In 2017, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported nearly 2 million children aged between 0–12 in Childcare and early childhood education institutes across Australia. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) reported that the total entitlements for childcare subsidies were $1.8 million for the March quarter 2019.
Needless to say, the childcare sector in Australia is extensive, and so must the checks be on all childcare workers and volunteers to ensure every single child is kept safe.
That’s why Working With Children Checks (WWCC) and Police Checks are required for teachers, adults and volunteers who will come into any contact with children. These checks are mandatory for most states and territories in Australia. However, it is essential to note that there is no national standard - each state and territory has its own requirements.
In this article, we break down the differences between a Working with Children Check, and a Police Check - with a simple explanation that we hope helps the thousands of people entering the childcare sector each year.
What is a Working with Children Check?
A Working with Children Check (WWCC) is an ongoing assessment of a person’s eligibility to work or volunteer with children. When the WWCC application gets approved, the applicant is issued a positive notice that allows them to volunteer or be employed in child-related roles, or conduct a regulated child-related business for up to 3 years. Over this time, their police information continues to be monitored.
A WWCC is valid for only a set period of time in the given state or territory, i.e. 3 years, unless the WWCC is suspended or cancelled. There is, however, an exemption card for teachers and police officers while a person continues to be an approved teacher or police officer.
If you require a WWCC, the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) provides a comprehensive overview of the required Working With Children Checks in Australia, and the different requirements for each state or territory. This resource is for employers, prospective and current employees, adults and volunteers entering the childcare sector in Australia.
Please find the comprehensive WWCC resource here.
What is an Australian Police Check?
An Australian Police Check is a list of criminal offences from a person’s history which can be disclosed. A Police Check is current only at the time of its issue, and many employers and organisations have created their own policies around requiring Police Checks. However, that being said, Police Checks are mandatory across most Australian Childcare sectors.
Please feel free to learn more about our Police Checks here: NCC Police Check.
You may also need a Police check if you are undertaking any of the following employment, registration or licensing entitlements, including:
- Job applications and pre-employment screening.
- Volunteer, non-profit and not for profit positions.
- Working with children, elderly or vulnerable people.
- Child adoption and foster applications.
- Firearms licensing applications.
Do I need both a Working with Children Check and a Police Check?
If you are working in Childcare it is likely mandatory that you will need to undertake both checks. NCC is an Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) Accredited agency that performs hundreds of thousands of confidential Police Checks each year for Australians in the Childcare and other sectors.
NCC is also trusted by Australian companies such as Uber Australia, Pet Cloud, Air Tasker, Hills Family Church, Bridgestone Australia, Kogan and St Vincent de Paul, who all use our services.
Introducing InstaID+ - the latest identity verification solution
Working with Australian childcare institutes, National Crime Check is proud to announce InstaID+, a new app that ensures you are not at risk of any teachers or volunteers using false identities. Combined with an NCC Police check, you can rest assured that your childcare workers and administration staff do not have a criminal history that you need to be concerned about.
Learn more about Childcare safety and NCC.
With continued growth and public concerns across the childcare industry, now is the perfect time to look at your processes and ensure you hire the right people for your growing childcare facility or centre.