NEW – Ministers 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.
· National Quality Framework Information Sheet – summary of the changes to the NQF
NEW – Minor Infrastructure Grants 2016/17
(posted 24 January 2017)
Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to the eligibility criteria and program priorities by downloading the Application Guidelines and Application Form below.
Applications open on Monday, 30 January 2016. The closing date for applications is Friday, 10 March 2017.
For further information, please contact the Education and Care Unit on (03) 6165 5425.
The 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.
Number of services assessed and rated in Tasmania
ACECQA released the 12th NQF Snapshot (Q4, 2015) in February 2016. This states that 93% of Tasmanian education and care services have received a quality rating.
Minister Jeremy Rockliff's media release in December 2015 stated that Tasmania has become the first jurisdiction in Australia to have assessed and rated all of its education and care services.
These two releases are both correct.
The Minister's release is based on services assessed and rated according to a nationally agreed target. This target is based on the number of approved services as at 31 March 2014 and does not include services that have transferred to a new provider or have commenced operation since that date.
The ACECQA Snapshort, however, is always based on the number of approved services current at the time of reporting, in this case on 31 December 2015.
As services commence operating, transfer providers or close from time to time, it is unlikely that Tasmania, or any other state or territory, will reach or maintain 100% of approved services with a quality rating.
If you have any questions about this, please contact the ECU on (03) 6165 5425.
The Qualifications Guide - Education and Care Sector
The Hon. Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education launched The Qualifications Guide - Education and Care Sector on Thursday 26 February 2015.
ECA Australia, Tasmania branch are distributing printed copies to services. A pdf copy is provided here for your ongoing use.
The Qualifications Guide Part 1-Services.pdf The Qualifications Guide Part 2-Educators.pdf
2014 Review of the National Partnership Agreement on the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care (2014 Review)
Update April 2015
Consultation Regulation Impact Statement
Consultation on the Regulation Impact Statement occurred between November 2014 and January 2015 through face to face sessions, written submissions, on line comments and survey responses. The Australian and state and territory governments acknowledge the contribution made by the sector, families and communities through this process. The feedback is currently being considered in preparing the final recommendations through to government. Final decisions will be made available once they have been agreed by Ministers.
For further information, go to www.deloitteaccesseconomics.com.au/our+services/nqf+consultation+ris
Written submissions from this consultation phase are also available on this website.
Tasmanian Working with Children Check (WWCC)
People working or volunteering in education and care (child care) services are required to hold a Tasmanian Working with Children Check (WWCC) issued by the Department of Justice.
If you have questions about how the WWCC applies under the National Law, please contact the Education and Care Unit on (03) 6165 5425.
For additional information about the Working with Children Check please visit the Department of Justice website: http//www.justice.tas.gov.au/working_with_children
Changes to the Education and Care Services National Regulations that came into effect 1 June 2014
The State and territory ministers and the Australian Government agreed to amendments to the National Regulations.
As stated in the ACECQA newsletter released on 16 May 2014, the amendments will 'deliver benefits for providers, educators and regulatory authorities by streamlining processes, reducing paperwork and administration, and providing greater flexibility' and have been informed by sector feedback.
The main amendments that will applied in Tasmania include:
Streamlining the supervisor certificate application process
Greater flexibility for centre-based services to meet staffing requirements when employing new educators.
Extending the timeframe for a person who is actively working towards an early childhood teaching qualification to be counted towards early childhood teacher requirements
A more practical approach to submission of Quality Improvement Plans for approved providers with a new service, who are now required to submit the QIP for the new service to their regulatory authority on request, rather than within a mandatory three month period.
The majority of amendments are implemented nationally; a general information sheet is available on the ACECQA website
There are some amendments specific to Tasmania and relate to the Registration to Work With Vulnerable People Act 2013 (RWVP). These amendments ensure that compliance with the education and care services national legislation is maintained while the Tasmanian education and care sector transitions from the current requirements for a safety screening clearance to the new requirements for working with children registration under the RWVP.
Further information about the amendments is available in the Tasmanian specific information sheet on the ACECQA website
For a copy of the National Regulations with the amendments, please see the NSW Legislation Register.
Further information about RWVP can be found on the Department of Justice website: http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/working_with_children
Other changes to the National Quality Framework
The changes to the assessment and rating process have commenced. The main changes are:
more flexible timeframes for the assessment and rating of a service
a 'new look' assessment and rating report'
updated resources for services and Authorised officers on the ACECQA website
If you have further questions about this information please contact the ECU.
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 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
ACECQA First Aid Qualifications
Clarification of regulation 97
To meet the requirements of National Regulation 97(1) & (4), services approved under the Education and Care Services National Law (Tasmania) 2011 must display a copy of an emergency and evacuation floor plan, with instructions, in a prominent position near each exit of the education and care service. (This is in addition to the requirements of any other body (e.g. Tasmanian Fire Service). The floor plan pro-forma template may assist in meeting the requirements of the regulation.
Depending on a service’s procedures, an individual template may be needed for each emergency and evacuation procedure developed by a service to meet regulation 168 (2)(e). This would be determined by the service, through risk analysis.
Please note that the intent of the term ‘each exit’ is each exit relevant to the specific emergency or evacuation procedure. Each exit of the service may not be an appropriate emergency or evacuation exit, and in some evacuation procedures, services may need to use more exits than those officially approved as fire exits.
floor plan template.doc
ACECQA information sheets