New social format for regional Network Meetings

With fatigue from COVID and challenges with severe labour shortages amidst operational and regulatory burdens, ACA NSW trialled a new format at the recent Monday's Network Meeting at The Pier Hotel, Coffs Harbour on Monday, 5 September 2022.

ACA NSW members who attended were treated to free drinks! Unfortunately, ACA NSW members and non-members would have had free food too if The Pier Hotel weren't defeated by staff shortage which shut their bistro that day.

So many topics were discussed and experiences shared, including:

  1. Severe labour shortages
  2. Recruiting and retention challenges
  3. Attractiveness of the early childhood education and care sector
  4. Upcoming new funding for Start Strong and Affordable Preschool
  5. NSW Government's proposed Universal Preschool by 2030
  6. NSW's low(er) quality ratings despite higher ratios than all other states
  7. Upcoming "strike" on Early Childhood Educators Day
  8. The new Federal Government, including the recent Jobs Summit
  9. Seeking easier waivers from the NSW Regulatory Authority
  10. Need for easier documentation when recruiting new trainees
  11. NSW Department of Education, including confusion over regulatory practices
  12. NESA accreditation
  13. ACECQA, including upcoming changes to the Early Years Learning Framework
  14. Dealing with OneMusic
  15. Dealing with NSW Department of Criminal Justice cases workers
  16. Inclusion Support and alternative funding

In addition to learning about the latest information and changes, those who attended said what they appreciated most was being in-person for such discussions and sharing.

This aligns with ACA NSW's changes that has already occurred as well as expanded in 2023:

  • engaging via ACA NSW Network Meetings using live on-line and video-on-demand platforms to assist with members (and non-members) as they face exhaustion, time and labour shortage challenges;
  • continuing with ACA NSW Regional Network Meetings socials (2 per year in Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong);
  • continuing with ACA NSW Inner Circle events (2 per year) where members and non-members attend in-person and engage with regulatory authorities;
  • introducing ACA NSW Sector Spring Social and Autumn Affairs (2 per year) where members and non-members can attend in-person and engage with each other as well as government and supplier representatives.

Members can contact the ACA NSW team via 1300 556 330 or for any further information/clarification.