All You Need To Know About The Working With Children Check (WWCC)

Working With Children Checks and Police Checks

Nanny playing with baby

Ready to land the perfect babysitting or nanny job? Get your Working With children check now, to make sure you’re all ready!

Here’s our handy guide on how to get a Working With Children Check. Don’t be daunted by all of this information, it’s actually quite easy to fill in the form and get your check done, in your state. It will take less than 30 minutes to apply online. After it’s processed your check will last you for 3-5 years. So it’s worth spending the time now to get it sorted!

The Working With Children Check has a different name in every state and territory - so for this article we will use the term ‘Working With Children Check’ to apply to every type of child-related pre-employment check around Australia.

What is a Working With Children Check?

The Working with Children Check is a screening process for anyone working with or caring for children, such as nannies and babysitters. The check will look at your criminal history in all Australian states and territories, across your lifetime. It will count anything you’ve been charged with, regardless of the outcome of the charges. The Working with Children Check will look at your professional conduct history. It will also take into consideration your compliance with health practitioner regulations. The check will also record any current or historical reporting obligations or orders under the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004 or the Serious Offenders Act 2018 . It is an ongoing assessment of your eligibility to work with children. So it’s a very detailed check that helps employers pre-screen employees.

Why have a Working With Children Check?

All states and territories in Australia have some form of legislation for pre-screening individuals who work in child-related employment. The legislation makes it mandatory for individuals working with children to pass screening.

Most importantly these checks help ensure child safety, by giving employers evidence that babysitters or nannies have passed relevant screening checks. It’s up to you to show parents your Working With Children Check when you meet them at your interview. This will give parents peace of mind, build trust and help you get the job!

What are the names of Working With Children Checks in different states?

Every state and territory has a similar type of check for working with children. Here are the different names to help you find the right check in your state:

State or Territory Name of Check
Victoria Working With Children Check
N.S.W. Working With Children Check
Qld Blue Card
W.A. Working With Children Check
A.C.T. Working With Vulnerable People
S.A. Working With Children Check
Tasmania Working With Vulnerable People
N.T. Ochre Card: Working With Children Clearance

Working with Children checks around Australia

What’s the difference between a Working With Children Check and a Police Check?

The Working with Children Check and the Police Check are the two most common checks requested by employers. These two screenings are quite different. The Working with Children Check is the one that is legally required if you are working with children. It is a more comprehensive background check and is monitored on an ongoing basis. The Police Check is not legally required for child-related work. It is a criminal history check at one point in time and is only accurate at the date of issue.

Do I Need a Working With Children Check in every state and territory in Australia?

Yes. If you are doing child-related work you need a Working with Children Check, no matter where you live in Australia. Employees of childcare services, commercial babysitting, nannying or child-minding services are required to have Working with Children Checks.

How long does it take to get a Working With Children Check?

It varies depending on which state you are in. NSW says it will take 4 weeks, Victoria and W.A. say 3-12 weeks, Queensland says 28 business days. The timelines may vary depending on how busy the state systems are. It will also take longer if you have any relevant past history that needs processing before you can pass the check.

Do I Apply as a Volunteer or Employee?

When you apply for a check you need to say whether you are a volunteer or an employee. If you are doing paid work then you need to apply as an employee.

Do I need to swap my status from Volunteer to Employee if I get paid work with children?

Yes, in most states you do need to update your details to change from a volunteer to an employee if you switch to paid work. Simply contact your state site to process this change online.

How long does a Working With Children Check last?

A Working with Children Check is valid for 5 years, unless it is suspended, revoked or surrendered. The expiry date is printed on your card.

How do I renew a Working With Children Check?

You will be able to renew your check before your card expires by going to the site where you applied and finding the ‘renew’ link.

What is a Blue Card?

The Blue Card is Queensland’s version of the Working with Children Check. It is administered by Blue Card Services. There is a ‘No Card, No Start’ law that says you must have a valid blue card to start working with children. It usually takes up to 28 days for a Blue Card to be issued. The Blue Card is valid for 2 years.

What is a Working with Vulnerable People Registration?

In the A.C.T. and Tasmania individuals working with vulnerable people in a regulated activity or service must have a current Working With Vulnerable People check. You will receive a registration that comes with and without conditions, depending on your role and background. It takes 4-6 weeks for applications to be processed. The registration is valid for 5 years in the ACT and 3 years in Tasmania.

What is an Ochre Card?

An Ochre Card is the Northern Territory’s version of the Working With Children Check. By law you must apply for this check before working with children. You apply through the N.T. Police SAFE NT website. Please note you must complete your application in one sitting, so make sure you have all of your information ready! This includes an email address, a debit or credit card, an Australian residential address, scanned copies of your ID documents, a passport sized photo. If you are a volunteer you also need a completed Volunteer Concession Form. See the link below for more information.

Are the different types of checks transferable between states?

No, unfortunately you can’t use the same check in different states. Every state has their own type of Working With Children Check or registration. If you move to a different state you will need to apply for a new check before starting work.

How do I get a Working With Children Check?

This is how to apply to get a Working With Children Check online in most states. See the links below to find the correct website for your state. Most of these sites will conduct ID checks online as part of your application, so get your ID ready! Forms of ID will be specified by your state, but most likely will include items such as your birth certificate, passport, drivers license or learner's permit or Medicare card.

Where to apply for your Working With Children Check (or equivalents) How much does it cost to get a Working with Children Check?

The application fee for a Working With Children Check varies from state to state. Here are the details:

State or Territory Paid employee Volunteer
Victoria $121.10 no fee
N.S.W. $80.00 no fee
QLD $95.55 no fee
W.A. $87.00 $11
A.C.T. $137.00 no fee
S.A. $117.70 no fee
Tasmania $115.50 $19.80
N.T. $74.00 $7.00
What is a Police Check?

The National Police Check is a list of disclosable court outcomes and pending charges based on an individual’s name check, Australia-wide. It covers things like driving offenses, theft and fraud. Most checks will not reveal any conviction that was more than ten years ago, due to the Spent Convictions Scheme. No matter which state you apply from, you will get a National Police Certificate. Your Police Check is only current on the date of issue, as it is a point-in-time check. Employers may request a Police Check as part of the pre-employment screening process. It is not legally required for working with children.

Where do I get a Police Check?

You can apply online with your state police force through the links below:

You can also apply at participating Australia Post outlets or through independent websites who offer this service.

How much does it cost to get a Police Check?

In most states a Police Records Check will cost just under $50.00. It will be less for a volunteer organisation (e.g., $18 in Victoria). The reduced fee is available to those who are a student doing a placement, a volunteer or an adult providing Family Day Care.

How long does it take to get a Police Check?

Most states say that it takes up to 10 working days to process the application and return results. This timeframe can vary depending on how busy they are.

Are checks displayed on my profile on Find A Babysitter?

At Find A Babysitter we ask that you tick boxes on your profile to confirm you have one or both of these checks. We don’t accept, record or store any copies of your Working With Children Checks or Police Check, as we are not your employer. Please take your Working with Children Check to interviews to show the parents who employ you.

We hope this helps explain the different Working With Children checks for nannies and babysitters, no matter what state or city you live in.

All the best finding great jobs at Find A Babysitter!