Confusions over Regulatory Practices

Now more than ever, all early childhood education and care (ECEC) service providers need less operational burden.


And nothing is worse than being instructed or inferred to do more than what the law, regulations and officially published guidances that are the requirements of ECEC services.


The NSW Department of Education has offered to receive from ACA NSW examples of regulatory practices that they could consider and potentially provide, for example, either clarity or lessen some burdens.


During recent ACA NSW Network Meetings (username and password required for access), members would be aware that ACA NSW has at least 14 issues/examples to be discussed with the NSW Department of Education.


One example emanated from a NSW Authorised Officer's recent compliance visit of an ECEC service provider where her/his interpretation of Regulation 75 was for the service's educational program to be affixed on the wall.


It is worth noting that the Regulation 75 states:


The approved provider of an education and care service must ensure that —


(a)  information about the contents and operation of the educational program for the service is displayed at the education and care service premises at a place accessible to parents of children being educated and cared for by the service; and


(b)  a copy of the educational program is available at the following places for inspection on request—


(i)  in the case of a centre-based service, at the education and care service premises;

(ii)  in the case of a family day care service, at each family day care residence or family day care venue.


The NSW Department of Education provided a written response to ACA NSW stating:


"Regulation 75(a) requires that the approved provider of an education and care service must ensure that information about the contents and operation of the educational program for the service is displayed at the education and care service premises at a place accessible to parents.


The National Law and National Regulations do not specify whether services must either have the educational program printed, or whether the educational program must be affixed on the wall.


However, the NSW Regulatory Authority considers that printing an educational program or affixing an educational program on the wall are appropriate ways of ensuring the requirement above is met, provided that the information is accessible and understandable to parents."


Given this interpretation, in order to safeguard ECEC services from receiving notices of non-compliances, ACA NSW in response asked the NSW Department of Education to provide the answers to the following questions:


  1. What paper size should the document be printed on?
  2. How many pages should be exposed from the document for public display (if the educational program were written across more than one page)?
  3. Which font and what font size should the text on each page be?
  4. Can we rely purely on English as the language for communication?
  5. What vertical height should the document’s bottom edge and top edge be when affixed on the wall?
  6. Which wall or walls should the document be affixed to?

At the time of writing this article, ACA NSW has not yet received answers to the above 6 questions in relation to Regulation 75.


As ACA NSW engages with other parts of the NSW Government (including the NSW Productivity Commissioner and the NSW Small Business Commissioner), such examples will be shared with them should they be able to assist.


Should members wish to raise other issues/examples similar to the above, please share them with the ACA NSW team via 1300 556 330 or nsw@childcarealliance.org.au.


PUBLISHED: 23 AUGUST 2022

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