Part of pursuing a dream of working in childcare is, of course, enrolling in and successfully completing your childcare qualification. This involves classroom-based learning with skilled trainers, as well as centre-based placement where you can immerse yourself into the real-life world of childcare.
Another important part of finalising your qualification is a government regulated system that checks the history of individual candidates to determine whether they can safely work with children in a centre or home-based service.
These checks are critical to protect children from the risk of sexual and physical harm, while the screening process assesses those who wish to work with or care for children.
In this blog post, we cover the fundamental basics of the Working with Children Check in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.
If you are already undertaking your childcare studies, we recommend obtaining the check well before you are to begin placement, as applications can take several weeks to process. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your trainer!
Working with Children Check – NSW
If you have successfully applied for a Working with Children Check in New South Wales, you are now eligible to work with children for five years.
It’s important to know that any future records or misconduct can lead to your check being prematurely terminated which will mean you are no longer eligible to work with children.
WWCC NSW costs
Like Victoria, only paid employees are required to pay the cost. The check costs $80 and is valid for five years. This is the lowest cost across Australia! Students on professional placement do not have to pay.
Working with Children Check – Victoria
The Victorian Working with Children Check (WWCC) website lists five key criteria that, if met, means you must apply for a card. These criteria are summarised from their website:
- Currently, or in the future, you will be volunteering or employed in child-related work
- You are an adult working with people aged under 18
- You work (or will work) in an occupation listed in the Working with Children Act 2005 (you can view all fields here)
- Your work (of future work) involves direct contact with children
- This contact is part of your job
View the criteria and read some FAQs here.
WWCC Victoria costs
If you are a paid employee, your WWCC application will cost $121.40 (effective 2017-18 financial year). A volunteer card is FREE. If you obtained your application as a volunteer and now must renew it as an employee, the cost is $89.90.
Your WWCC is valid for five years.
The Blue Card System – Queensland
In Queensland, the system that monitors people working with children and young people is called the Blue Card System.
Who needs a Blue Card?
The Queensland Government makes special references to people listing their childcare and babysitting skills on certain “job listing” platform (that match job seekers with workers).
They explain that anyone advertising any kind of childcare services must hold a valid Blue Card (that includes nannies and au pairs).
There are two types of application forms:
1) Blue Card application form
This is for individuals proposing to start in child-related employment or training.
2) Blue Card business application
This is for self-employed people (for example, someone who wants to open their own family day care centre) or executives who want to run their own business.
Blue Card costs
Costs are on par with NSW. For paid employees, the fee is $87.20. Volunteers and students do not have to pay.
What does a Working with Children Card check?
The systems outlined above are instilled to determine who can work with children. Several factors are assessed once you lodge an application. Factors include:
- Criminal record
- Any national charges or convictions
- Professional conduct findings
Assessment criteria can vary slightly state-by-state so please ensure you carefully check your own state’s website.
Ensure you get the right qualifications
We hope this blog has provided some insight into the purpose and process of the Working with Children Checks across New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
Obtaining this check is a critical step you must take on your way to launching your dream career in childcare. We invite you to find out more about our courses, and if you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!