Info-Organiser DMS is VERS certified to meet the stringent standard requirements of the Public Records Office of Victoria, recognised as Australia’s leading body for records management. Click here to see our VERS accreditation profile.
You can use the Records Management feature in Info-Organiser to set document storage and destruction dates.
Just as you would securely destroy paper documents, you can also set time frames to review and purge your electronic files. Most Child Care records have a retention period of three to seven years, with a few notable exceptions listed in the table below.
|Child Care Records:|
|Department of Social Services (DSS) advised that records related to Child Care Benefit (CCB) approved child care services can be kept electronically where services:
A former operator must, within 14 days after the service ceases to be CCB approved, notify the Department of Social Services in writing of the premises at which the records are kept (whether hardcopy or electronic).
The former operator must throughout the 36 month record retention period notify the Department of Social Services of any new premises at which the records are kept, if the location changes, within 14 days of the change in location.
Further, if a service is closed, or placed into administration or into liquidation, the former operator must ensure that either they or the appointed receivers have access to the records relating to their period of operation and that these records are retained for the 36 months as set out above.
|3 years, or if the authorised operator changes:
Regardless of whether a child care service is:
the former operator must retain complete records as set out in the Rules for a minimum period of 36 months from the end of the year in which care was provided to which the information or event in the record relates, just as if the service’s CCB approval had not been cancelled.
|Enrolment Records: Most States require that:
The approved provider of an education and care service must ensure that child enrolment records are stored in a safe and secure place.
|3 years after the last date on which a child is educated and cared for by the service (regulation183).
Note: Enrolment records for the previous 12 months must, to the extent practicable, be kept at the education and care service premises (section 175(2)). If they are not kept on the premises, they must be maintained at a place readily accessible by an authorised officer, for example, the records are available online from the service premises.
|Records relating to an incident, illness, injury or trauma suffered by a child while being educated and cared for by the education and care service||until the child is aged 25 years|
|Records relating to an incident, illness, injury or trauma suffered by a child that may have occurred following an incident while being educated and cared for by the education and care service||until the child is aged 25 years|
|Records relating to the death of a child while being educated and cared for by the education and care service or that may have occurred as a result of an incident while being educated and cared for||until the end of 7 years after the death|
|Records relating to the approved provider such as licenses, certificates, reports, nominations, and agreements.||until the end of 3 years after the last date on which the approved provider operated the education and care service|
|Records related to a nominated supervisor or staff member of an education and care service||until the end of 3 years after the last date on which the nominated supervisor or staff member provided education and care on behalf of the service|
|Other records such as:
||3 years after the last date on which a child is educated and cared for by the service|
|Records of a decision about a child, that affects educator to child ratios at a centre-based service (WA only)||3 years after the last date on which a child is educated and cared for by the service|
|Records related to Child Sexual Abuse incidents and allegations – including contextual records such as staff rosters, attendance records (to meet recommendations made in the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse 2017.)||Indefinite|
|Parental Access: Note that the approved provider of education and care services must ensure that documents are accurate and can be made available to a parent of the child on request. (Unless a parent’s access is limited by an order of a court). Substantial fines exist for non-compliance and breaches of confidentiality.|
|Storage of records after service approval transferred: If a service approval is transferred under the Law, the transferring approved provider must transfer specified documents relating to children currently enrolled with the service to the receiving approved provider on the date that the transfer takes effect. The transferring approved provider must not transfer the documents relating to a child unless a parent of the child has first consented to that transfer.
(Refer to regulation 177 of National Regulations)
|Retention of General Business Documents|
|Accounting, Audit, Company, Human Resource, Payroll, Tax, Information Systems, Legal and Compliance||5-7 years after the transactions covered by the information are completed|
|Notable exceptions are:|
|Air Monitoring Safety Logs||30 years|
|Hazardous chemicals: health monitoring||30 years|
|Hazardous chemicals – asbestos: health monitoring||40 years|
|Contracts/Agreements relating to property, leases, licences, easements, purchase and sale||15 years after disposal of property (Note: governed by varying State and Territory recommendations)|
|Copyright, Advertising Artwork||70 years after end of year of author’s/artist’s death|
|Governmental Compliance & Reporting, Legal Administration||15 years|
|Documents with Indefinite timeframes for secure retention are:|
|Policies Programs & Procurement – Environmental||Indefinite|
|Records Destruction Certification||Indefinite|
|Minutes of Board & Shareholder Meetings||or 7 years in addition to the life of the organisation|
|Business Organisation & Incorporation||or 7 years in addition to the life of the organisation|
|Registers – shareholders, option holders and debenture holders||or 5 years in addition to the life of the organisation|
|Employee Medical Records||refer to Australian Privacy Principle 11.2 of Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act 1988|
|Insurance||Indefinite. Seek specific advice from your insurance company|
Australian document storage and retention periods are covered by various Australian and State Acts, eg:
- For Childcare Services
– The Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 (National Regulations) specifically Regulation 177, 183 and 184
– Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law)
– The Education and Care Services National Regulations 2012 of Western Australia
– National Quality Framework www.acecqa.gov.au
– DSS Record Keeping for Child Care Services Fact Sheet (July 2015)
– Public Records Office of Victoria
- Corporations Act 2001
The Corporations Act states that E-copy is sufficient although they must be kept in a form readily convertible to hard copy – section 288(1) Corporations Act 2001
- Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
The ATO rules that E-copy is sufficient provided it is kept in a form that is readily convertible to writing in the English Language. Documents stored in electronic form must be in a form that the Australian Taxation Office can access and understand in order to ascertain the entity’s taxation liability. Where paper records are images and stored electronically, the requirements of section 262A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 are satisfied if the images are:
- not altered or manipulated once stored;
- retained for the statutory period of 5 years; and
- capable of being retrieved and read at all times by ATO staff
Refer to ATO Tax Ruling TR2018-002 Electronic Records Keeping for further details.
- Other relevant Federal and State Acts, eg: Fair Work Act 2009, Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011
Different retention periods exist in each State and Territory of Australia. The recommended retention period reflects the maximum period prevailing in any State or Territory.
Please note that this is a sample list of documents and that legal information retention requirements may be subject to change. We recommend that you verify any information relating to your particular document storage circumstances by consulting your accountant and/or lawyer.