Early Childhood and Child Care Reform

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Transcript Early Childhood and Child Care Reform

The purpose of these consultations is to:
• Provide information about the Exposure Draft of the
Education and Care Service National Regulations.
• Seek feedback and allow issues to be raised and
The Regulations are open to amendment based
on feedback received during the consultation
process. The information provided in this session
is based on the draft Regulations as they stand
now but the detail is not set in stone.
Why are
to to
National Quality
Quality Framework?
• High quality education and care
• Uniform National System
– One system to replace eight separate systems
• Improved Standards for education and care
– New Quality Standards focussed on outcomes for children
• Revised Assessment and Rating process
Undertaken by the Regulatory Authority, not a separate body
• National Consistency
– Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority
Where are we up to
VIC and NSW have passed legislation- Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 available at
- Children (Education and Care Services National Law Application)
Act 2010 No 104 available at http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au
Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
being established (fully operational 1 January 2012)
National IT system contract negotiations
Trial assessment of approximately 200 services almost complete
Consultation on the Exposure Draft of the National Regulations
Who is covered
The National Quality Framework will cover what is currently known as:
- Long day care
- Family day care
- Kindergarten (preschools in some states)
- Outside school hours care services
An all-encompassing national system will take a number of years to
The initial scope reflects the decision to start with services with the
largest numbers of children.
This is the start of the quality agenda and over time consideration will
be given to including other types of services.
This phased approach is to ensure that issues unique to particular
types of services are fully considered and analysed before decisions
are made.
• A new robust but streamlined approval system
comprised of three interrelated approvals
- Provider Approval
- Service Approval
- Supervisor Certificate
• Under the new system provider and supervisor
approvals will be ongoing and nationally
Supervisor Certificates
• Supervisor Certificate – certification that a person is eligible to be
placed in day to day charge of a service is required for those nominated to be in
charge of approved education and care service:
– Certificate is portable from service to service and nationally
– Automatic if already in an existing equivalent position
– Certain prescribed classes of persons can be automatically granted
Supervisor Certificates, for example school principals, person in charge of a
school campus
– One-off $30 application fee
– DET will maintain a register as part of a national register
– Holder must notify the Department if there is a change in circumstances e.g.
Blue Card cancelled
Nominated Supervisor – is a person who:
– Is a Certified Supervisor
– Nominated by Approved Provider to be the Nominated Supervisor of that
– Has consented to the nomination
Supervisor Certificates
Eligibility to apply for a Supervisor Certificate
• Be 18 years or above.
• Fit and proper person to be the supervisor of a service.
• Meet the following minimum requirements for qualifications, experience
and management capability:
- sufficient skills to be placed in day to day charge of a service; AND
- one of the following:
 at least three years experience working as an educator in an
education and care service or children’s service or school; or
 an approved diploma level education and care qualification; or
 an approved early childhood teacher qualification
• Special provisions exist for Supervisor Certificates in outside school
hours care.
• Some certificates may have conditions attached.
Moving into the new system
• Prior to 1 January 2012:
• The Regulatory Authority may start seeking
information from services to support the
transition to the National Quality Framework
• From 1 January 2012:
• Existing licensed operators will be taken to be
Approved Providers; and
• Existing services will be taken to be Approved
• Service/provider approvals will be issued by the
Regulatory Authority by 30 June 2012.
Approvals process
Questions & discussion
• Is the information requested for Provider or Service Approval
• Should other factors be used to determine fitness and
propriety for Provider Approval or Supervisor Certificates?
• Should other factors be considered to determine whether a
service can provide quality education and care for children?
• Are the minimum requirements for Certified Supervisors
Assessment and Rating against
the National Quality Standard
• From 1 January 2012, assessments will be against
the seven quality areas of the National Quality
Educational program and practice
Children’s health and safety
Physical environment
Staffing arrangements
Relationships with children
Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
Leadership and service management
Rating levels
Current Rating
Highest rating
High Quality
NQS and at least four ratings at Advanced /
High Quality, including at least two from
prescribed quality areas
National Quality
At least rated as NQS against each
quality area
Receives a rating of Operating /
Foundation for one or more areas
Receives a rating of Unsatisfactory for
one or more areas and this poses a
significant risk to the safety, welfare or
wellbeing of children
Other possible
rating names
Assessment and rating against
the National Quality Standard
The NCAC will no longer exist.
Assessment and Rating will be conducted by the State/Territory
Regulatory Authority.
The Regulations set out the process for undertaking assessment
and rating including:
- Review service information and the Quality Improvement Plan
- Visit the premises (for centre-based) or one or more approved
venues or residences (for FDC)
Those undertaking assessment of services will have extensive
training in the assessment and rating process.
Services can seek a review or reassessment of a rating.
Services that receive a rating of High Quality/Advanced may apply
to be considered for a rating of Excellent.
Assessment and rating
Questions & discussion
• Initial consultation with the sector about the terminology for the rating
levels identified that there was a preference for High Quality rather than
• Another area that caused confusion was the use of Foundation (as the
level below NQS level) given its use in a schooling context.
• Given unsatisfactory is the lowest rating, is Satisfactory a more
appropriate term for the level below NQS ?
• Is there any other information a Regulatory Authority should consider
when determining a rating for a service?
• The Regulations set which transactions are subject to a fee
- for example applications for Service Approval.
• Fees collected will be reinvested in the activities of the
Regulatory Authorities and ACECQA.
• The annual service fee will be payable 1 July each year.
