The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW has been publicly and vocally concerned about the performance of the Assessment and Rating process on NSW-based service providers as conducted by the NSW Department of Education, especially since 1 February 2018 when the Education Council decided to “streamline” the National Quality Standards (NQS).
Based on the information provided by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), we can prove that of the 1,055 NSW-based services who were re-assessed and re-rated between 1 February 2018 and 31 January 2019, 228 services or 32.3% were downgraded.
Of the 247 services that were previously rated Exceeding, 141 (or 57.1%) of them were downgraded to either Meeting or Working Towards.
And NSW had the highest number of nett negative number of ratings (-105 services) whereas Australia had an overall increase in the number of nett positive number of ratings (+131 services).
The NSW Department of Education has written to ACA NSW to assure that “… the overall percentage of services rated as exceeding and meeting the national quality standards is increasingly aligning with the aims of the national quality framework.” Services can make their own judgement on whether that is true based on the statistics produced based on ACECQA’s data.
Despite ACA NSW asking the NSW Department of Education and ACECQA for NSW-based services to have the same access to the training given to NSW assessors, the Department has responded saying they do not provide any training while ACECQA declined.
Nevertheless, ACA NSW remains very concerned about how NSW’s Assessment and Rating do not appear to have the same trends as all other Australian states and territories. And ultimately, parents will be confused as to the now different meanings of the ratings:
- was the rating before 1 February 2018 (where there are 3,196 services have not yet been re-rated since 1 February 2018)
- was the rating after 1 February 2018 (where there are 1,959 services).
ACA NSW will continue to pursue this with the NSW Government and its agencies.