Who is responsible for licencing, regulating and funding early childhood services?

The NSW Department of Education is the Regulatory Authority for all early childhood services in the State. The Department is also responsible for early childhood program funding. The division of the Department with responsibility for early childhood is the Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate (ECECD).

What is the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS)?

The Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS) is an online system which ECECD uses to manage early childhood program funding and contracting with the sector.

What is the difference between ECCMS and NQA ITS (National Quality Agenda IT System)?

The National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA ITS) is an online tool set up by the Federal Government for educators and providers to work with state and territory regulatory authorities. It is used to submit applications and notifications, and to pay invoices. ECCMS is a separate NSW Government online system. The two systems are not linked, so changes to providers' details need to be input into both NQA ITS and ECCMS.

What is the ECCMS portal?

ECCMS provides a secure portal for Service Providers to login and access information about their funded service and the funding they receive. ECCMS is the only way for Service Providers to accept their annual Funding Agreement and comply with the financial and performance accountability requirements and from 2016, complete the bi-annual preschool census. To access this information through the portal each service will have to nominate users to be authenticated and authorised to login. This ensures that ECCMS and the information it contains remains secure.

What is AUSkey?

AUSkey is software that is downloaded to your computer or a USB stick. It enables you to securely access a range of online government services, including ECCMS, on behalf of your organisation. AUSkey is administered by the Commonwealth Government's Australian Business Register (ABR). There is a more detailed explanation of AUSkey on the ABR website, along with information on where you can use AUSkey.

Why do I need AUSkey?

By using AUSkey each time you login to ECCMS you will be authenticated or "identified", which keeps the system secure and protects the information it contains.

How do I get AUSkey?

You will need to register for AUSkey on the Commonwealth Government's Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

What if I am having trouble obtaining or downloading AUSkey?

All AUSkey enquiries need to be directed to the Australian Business Register (ABR) as they administer this process. You can check for solutions at the online AUSkey help and support webpage or contact AUSkey by phone on 1300 AUSKEY (1300 287 539).

What if the AUSkey help desk says that I am not eligible to apply?

To apply for AUSkey you must be an "associate" aligned with the ABN (Australian Business Number) of your service or organisation. You can either establish who in your service is associated with the ABN (usually an Office Holder who was involved in applying for the ABN); or you can apply to become a new associate. To do this you need to use the Change of registration details form (NAT 2943) from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You can order this form through the ATO online ordering service or by phoning 1300 287 539. Please note that you will need to provide proof of your status within the organisation, for example through the minutes of a Board Meeting.

Once I have AUSkey, how do I request an initial login for ECCMS?

Please contact the ECECD Partnerships and Programs staff by email to to register for your initial ECCMS login. Your email will need to include the following information:

  1. The email address you have used to register for AUSkey
    (this email address will be part of your ECCMS login details so it must be the same one as you used to register for AUSkey).

  2. Your given name and family name
    (this must exactly match the name you used to register for AUSkey, for example you cannot use Mary Smith if you registered for AUSkey using Mary-Jane Smith).

  3. Your organisation's or service's ABN (Australian Business Number) (this is the same ABN that you have used to register for AUSkey).

The ECECD Partnerships and Programs staff will provide your service's nominated Service Provider Administrator with initial login details via email. These login details can be modified once you have logged in and registered for the first time.

Please note that you will need to have AUSkey to be able to use your ECCMS login details (see previous AUSkey questions).

How many users will each service be able to have in ECCMS?

After registering in ECCMS each Service Provider will be eligible to receive logins for:

  • Service Provider Administrator – one only
    this user has the highest level of access in the system and can view and change all data at the Provider and Funding Specification levels. The SP Administrator must have the authority to accept your annual Funding Agreement and submit your financial acquittal.

  • Service Provider Users – multiple (as required)
    slightly restricted access in the system at Provider level

  • Funding Specification User – multiple where required
    limited to viewing and updating one Funding Specification's data.

