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Making a complaint or accessing information

The department is committed to ensuring that all Queensland children have the opportunity to access quality early childhood education and care.

A parent, educator, staff member or other member of the public who is concerned about the quality or compliance of an early childhood education and care service may make a complaint to the department.

They may also request access to documents held by the government in relation to an early childhood education and care service (applies to long day care services, kindergartens, outside school hours care services, family day care, limited hours care, occasional care and specific funded services).

On this page:

Making a complaint

Is there anything I should do before lodging a complaint?

Yes. Before you lodge a complaint with the department, you are encouraged to first attempt to resolve the matter directly with the Approved Provider of an education and care service, or a person in a senior role at the service.

All education and care services that operate under the Education and Care Services National Law (National Law) are required to have policies and procedures for dealing with complaints and must display information regarding the person with whom you may raise your complaint.

Similarly, services that operate under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (ECS Act) services are required to have policies that address processes for dealing with any concerns of parents, guardians, staff members or carers.

You may contact the department directly with your complaint if:

  • attempts have been made to resolve the matter with the service, but you consider the matter was not satisfactorily addressed
  • you do not feel comfortable raising the matter directly with the service or
  • the matter is very serious or critical.

What complaints can the department investigate or not investigate?

The department may investigate, for example, complaints about qualifications of educators, educator-to-child ratios, supervision and matters that impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of children attending a Queensland education and care service.

The department is not able to investigate complaints related to the following:

  • unregulated services which includes (but is not limited to) care provided by nannies, babysitters, hotels or resorts, and vacation care offered for fewer than four weeks per year
  • fees or receipts at a service. Direct your complaint to the Approved Provider of the education and care service or licensee of a child care service. If unsuccessful in obtaining a resolution, refer your complaint to the Office of Fair Trading
  • management of waiting lists. Direct your complaint to the Approved Provider of the education and care service or licensee of a child care service
  • complaints about court orders, other than complaints that allege that an Approved Provider or has breached their obligation under National Law or ECS Act to:
    • provide certain information to parents upon request unless the parent's access to the information is limited by a court order;
    • provide a parent access to the service/residence while their child is being cared for unless doing so would contravene a court order.
  • education and care or child care services provided outside Queensland. Complaints about services operating outside Queensland should be directed to the Regulatory Authority in the jurisdiction in which the service operates
  • Child Care Benefit (CCB). Direct your complaint to the Australian Government Department of Human Services on 13 61 50 or the Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line on 13 1524. The department may also refer any complaints relating to the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

Complaints relating to working with children checks (blue cards) for educators and staff should generally be directed to the Public Safety Business Agency.

Is there a time limit on making complaints?

Generally, the department accepts complaints about conduct that has occurred within the past 12 months. In exceptional circumstances, matters older than 12 months may be investigated.

How do I make a complaint?

Sufficient detail about the complaint must be reported at the time the complaint is made to enable the department to effectively investigate the matter. You can make a complaint in a variety of ways:

Attention: Executive Director
Regulation, Assessment and Service Quality
Early Childhood Education and Care
PO Box 15033
CITY EAST QLD 4002.

If you need an interpreter phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment:

What happens after I make my complaint?

The department will initially assess your complaint and make contact with you if further information is required. The nature of the complaint determines how the department will respond and investigate your complaint.

Will the information I provide with my complaint be kept confidential?

Some complaints may require referral to the Queensland Police Service, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services or the Public Safety Business Agency. In these cases, your name, personal information and complaint details may need to be provided to this agency.

Within the department, information regarding a complaint will only be discussed with people directly involved in recording and responding to the complaint and staff involved in any subsequent monitoring and enforcement action, unless another use or disclosure of the information is authorised or required by law.

Your complaint is also likely to be raised with the education and care service, child care service, educator or person to whom the complaint relates, so he or she can respond to the complaint. This is to ensure that all relevant parties receive a fair hearing and that the service or educator can respond fully to the details of the complaint. In some cases, the department may not be able to investigate, or may only be able to partially investigate your complaint if you do not consent to sharing your name or details of the complaint with the other party or parties.

How long will it take for my complaint to be resolved?

The more complex or serious the complaint, the longer it may take to investigate. All complaints received by the department will be dealt with as quickly as possible and you will be kept advised should there be any delays encountered during the investigation of your complaint. Most complaints are finalised within a 30 day period.

What happens once the investigation is finalised?

The department will decide if your complaint can be substantiated or not, and take further action, if necessary to ensure compliance with the National Law or ECS Act.

When the investigation of your complaint has been completed, you will be advised of the outcome.

The department takes all complaints seriously and continues to monitor education and care and child care services on an ongoing basis for compliance with the relevant legislation.

What if I am not happy with the investigation into my complaint?

Phone your nearest regional office to discuss the outcome of your complaint in the first instance.

You may also refer your concerns to the Queensland Ombudsman or seek independent legal advice.

What if I have more questions about the department's complaints management process?

Phone your nearest regional office to discuss your complaint in the first instance. Authorised officers have the power to investigate complaints and will answer your questions or concerns about the delivery of early childhood education and care.

Accessing information the department holds

A parent, educator, staff member or other member of the public may request access to documents held by the government in relation to an early childhood education and care service. If the early childhood education and care service is regulated under the Education and Care Services National Law, this request is made under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

This would apply in the case of long day care services, kindergarten services, outside school hours care services and family day care services.

How do I make a Freedom of Information request?

How to make an Freedom of Information (FOI) request:

Under the FOI Act 1982, members of the public can seek access to documents held by the Queensland regulatory authority (the department), which are created under, or for the purpose of, the Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) Act 2011 or National Quality Framework (as created under the National Law).

Your request must:

  • be in writing
  • state that the request is an application made under the FOI Act
  • provide sufficient information about the document(s) that you are seeking access to and
  • provide an address (email and / or postal) for reply.

Submitting your request:

By post:

Manager, RTI and Information Privacy
Legal and Administrative Law Branch
Department of Education and Training
PO Box 15033
City East QLD 4002

By email:

Email: rti@det.qld.gov.au

On receipt of your application, the Information Release team will be in contact with you to discuss any additional requirements that you may need to comply with.

Fees and charges:

There is no application fee for an FOI request and there are no processing fees for access to documents containing personal information about the applicant. However, processing charges may apply for other requests.

For more information about the FOI Act and processes, visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

If you need help making an FOI application or have any questions about the process, contact the department's FOI contact officer by phoning (07) 3513 5870 or emailing rti@det.qld.gov.au.

Education and Care Services Act

If the early childhood education and care service is regulated under the Queensland Education and Care Services Act 2013, a person may apply for access to documents held by the government in relation to that service under the Right to Information Act.

This would apply to occasional care services, limited hours care services, budget based funded services and services that are funded under the Disability Services Act 2006.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/ )
Last updated
10 April 2017
UA-4726377-44 found