ACA NSW provides invaluable support to members on regulations of relevance to early childhood education and care, providing prompt, expert answers to members' queries about issues ranging from ratios to immunisation to educator qualification requirements. Our member-only page contains a list of important resources to assist members in meeting their regulatory requirements.
National Quality Framework
In December 2009, the Australian and state and territory governments, through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), agreed to a National Partnership Agreement on the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care to establish a National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (National Quality Framework). The National Quality Framework (NQF) commenced 1 January 2012 in all states and territories, apart from Western Australia, where it commenced 1 August 2012. The NQF replaced existing state and territory licensing and national quality assurance processes for most long day care, preschool/kindergarten, family day care and outside school hours care services in Australia.
The Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) guides the implementation of the NQF nationally, aiming to ensure consistency in delivery. Click here for ACECQA contact details, or click here to 'like' ACECQA on Facebook.
The ACECQA website has a range of critically important information for early childhood education and care services, including (but not limited to):
- An introduction to the NQF
- Guide to the National Quality Framework
- Guide to the Law and National Regulations
- Guide to the National Quality Standard
- Guide to Developing a Quality Improvement Plan
- Applications and Notifications
- Assessment and Ratings
- NQF Snapshots
- Inclusion Support
NSW Department of Education and Communities
The NSW Department of Education and Communities' Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate regulates the operation of early childhood education and care services for children from birth to school age. The Directorate provides a regular online newsletter, EC Extra, providing updates and information of relevance to services across NSW. Click here to access previous issues and to subscribe to EC Extra. The Directorate has an excellent Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on the NQF and the current NSW Regulation. Click here to access the FAQ page.
Click here for Early Childhood Directorate contact details.
Changes to the National Regulations
A number of important changes to the National Regulations took effect 1 June 2014.
- Click here to view the NSW-specific ACECQA fact sheet on the changes
- Click here to view the ACECQA information sheet on changes to supervisor certificate application requirements
- Click here to access the latest ACECQA Newsletter, which summarises the key changes
- Click here to access the Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2014, which can be printed and added to your office copy of the Regs.
Early Childhood Teacher Waivers
The Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate (ECECD) within the NSW Department of Education and Communities have issued additional information to ACA NSW members in relation to advertising for an Early Childhood Teacher and consequently applying for a waiver. Please click here to view this document in detail.
From 1 January 2012, all nominated supervisors and any certified supervisor who is placed in day to day charge of an education and care service in NSW must have completed an approved course in child protection. Click here for information on approved child protection qualifications for NSW children's services.
A Working With Children Check is a prerequisite for anyone in child-related work. It involves a national criminal history check and review of findings of workplace misconduct. The result of a Working With Children Check is either a clearance to work with children for five years, or a bar against working with children. Cleared applicants are subject to ongoing monitoring, and relevant new records may lead to the clearance being revoked. The Check is fully portable which means it can be used for any paid or unpaid child-related work in NSW for as long as the worker remains cleared. Click here for details on the phase-in schedule.
People working in education and care services have a legal obligation to report suspected child abuse or risk of harm. Click here for further information about mandatory reporting.
ACA NSW Policy Templates
The Education and Care Services National Regulations stipulate that every early childhood education and care service in Australia must have policies and procedures. It is important that the quality practices of early childhood education and care services are supported by policies that are relevant, accurate and reflect the latest industry information and service philosophy. A comprehensive set of policies, tailored to your service's unique circumstances, will help you meet the requirements of the National Quality Standards and help your service run smoothly. ACA NSW has developed a series of Policy Templates to help guide you through the policy development process. Click here for further information on our Policy Templates.