Supporting providers through the transformation in early learning

Childcare and early learning

The early learning and childcare industry has evolved significantly these past few years and will continue to do so as a result of significant and ongoing legislative and policy reform. Amidst continuous legislative and policy reforms, providers face challenges such as staff shortages and increasing compliance obligations. Our team of dedicated lawyers is committed to helping providers successfully navigate these complexities while prioritising the safety and well-being of children, staff, and all stakeholders involved in early learning environments.


Supporting the transformation in early learning

As the early learning industry undergoes accelerated growth and transformation, driven by government funding reforms aimed at workforce reintegration and addressing skill shortages, providers must be agile in adapting to an evolving landscape. Achieving optimal educational outcomes for children requires providers to effectively balance duties and obligations in areas such as privacy compliance, insurance needs, crisis management, discrimination, safety and duty of care, child protection, and real estate.

At MinterEllison, our expertise and services can help providers navigate these complexities, offering support in regulatory matters, safety, student issues, property and construction, tax, migration, governance, technology, staff matters, and restructuring, mergers, and acquisitions. By partnering with our experienced legal team, early learning providers can confidently pursue growth and evolution, ensuring the best possible outcomes for children, staff, and their businesses.

As they grow and evolve, providers need to balance their duties and obligations around:

  • privacy compliance
  • insurance needs
  • crisis management
  • discrimination
  • safety and duty of care
  • child protection
  • real estate

How can we help

Working with the sector

MinterEllison's extensive experience and proficiency in Australia's early learning sector sets us apart. Our team delivers comprehensive legal advice, addressing both high-level strategic concerns and the everyday hurdles of managing early learning centres, encompassing legislative and regulatory matters.

We have a deep and genuine understanding of issues being faced by the schools sector, and how they interact and impact each other. This knowledge and experience allows us to deliver tailored solutions to schools.

Knowledge and expertise

Our collaborative approach allows us to work effectively with stakeholders throughout the entire educational journey. We partner with childcare and early learning providers, government and independent schools, vocational education and training providers, and higher education institutions, ensuring well-rounded support and insight for our clients.

  • Education
  • Schools
  • Vocational education and training
  • Higher education


We aid educational clients in innovation, enhancing student experiences, and improving outcomes. Education is vital for a competitive, innovative Australia, with childcare, schools, vocational and higher education institutions playing a role. With 100+ years of experience, we maintain strong ties with government, regulators, and leading providers, collaborating to solve complex issues, navigate challenges, and capitalise on opportunities.



Our Schools team provide legal services to government and independent schools. This experience has provided us with sector-leading insights into best practice and emerging issues and a deep understanding of the policy, operational and regulatory environment within which our clients operate. We can help clients to navigate the unique challenges and issues impacting government and independent schools across Australia.

We advise on matters including child protection investigations, discrimination of students and staff, enrolment and parent disputes, and safety and wellbeing. Our team has experience in the full range of employment and governance matters, including the particular duty of care and OHS issues commonly arising within a school environment.

Vocational education and training

Our Vocational education and training team assists registered training organisations, including TAFEs, with all aspects of the regulatory framework. They advise and represent concerning audits, compliance and other regulatory and legal action by the Australian Skills Quality Authority, the Commonwealth Department of Education, State departments of education and training and other regulatory bodies.

We have experience assisting our clients in avoiding tuition assurance breaches, dealing with multiple concurrent regulatory interventions and proceedings, entering the sector and facilitating wind-downs and exits from the sector. Our team can help clients develop strategies to maximise returns on legacy VET FEE-HELP assets while limiting reputational impacts on other parts of the business.

Get in touch with Kylie Diwell

Higher education


Our Higher education team provide specialist legal services based on an in-depth understanding of the complex, unique and high-risk issues facing clients within the sector. Most Australian universities, the peak public and private industry associations, and leading independent higher education providers engage the team on a broad range of sector-specific issues.