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The Department of Education sets high standards for the services it delivers and is accountable to the Government, the Minister and the people of NSW for its actions and decisions.  Complaints we receive are one way in which we can gauge the responsiveness of our service and measure our performance against our standards.

You can make a complaint to us, or about us.

Complaints to us relate to our role as regulator of early childhood education and care.  All complaints made to us about services, no matter how minor, are followed up.

Complaints about us are usually about our staff, or our processes.  Depending on the circumstances, this type of complaint will be investigated either by our own senior staff, or by another area of the Department.

Regardless of the type of complaint, you can be assured that it will be followed up impartially and comprehensively.

How do I make a complaint?

Complaints about an education and care services

If you have concerns about an education and care service, you can contact us by phone, or by writing.  Complaints by phone can be made to our Information and Inquiries Line, (freecall) 1800 619 113 and by email to ececd@det.nsw.edu.au.

Your complaint will be logged on our system and referred to the relevant regional office for initial action. Logging on our system allows us to track the complaint and follow-up any problems or delays.  When you first make contact with us you will be asked whether you want to be informed about the outcome.

Complaints about our decisions

If you are a person responsible for an early childhood education and care service and you want to complain about a decision we have made about you or your service, you can apply for an internal review.  Information about how to apply for an internal review is included in our letters and emails advising our decisions.  Information about the internal review process is available from the website of the Australian Children's Education and Care Authority, www.acecqa.gov.au.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of an internal review, you can ask the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for an external review.  Information about external reviews is also available from the ACECQA site.

Complaints about our service

If you want to complain about the behaviour or conduct of our staff, you can write to the Executive Director of Early Childhood Education using the contact details below.

Post:    Executive Director

Early childhood Education and Care 

Department of Education

Locked Bag 5107

PARRAMATTA NSW 2124

Email:  ececd@det.nsw.edu.au

Complaints about our staff are managed in line with the Department of Education's Complaint Handling Policy Guidelines. Depending on the circumstances and seriousness, the approach we will use will range from informal conciliation, to formal investigation.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may be able to apply to the NSW Ombudsman for a further review. The Ombudsman's Office can receive complaints about any NSW government department of authority, including the Department of Education.  More information is available at www.ombo.nsw.gov.au.

Complaints to Ministers and Members of Parliament

Our role as regulator of the early childhood education and care sector in NSW falls within the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for Early Childhood Education and Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC.

If you have made a complaint via the Premier's office, a Minister's office, or by contacting your local Member of Parliament, the complaint may be referred to us for action.

You will receive a formal written reply from either the Minister, the Local Member, or a senior office of the Department.

Timeframes

Complaints made to the Directorate will be acknowledged within two working days.

For internal reviews, we will make a decisions within 30 days of receiving the review request.

For complaints about our services or staff, the time frames will depend on the complexity and seriousness, but we will always attempt to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.  We will keep you informed if resolving your complaint is likely to take some time.

What happens when a complaint is received?

Once a complaint is received it will be logged.

Logging a complaint allows us to monitor the number of complaints that are received and allows us to identify and on act areas that need improvement.

What is I want to remain anonymous?

You have the right to make a complaint anonymously, although this can sometimes limit our ability to follow-up a matter.  Some complaints raise issues that can only be resolved when we are able to obtain more information from the person who drew the matter to our attention.

What will happen to any information I give you?

The way we collect, store and use any of your personal information is regulated by law.  Further information regarding the privacy of your information can be viewed on the Department's page.

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