Legislation and Guiding Documents

Department of Education (DoE) schools and services, and Education and Care (E&C) services operate in a regulatory and policy environment that is guided by a range of different legislation, policies and processes. Sometimes they are the same; sometimes they differ. It is important to understand the context of each other’s operating environment to ensure we can work together effectively to improve the education and wellbeing of our children.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians are important overarching documents for DoE school and service and E&C service staff, as they underpin all work related to the education and wellbeing of Australian children.

The Policy to guide co-location of Education and Care and Department of Education services is important to guide Strong Partnerships between stakeholders on co-located sites.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Australia ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in January 1991.

The United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child consists of 54 articles and is guided by four fundamental principles:

  1. Non-discrimination
  2. The best interests of the child
  3. Survival, development and protection
  4. Participation

Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians:

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians was published in 2008. It presents an inspiring vision, which drives educational reforms in education and care and school communities. It underpins the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), My Time Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia (MTOP) and the Australian Curriculum.

 Policy to guide co-location of Education and Care and Department of Education services:

Working in Strong Partnerships is an active and ongoing process. DoE schools and services, and E&C services need to build strong and collaborative relationships to achieve quality outcomes for children. The provisional Policy to guide co-location of Education and Care and Department of Education services  frames this by providing clear and consistent guidance for co-located DoE schools and services, and E&C services.

Legislation and RegulationsDepartment of EducationEducation and Care
Childcare Act 2001
Education and Care Services National Law 2010
Education and Care Services National Regulations
Family Assistance Law 2018
The Education Act 2016
Education Regulations 2017
Personal Information Protection Act 2004
Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1997
Family Violence Act 2004
Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act 1998
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Privacy Act 1988
Work Health and Safety Act 2012

Policy and Guiding DocumentsDepartment of EducationEducation and Care
Australian Curriculum
P-12
National Quality Standard

(NQS)

Kindergarten

LDC
FDC
OSHC
Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF)
Kindergarten – grade 2

LDC
FDC
OSHC (4 year olds)
Occasional Care
My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia (MTOP)
2018-2021 Department of Education Strategic Plan Learners First: Every Learner, Every Day
Policy to guide co-location of Education and Care and Department of Education Service
Respectful Schools and Workplaces Framework
2018-2021 Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy
Department of Education Personal Information Protection PolicyEC services have individual service policies to protect personal information.
Department of Education Authority for Release and Exchange of InformationEC services have individual service policies for Authority to Release and Exchange information.
Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics
Guides educators and teachers working with children aged birth-8.
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
Under the NQF teachers are required to work in LDC services across Australia. Information relating to qualification requirements can be found at https://www.acecqa.gov.au/qualification-requirements.

This is the minimum EC requirement and EC services may also have additional staffing policies in place in relation to their particular context.

Mandated policies relating to E&C may also be found at the Department of Education Policy Library.

Teachers also work more broadly within the E&C sector.
Tasmania’s Strategy for Children – Pregnancy to Eight Years 2018-2021
K - 8

In Strong Partnerships, all Department of Education (DoE) school and service staff, and Education and Care (E&C) service staff are expected to comply with relevant legislation and be familiar with guiding documents applicable to their professional responsibilities. Leaders should also be prepared to refer to the legislation and guiding documents when meeting and negotiating with representatives from co-located services.

  • Legislation and the guiding documents for Department of Education (DoE) schools and services, and Education and Care (E&C) services are varied, so it is important that leaders always reach understandings that respect the conditions under which their partnering service operates. With shared knowledge, decisions can be reached in consultation that are fair and understood by all.
  • Information from guiding documents should be used to support communication about proposed changes to partnership arrangements, such as transition practices. This ensures that the reasoning can be better understood.
  • When services meet and communicate with their partnering teams, information contained within guiding documents should be used, when suitable, to strengthen understanding and to build professional respect.
  • Leaders need to be aware of, and ensure that they comply with, all relevant legislation and guiding documents.
  • Leaders are required to stay up-to-date with changes to legislation and guiding documents.
  • It is the responsibility of leaders to ensure that their staff are aware of relevant legislation and guiding documents, and that they foster an understanding of the operating environment of their partnering service.
  • How do we ensure all staff are aware of the legislation, policies and guiding documents that apply to both Department of Education (DoE) schools and service and Education and Care (E&C) service provision?
  • How do we involve our service in the review of shared legislative requirements and/or guiding documents?
  • How do we collaboratively manage any changes to the partnership that occur through changes to legislation and/or guiding documents?