Since 3 July 2017, the Australian Childcare Alliance (NSW) received numerous complaints and requests for assistance from ACA NSW members following advice from their Adult Migrant English Program service provider that as of 1 July 2017 approved providers would no longer receive funding for the care of children whose parents were undertaking courses under the Adult Migrant English Program if they were rated either as Working Towards, Provisionally Rated or Significant Improvement Required.
Consequently, ACA NSW sought immediate clarification from the Federal Department of Education and on 19 July 2017, ACA NSW received the e-mail communique below.
ACA NSW is concerned that:
- Out of 15,540 services across Australia, 5,150 are either Working Towards (3,718), Provisional Not Yet Rated (1,393) or Significant Improvement Required (39); and
- Of which in NSW, 2,026 are either Working Towards (1,569), Provisional Not Yet Rated (432) or Significant Improvement Required (25); and
- Out of 1,569 services in NSW that are on Working Towards, 1,254 was last assessed between August 2012 and June 2016 (using an arbitrary deadline).
Consequently, 2,001 (37.5% of NSW) childcare services rated Working Towards and Provisional Not Yet Rated lost their ability to provide childcare services to these migrants’ children while undertaking English courses, which would have resulted in a significant number of migrant families and their children redirected to a much smaller number of childcare services.
ACA NSW understands and appreciates that the Federal Department of Education has come to a similar view and has subsequently changed their position and restored AMEP funding to childcare service providers that are rated Working Towards or Provisionally Rated. ACA NSW thanks the Federal Department of Education for this decision.
From: Education - AMEP Info <AMEPInfo@education.gov.au>
Date: 19 July 2017 at 4:35:10 pm AEST
Subject: RE: Contact Centre Enquiry / AMEP [DLM=For-Official-Use-Only]
For Official Use Only
Good Afternoon Chiang
Thank you for your enquiry,
The Department of Education and Training has introduced more stringent requirements for the child care services which service providers of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) are permitted to engage. This is only in relation to child care service providers which have been assessed by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) as Significant Improvement Required.
Child care services rated as Working Towards NQS or are Provisional Not Yet Assessed according to their ACEQA ratings (available at http://www.acecqa.gov.au/national-registers ) are as child care providers which AMEP providers may engage.
Child care services rated as Significant Improvement Required are not permitted for AMEP purposes, as this poses an unacceptable risk to the safety and wellbeing of AMEP clients’ children.
These changes do not effect funding, however business arrangements between child care providers and AMEP service providers may be impacted.
The department is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the children of AMEP clients.
Program Management Team
Adult Migrant English Program Ι Foundation Skills Branch
Skills Programmes Group
Australian Government Department of Education and Training