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Our dedicated team works with childcare and family day care operators to guide their understanding of, and compliance with legislative obligations. As a result of our strong understanding of the industry, we advise clients on the stringent regulations relating to care programs, quality of care, and compliance with the Family Assistance Law. Our lawyers also advise on terms and conditions of employment and issues associated with managing staff, in addition to advice and representation in legal claims commenced by employees.

We are experienced in advising on disciplinary complaints, civil claims, regulatory prosecutions and Show Cause Notices and other interventions by regulatory authorities.

Key services

  • Workplace relations related areas including misconduct and performance management advice, preparing employment contracts and policies, advice on award coverage and leave entitlements, representation in unfair dismissal claims, adverse action claims and underpayment claims, restructuring and redundancy advice
  • Acquisition and sale of child care centres and businesses, including legal due diligence
  • Negotiating premises leases and lease disputes
  • Business restructures and advice on business and asset protection
  • Franchises and similar arrangements
  • Debt refinancing
  • Entering, exiting or establishing partnerships, including resolving partnership disputes
  • Business succession planning and advice
  • Regulatory issues relevant to education and child care services and professionals including responses to Show Cause Notices for cancellation or suspension of provider, service and CCB approvals
  • Applications for internal reviews of decisions of regulatory authorities
  • Applications for external reviews (Administrative Appeals Tribunals) of decisions of regulatory authorities
  • Delivery of training on regulatory issues including the Family Assistance Law

Related experience

Managing a diverse range of workplace relations related issues including:

  • Advising a childcare centre in a matter involving a pregnant employee who was unable to perform all of her duties.
  • Assisting an employer to negotiate an enforceable undertaking in relation to alleged under payment of wages with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
  • Defending a childcare employer’s decision to terminate an employee due to poor performance and misconduct in an unfair dismissal claim.
  • Defending a child care centre operator and owner in a bullying claim made by a current employee.
  • Defending a child care centre in a general protections dispute claim in the Federal Court.

Managing and advising on a range of matters falling within national childcare laws and regulations including:

  • Defending prosecutions of Approved Providers (and their directors) and Nominated Supervisors by the Department of Education concerning breaches of the National Framework legislation including negotiating breaches, pleas and penalties.
  • Assisting centres with investigations by JIRT, ACECQA and Departments of Education and other like government bodies concerning alleged non compliances and breaches.
  • Representing numerous family day care services in responses to Notices of Intention to Cancel CCB Approvals, applications for internal reviews of cancellation decisions.
  • Advising a large child care provider on the regulation of advertising education and care services.
  • Advising a large out of school hours provider on the operation of CCB and CCR rebates.
  • Assisting a child care centre in an application for internal review of refusal to increase child numbers on the service approval.

Addressing internal and external reviews of government decisions including:

  • Representing a family day care service in an external review (Administrative Appeal Tribunal) of a decision to cancel a provider approval for breaches of the Education and Care Services National Law and National Regulations found during monitoring visits – cancellation successfully reversed.
  • Representing a person with management and control of suspended family day care service whose working with children check was returned negative as a result of non-compliances found during monitoring visit – external review by Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Managing a range of corporate, commercial and transactional matters including:

  • Conducting due diligence on commercial, leasing and employment matters for a large child care operator seeking to acquire a number of new centres.
  • Undertaking legal due diligence for a child care operator seeking to acquire multiple new child care centres in a simultaneous transaction.

Defending a diverse range of claims on behalf of childcare centres including:

  • A claim against a child care centre by an employee who, while working at the centre, allegedly contracted a virus resulting in catastrophic injuries to her child in utero.
  • Representing an employer and a senior staff member of a child care centre in a racial discrimination claim made by parents of child.