• Centre based and family day care services will have
different fee structures.
Current requirement
New equivalent
Fees levied by the Department
Application fees for:
• $500 licence application fee (up to 3 yrs) • $200 Provider Approval
• $100 provisional licence
• $400 - $800 Service Approval
• $300 licence renewal (up to 3 yrs)
• $30 Supervisor Certificate
• $75 licence amendment
• $50 lift a suspension
Annual fee
$185 - $365 annual fee
• $300 transfer a licence
• $50 to replace a licence
• No NCAC fee
NCAC annual fee
• $178 - $237
• Range of fees levied for other
transactions for example – notice to
transfer Service Approval, waiver,
rating re-assessment
Questions & discussion
Have we achieved the aim of balance between fairness
and equity and limited cost recovery to support regulatory
Is differentiating fees by size of service equitable?
Is a due date for the annual fee of 1 July each year the best
Operating an education and care
• Regulations provide more detail including:
Philosophy, policies and procedures
Educational Program
Children’s Health and Safety
Physical facilities
Staffing Arrangements
Information and records
Qualification requirements
Minimum Qualification requirements from 1 January 2014 for centre
based services:
- At least 50 percent of educators must have (or be actively working towards)
a Diploma level education and care qualification
- A service with less than 25 children ( kindergarten aged or under) – must
have access to an early childhood teacher for 20% of the operating hours
- A service with 25 or more children (kindergarten aged and under) on a given
day – must have an early childhood teacher in attendance for at least six
hours (if operating for > 50 hours) or 60% of the operating hours (if operating
for 50 hours or less)
One option currently being explored is making it clear that absence of an early
childhood teacher for illness or annual leave will not require a relief teacher and
that relief may be provided by a Diploma qualified or above educator.
Above requirements are over-ridden where there are jurisdiction specific
qualification requirements.
From 1 January 2014, all family day care educators must have (or be actively
working towards) a Certificate III level qualification.
Staffing ratios – Centre based
Current QLD
NQS Ratio
Birth to 24 mths
1:4 (no change)
1 January 2012
25 to 35 mths
1 January 2016
Age Group
Special provision for existing Queensland
services licensed by 1 January 2011:
Services that justify the use of a 1:5 ratio
will be ‘granted compliance’ until
31 December 2017.
15 to 36 mths
36 mths up (but not
including over preschool
aged children)
School age children
No national standard
1 January 2016
1 January 2012
Staffing ratios – Family day care
Current QLD Ratio
NQS Ratio
1:7 with a limit of 4
children under school
age (ratio includes the
carer’s own children
under school age but
the carer’s own
school-age children
are not included in
the ratio)
1:7 with a maximum of
four children not yet
attending school
(ratio includes the
carer’s own children)
1 January 2014
Mixed age groups
Age Group
Birth to 24 mths
(ratio 1:4)
25 to 35 mths
(ratio 1:5)
36 mths up to (but not including
over preschool aged children)
No of Children
Total Educators
(Ratio 1:11)
Total children
Educators (3)
Birth to 24 mths (3)
25 to 35 mths (5)
36 mths up to
pre-school (12)
• Approved providers that are unable to comply with a prescribed
element or elements of National Quality Standard (Quality Areas
3 & 4 - physical environment and staffing arrangements) and
certain provisions in the national Regulation may apply to the
Regulatory Authority for a waiver:
– A temporary waiver: which permits a service to operate for a
fixed period (of no longer than 12 months at a time);
– A service waiver: this provides a waiver on an ongoing
• Permanent exemptions will be transitioned as service waivers.
Operating a service
Questions & discussion
Should school age children be allowed to sign themselves out? Should
older children be able to sign out younger siblings?
Is the requirement to meet educator-to-child ratios at all times, including
during staff and meal breaks, achievable in a practical way?
Is the use of state specific ratios for mixed aged groups clear?
Family day care educators may use ‘co-carers’ (eg spouse or partner)
- Should co-carers be regulated beyond being a fit and proper
- Should there be minimum qualification requirements for co-carers?
Are there other practical issues that may need to be taken into account
in relation to the requirements to have an early childhood teacher in
attendance at the service for each day it operates?
Services need to maintain effective ratios to ensure that all children are
adequately supervised and are receiving quality education and care,
including for mixed age groups of children. Is the proposed approach
easy to understand and implement?
Monitoring and compliance
• The key aim is to work with services to drive continuous quality
• This will occur through regular monitoring/spot visits/targeted campaigns
and assessment and rating visits.
• Responsibility for obligations outlined in the regulations sits primarily with
Approved Providers or persons with day to day management or control.
• Regulatory Authorities will have a range of tools to achieve compliance
• Compliance directions and notices
• Enforceable undertakings
• Prohibition notices
• Emergency action notices
More information for parents
• Transparent easily accessible information about the quality of education
and care provided
• The Regulations require that services provide or display a range of
information about the service including:
contact details, their education program, assessment rating info
• Services will continue to be required to keep a range of information
specific to each child including:
assessments of children against the education program and these
assessments must be available to parents on request
Feedback on the NQF Regulations
• Comment on the Information Paper and/or draft
Regulations should be submitted to
[email protected] by 14 April 2011.
• Written feedback can also be posted to:
National Quality Framework Regulations Exposure Draft Submission
Early Childhood Quality Group
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Loc C17MR2
GPO Box 9879
• National Quality Framework Hotline - 1800 181 088
• Queensland Website
Questions and comments