Working with children checks

A working with children check is a safeguard to protect the health and safety of children. Under Family Assistance Law, early childhood education and care providers have specific obligations regarding working with children checks.

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About working with children checks

A working with children check (WWCC) indicates whether a person is suitable to work with children.

People who work or volunteer in child-related work must usually hold a current WWCC.

WWCCs are required and issued under state and territory laws. The name of the check, requirements, and the application process is different in each state and territory.

Who needs a working with children check

Each state and territory has different requirements about who must have a WWCC.

Broadly, anyone who has contact with children at an early childhood education and care service must have a current WWCC. This will usually include:

  • all educators
  • persons with management or control (PMCs)
  • persons responsible for the day-to-day operation of a service (persons responsible at the service).

In some jurisdictions, PMCs must have a WWCC even if they do not have direct contact with children.

Find out who needs a WWCC and apply for one via the WWCC regulator in your state or territory.

Find out more about PMCs and persons responsible at the service.

Working with children checks and Child Care Subsidy

A session of care is only eligible for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) if the educator that provided care holds a current WWCC.

For Family Day Care and In Home Care, sessions of care are only eligible for CCS if you have also reported the educator’s WWCC to us.

If an educator does not have a current WWCC, or if you fail to report a Family Day Care or In Home Care educator’s check to us, any sessions of care provided by the educator will not be eligible for CCS. We can raise a provider debt in this circumstance.

Your obligations

Under Family Assistance Law, providers have specific obligations regarding WWCCs. These are in addition to the obligations required by your state or territory government.

You must:

  • ensure any person required by state or territory law to hold a WWCC, has a current check
  • report some checks in the Child Care Subsidy System within specific timeframes
  • report changes to checks in the Child Care Subsidy System within specific timeframes
  • keep records of all checks and provide these to us on request.

The following table provides a quick reference about when you need to get the check, report the check and record the check. We outline each obligation in more detail below.

Quick reference about when you need to get the working with children check (WWCC), report the WWCC and record the WWCC
RoleIs a check required?Do I need to report the check?Do I need to keep a record of the check?
PMCsCheck with your state or territory WWCC regulatorYes, if the person requires a checkYes, if the person requires a check
Persons responsible at the serviceCheck with your state or territory WWCC regulatorYes, if the person requires a checkYes, if the person requires a check
Centre Based Day Care educatorYesNoYes
Outside School Hours Care educatorYesNoYes
Family Day Care educatorYesYesYes
In Home Care educatorYesYesYes

Getting the check

You must ensure any person required by state or territory law to hold a WWCC has one.

This includes:

  • all educators
  • some PMCs and persons responsible at the service.

In some jurisdictions, PMCs must have a WWCC even if they do not have direct contact with children.

Some people may need more than one WWCC if they are connected to a provider who delivers care across multiple jurisdictions. We recommend you check with each relevant state or territory regulator.

The check must be:

  • current
  • obtained before the person started in the position.

Find out who needs a WWCC and apply for one via the WWCC regulator in your state or territory.

Reporting the check

In certain circumstances, you must report the check in the Child Care Subsidy System.

You must do this for:

  • all Family Day Care educators
  • all In Home Care educators
  • any PMCs and persons responsible at the service that are required to have a WWCC, across all care types.

The following timeframes apply:

  • you must report new checks within 7 days of a person starting at your service
  • you must report any changes to an existing check within 24 hours of becoming aware of a change in status, including if a check is renewed, extended, suspended, revoked, or has lapsed or expired.

You must provide the following details:

  • the WWCC identification number as issued by the state or territory
  • the end date
  • the state or territory who issued the check
  • any changes to the check.

If an individual is required to have more than one WWCC because they work across multiple jurisdictions, you must report the details of each WWCC.

Report WWCCs via the Provider Entry Point (PEP) or your third-party software.

Read our task card for help reporting in the PEP. If you use third-party software, contact your software provider for help.

Keeping records of the check

You must keep records of WWCCs for any person required to have one. You must provide written evidence or information of a check if we ask you for it.

What happens if you don’t follow the rules

We take your compliance with your child safety obligations very seriously.

For full details of these obligations refer to the Facts from Family Assistance Law

Remember, you must ensure all personnel required to have a WWCC, have one. This is a condition of your provider approval under Family Assistance Law.

Failure to get a check, report a check, or record a check when required is a serious breach of the law.

We may take compliance action if you fail to meet your obligations. Compliance action could include:

  • denying your application for CCS approval
  • raising a provider debt
  • issuing an infringement
  • taking civil penalty action
  • placing conditions on your approval
  • suspending, varying or cancelling your approval.

Facts from Family Assistance Law

These are key requirements under Family Assistance Law. You must comply with these obligations to maintain your approval. The relevant legislative references are listed below.

CCS eligibility – section 85BA of A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 and section 8(1)(c) of Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules 2017

Provider debts – section 71F of A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

Background checks – section 194C(f) of A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 and section 43 of Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules 2017

Reporting new WWCCs – section 204F(1) of A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 and section 55(10) of Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules 2017

Reporting changes to WWCCs – section 204F(1) of A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 and section 55(17) of Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules 2017

Conditions of continued approval – section 195D of A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

Requirement to keep records – section 202B of A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 and sections 11 and 12 of the Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules 2017