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Education and Care Services

Education and Care Services

NEWMinisters agree to changes to the National Quality Framework
Posted 13 February 2017
The Australian, state and territory education ministers have agreed to changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF). These changes are outlined in a Decision Regulation Impact Statement (Decision RIS).
Decisions were made following consultation with the sector as part of the broader review of the NQF. The Australian Government and state and territory governments thank the education and care sector, families and community for their feedback and commitment to improving and strengthening the NQF.
Changes to the legislation will commence from 1 October 2017 in all states and territories except Western Australia. A revised NQS will be introduced on 1 February 2018 in all states and territories (including Western Australia). Changes will be rolled out later in Western Australia (by 1 October 2018) to allow for the legislation to be passed through the Western Australian parliament. 
Some of the key changes proposed for the NQF include:
·         A revised National Quality Standard (NQS) to strengthen quality through greater clarity, remove conceptual overlap between elements and standards, clarify language and reduce the number of standards and elements from 18 standards to 15 and 58 to 40 elements
·        Improve oversight and support within Family Day Care to achieve better compliance and quality across the whole sector.
·        Removing supervisor certificate requirements so service providers have more autonomy in deciding who can be the responsible person in each service to reduce red tape.
·        Introduction of a national educator to child ratio of 1:15 for services providing education and care to school age children. (Noting that this does not affect Tasmania – or some other states - as we already operate under this ratio).
All governments and ACECQA are committed to supporting the sector to understand and prepare for these changes. More information and guidance will be released over coming months.
·       Visit the Decision RIS information webpage for an overview of the changes. http://acecqa.gov.au/decisionris
·        Read the full Education Council Statementhttp://www.acecqa.gov.au/ministers-agree-to-change-of-the-national-quality-framework
·        Stay informed of the latest updates – subscribe to the ACECQA newsletter. www.acecqa.gov.au/acecqa-newsletters
·        National Quality Framework Information Sheet – summary of the changes to the NQF

NEWThe Child Protection Service is Changing to the Child Safety Service 
(Posted 11 October 2016)

From 30 September 2016, the Child Protection Service will be called the Child Safety Service.
This change is occurring as part of the Strong Families – Safe Kids project to reform the child protection system in Tasmania.
 
This is an important change, providing a signpost for further reform, as we work to deliver a child safety and wellbeing system that ensures the wellbeing of children and the resilience for families.
 
The re-naming of the Child Protection Service to the Child Safety Service reinforces the role of DHHS in responding to concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children; and emphasises that we must collaborate with others to build positive futures for children.
 
You can find out more about progress of all 30 action items under the Strong Families – Safe Kids Implementation Plan at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/strongfamilies-safekids 

Link to Tasmanian Register on ACECQA Website

The new national assessment and rating system under the National Framework raises the bar on quality and continuous improvement in children's education and care services.  Quality ratings of children's education and care services are now published on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website as part of new national registers under the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care.

The link to the Tasmanian register is provided here for your information:  http://www.acecqa.gov.au/national-registers/tas

It is important to look at a service's rating for each quality area, rather than just the overall rating.

The seven quality areas under the NQS are:

  1. Educational program and practice
  2. Children's health and safety
  3. Physical environment
  4. Staffing arrangements
  5. Relationships with children
  6. Partnerships with families and communities
  7. Leadership and service management

If you have any questions, please contact the Education and Care Unit on (03) 6165 5425

Legislation and Regulations

Education and Care Services National Law (Tasmania) 2011

Education and Care Services National Regulations

Qualifications Data Collection Report

The Report on the Tasmanian Centre-based 2013 Qualifications Data Collection has been released by the Education and Care Unit (ECU) and is now available to the sector.
The report outlines the perspective of centre-based services regarding the implementation of new qualifications requirements commencing on 1 january 2014.
Based on data provided by 103 centre-based education and care services in July 2013, the report provides a snapshot of:
  • The numbers of centre-based care educators in July 2013 reported to be holding a qualification, working toward a qualification or intending to work toward a qualification;
  • Centre-based services' perception of their readiness to meet the new qualifications requirements in January 2014; and
  • Challenges faced by services in working toward meeting the requirements.
In response to the data and information provided, Authorised Officers have been in communication with individual services to answer questions and provide assistance and advice regarding the requirements.
The information contained in the report provides a source of baseline data, which will provide a picture of sector progress towards meeting the qualification requirements of the National Quality Framework and identifying trends as data is collected annually.
 
 

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Useful Education and Care links

Complaints process

 
If the complaint is about a child protection concern (abuse/neglect) a notification needs to be made to Child Protection on 1300 737 639.
The Education and Care Unit (ECU), Department of Education (DoE), is responsible for the administration of the Education and Care  under the National Law and National Regulations and licenses child care services under the Tasmanian Child Care Act 2001, in conjunction with the implementation of the Standards for centre based care and in home care.
The ECU investigates complaints and contraventions when any concerns are raised about the actions, activities or facilities in relation to education and care/child care services that may impact on the quality of education and care provided for young children. Complaints may be received about approved, licensed or unlicensed services.
Issues of concern may be raised with the ECU by parents, staff, members of the public or other persons involved with a service. Prior to approaching the ECU with a complaint, it would normally be expected that the matter had been discussed with the service in an attempt to resolve the issue.
If you have been unable to resolve the issue with the service or there are circumstances where this is not possible or appropriate, the ECU may be notified on (03) 6165 5425, 1800 816 057 or ecu.comment@education.tas.gov.au
Complaints will be:
·         reviewed for non-compliance with the relevant legislation;
·         assessed for risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of any child; and
·         investigated, as required, by an authorised officer.
 
Complaints against the ECU
As the ECU is committed to operating in a professional manner at all times, it is essential for both the public and the ECU that clear processes are in place to handle any concerns or complaints. Areas of concern may include ECU policy or practice, the manner in which personal information is handled or regarding individual staff members.
Initially the matter may be discussed with a Team Leader or an authorised officer. The person dealing with the complaint will try to resolve the complaint in discussion with you and, and as appropriate, may also seek information from the person against whom you have made the complaint. This may be sufficient to address your concern. 
If you feel that the complaint has not been adequately addressed, you may decide to proceed and lodge a complaint with the ECU. Complaints may also be lodged with the Conduct & Investigations Unit or a higher level of management within the Department of Education.
For services approved under the Education and Care Services National Law, ACECQA (the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority) may be contacted on 1300 4 ACECQA (1300 422 327), enquiries@acecqa.gov.au or https://public.nqaits.acecqa.gov.au.

Contact Us

For further information regarding the Education and Care Unit’s policies or procedures please contact the Unit on (03) 6165 5425 or 1800 816 057 ​or ecu.comment@education.tas.gov.au.

More information about Education and Care services is available through the Community and Providers page.

This page has been produced by the Department of Education.
Questions concerning its content may be directed by email to ServiceCentre@education.tas.gov.au or telephone 1800 816 057.
You are directed to the disclaimer and copyright notice and a Personal Information Protection statement governing the information provided.