, Child Care Subsidy cannot be claimed for those services without the provider being approved by the Department of Education and Training,
A provider must meet a number of legal obligations when applying for provider approval from the Department of Education and Training - and must continue to meet these if approved. The obligations are set out in this section of the Handbook.
An approved provider can deliver one or more approved child care services. The service or services they may provide are linked to their provider approval. A provider can apply to add or remove a service from their approval (see Adding or removing a service). To remain approved, a provider must continue to operate at least one approved service.
An approved service can only be operated by the approved provider and must continue to be delivered as the same type of service that was approved. This means that if a service is sold by a provider to another provider, that provider will need to obtain its own separate approval. The provider must continue to comply with any conditions of their approval. The provider must also keep records and inform the Department of Education and Training about various matters and events (see Record keeping and notifications).
It is important to understand that obtaining approval from the Department of Education and Training to deliver child care services for which an individual can become eligible for Child Care Subsidy is a separate approval process from that administered by state and territory regulators of child care services. See contact details for state and territory government approvals (www.acecqa.gov.au).