What kind of computer hardware and software do I need to access ECCMS?

The following table provides guidelines for a computer required to run ECCMS:


Minimum Requirements


Operating System

  • Windows XP/Vista (32-bit) - 1GB memory (2GB recommended)

  • Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) - 2GB memory (4GB recommended)

  • Windows 8 (32-bit or 64-bit) - 2GB memory (4GB recommended)

  • Windows 10 (32-bit or 64-bit) - 2GB memory (4GB recommended)

  • Mac OSX 10.4+ (with Firefox)

  • Mac OSX 10.7 or above requires the installation and configuration of Java (as documented by AUSkey).


  • If AUSkey on USB is used, it is only supported on Windows and no browser is required (a portable Firefox is embedded).


  • IE 11 (32-bit only)


  • Firefox 43.0 or above (Windows and Mac OSX)

  • We recommend that you avoid using IE 8, 9 and 10

  • In Windows 10, Microsoft has replaced Internet Explorer with the Microsoft Edge web browser, which is currently not compatible with AUSkey. However, you can still locate and pin Internet Explorer 11 in your Windows Start Menu

  • Chrome & Safari are not supported.

PDF viewer

Acrobat Reader (latest version is XI)


Internet Speed

1.5Mbit/s downstream & 256Kbit/s upstream

ADSL1/2/2+ and Cable should be fine


17" (1280x1024)

A lower resolution (1024x768) will work, but bigger is better.

What if I cannot login to ECCMS?

  • Check that your login name and password are correct.

  • Ensure your Caps Lock is not on because ECCMS login details are case sensitive.

  • Make a note of any error message you have seen as you have tried to login.

  • Check what stage of the login you were at when the problem occurred (eg did you get past the AUSkey authentication?).

Contact the ECECD Partnerships and Programs team on 1300 755 426 or email to and outline what your login issue is. ECECD Partnerships and Programs staff will assist you to resolve your login problem or escalate it to the Department's IT Support Team.

What if my data or contact details in ECCMS are not correct?

ECCMS will hold all the details for your service in relation to Department of Education funding, including addresses, contact details and bank details. It is very important that these are accurate and kept up-to-date, so please take some time to thoroughly check that everything in ECCMS for your service is correct.

If anything needs to be amended or updated, please follow the processes outlined in the interactive e-learning modules for ECCMS or the ECCMS Service Provider Guide.

Please note, any changes to the service's bank account details must be approved by following the process outlined in the ECCMS Service Provider Guide.

What is the ECECD Funding Agreement?

The Funding Agreement comprises four key documents which together become the binding contract under which Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Service Providers receive funding from the Department of Education.

The four parts of the Funding Agreement are:

  1. Terms and Conditions

  2. Grants Program Overview

  3. Grants Program Guidelines (for each funded Program)

  4. Funding Specification.

How do I accept our Funding Agreement?

The Funding Agreement will be provided for acceptance online through ECCMS by the SP Administrator for your service. The process for accepting the Funding Agreement is outlined in the ECCMS e-learning modules and the ECCMS Service Provider Guide.

How do I undertake financial accountability for ECEC grant funding?

All financial accountability will be undertaken online through ECCMS.

Acquittal and return guidelines for ECEC grant funded service providers detail the financial accountability requirements and the process is explained in detail, with step by step guidelines in the

ECCMS e-learning modules and the ECCMS Service Provider Guide.

When will I receive my ECEC grant payments from the Department?

For all programs except the Preschool Disability Support Program (PDSP), payments from the Department to your service will be made quarterly across the Financial Year:

  • July
    (in the second full week of the month to allow for end of financial year processes)

  • October

  • December
    (for the January quarter)

  • April.

For the PDSP, payments from the Department to your service will be made twice across the Calendar Year:

  • Week 2 of Term 1 and Term 3.

Is there an ECCMS help desk?

ECCMS users can call the ECECD Partnerships and Programs team on 1800 755 426 or contact us by email to



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