Education & child care

Meridian Lawyers works with education professionals and child care operators to guide your understanding of, and compliance with legislative obligations.

The National Quality Framework, introduced on 1 January 2012, covers the long day care, family day care, preschool and outside school care services. It promotes the safety and wellbeing of children and aims to improve the quality of education and care. These regulations were updated on 1 September 2013 (except in Western Australia) to streamline processes and clarify certain requirements.

Supporting educators and child care operators

Our lawyers provide advice to education professionals and child care providers on how best to comply with legislative requirements. You need lawyers who understand your industry and can advise you on the stringent regulations relating to care programs and quality of care.

Our lawyers are experienced at advising on coronial inquiries, disciplinary complaints, civil claims and regulatory prosecutions.

We advise approved providers on their responsibilities to report serious incidents and complaints to the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010.

We can help you to understand the legal and operational consequences related to social media use. We can assist in preparing and reviewing your policies and employment contracts to help you respond appropriately to issues that arise in your day-to-day operations.

Legal advice and services

Our dedicated team can advise you on:

  • employment law related areas including contractual issues, leave entitlements, unfair dismissal claims, adverse action claims, Fair Work Ombudsman investigations, redundancy, post termination restraints, performance management, maternity leave, workplace surveillance, workplace policies and procedures, including internet policies and discrimination/harassment policies;
  • acquisition and sale of businesses, including 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;
  • workplace disputes and issues; and
  • regulatory issues relevant to education and child care professionals.

Education and child care insights

  • Child Care Subsidy Law– An introduction to the new Minister’s Rules and Secretary’s Rules 2017

    2 July 2018 saw a huge change in the practical and legal governance of child care benefits across Australia with the introduction of the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and removal of Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. CCS continues to be regulated by the A New Tax System…

  • What does mandatory reporting mean for early child care workers?

    Vital role of early childcare workers recognised by law reform - 'Mason's Law': Changes to the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) reflect the vital role workers in the early childhood sector play in the health and wellbeing of Queensland’s children. These changes will take effect on 1 July 2017. Early…

  • How long must you retain child care records in Victoria?

    Are you aware that there are stringent requirements to retain child care records and also to implement supporting policies? The regulations relating to the retention of child care records are reflected in the Education and Care Services National Regulations Regulation 177 and 183, which are adopted in Victoria under the…

  • Family Day Care Law: avoiding breaches of the National Law and Regulations

    Meridian Lawyers acts for a wide range of childcare providers including family day care services who may on occasion need to respond to a complaint or regulatory investigation concerning compliance with the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations (‘National Law’). The National Law was enacted with specific objectives…

  • Are you selling a child care business?

    Whether you have negotiated the sale of your child care business yourself or through a business broker, you will need a solicitor with child care experience to prepare and negotiate the contract of sale, and manage the transaction through to completion on your behalf. The legal process can be broken…

  • What to do if your service approval has been suspended or cancelled

    A recent trend shows an increasing number of child care services receiving “show cause” notices under the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 (the ‘Family Assistance Law’). The Department of Education and Training (DET) undertakes detailed investigations of claims made by services through the Child Care Management…

  • Doing the right thing: complying with Family Assistance Law for family day care

    In December 2015, the Australian Federal Police reported the arrest of six people and restraint of assets worth $1.1 million in connection with alleged fraudulent conduct by family day care providers. Family day care operators who are approved for the purposes of child care benefit and child care rebate (‘CCB…

  • Infectious diseases & child care: what about staff members?

    Risk Management Update: In a service industry so focused on the care and wellbeing of children, it is easy for operators of child care centres to forget about the duty of care owed to staff. This update is intended to remind child care centre operators of the duty of care…

  • The cost of doing business: an open and shut case for a child care centre

    A case with a fortunate outcome highlights the need for child care operators to be vigilant in actioning issues identified for maintenance, which potentially impact on safety. This case also confirms the importance of clear and open communication. The facts In this case a parent inadvertently left an entrance gate…

What our clients say

  • “Thank you to all the Meridian team for your support... I’ve never experienced such superior service from any partner/supplier in my professional career.”

    Marissa Limberis, Marketing Manager, Blooms

  • “The level of reserving strength is unusual in the industry. I have only ever seen it once before in the professional risks section of a large insurer.”

    Clive Amery, founding director,
    AM Actuaries

  • “Meridian has a fantastic team of professionals. You did the impossible with a calm and thorough approach throughout. Thank you.”

    Cameron McCullagh, former Chief Operating Officer, Steadfast

  • “Meridian Lawyers always provides an outstanding level of service and quality of advice to both the Australian Veterinary Association and our members.”

    Graham Catt, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Veterinary Association

  • “You have been nothing but brilliant, supportive and positive in your professionalism… I have no words to describe how fantastic you have been. Thank you is not sufficient.”

    Claudine Sachwald, Physiotherapist

  • “Meridian are more than just lawyers to us – they are there when our customers need them the most, providing advice and reassurance. They are a vital piece of the puzzle in the analysis of our claims trends, they are well respected in our markets as experts in the field and most importantly they deliver results. It is a unique partnership that I have not seen replicated in the industry.”

    Allison Prince, Head of Claims, Guild Insurance

  • “Guild Insurance has a unique working relationship with Meridian Lawyers. We have always found their service to be cost conscious and they focus upon commercial resolutions taking into account overall cost considerations. They provide a wonderful service to our team.”

    Chris Harcourt, National Liability Claims, Guild Insurance

  • “The Meridian experience combines a depth of experience across a wide group of industries and Associations with integrity, robust advice, support and a tenacious defence of their clients’ legal entitlements.”

    Bill O’Reilly, client

  • “Thinking about the person from Meridian Lawyers who managed your claim, on a scale of 0-10 how satisfied were you: 10 out of 10 for Helpfulness, Knowledge, Courtesy, Professionalism, Clear Communication, Frequency of Communication.”

    Source: GIL customer survey January 2014

  • “Whilst I would never have chosen to be in the position I have found myself to be in, I consider myself fortunate to have come to know and deal with Kellie Dell’Oro. Her absolute professionalism, integrity, palpable expertise and compassion are sincerely appreciated. She has been able to alleviate much of the stress associated with an inherently stressful process and for that I am truly grateful.”

    Physiotherapist, Victoria

  • “I would not hesitate to recommend Meridian Lawyers. Their service has been both professional and personalised – I could not have hoped for better legal support than I have received. Should I need legal advice again, Meridian Lawyers would most definitely be my first choice.”

    Physiotherapist, Victoria


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