Ministers agree to changes to the NQF
The Australian, state and territory education Ministers have agreed to changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF).
The changes follow a review of the National Partnership Agreement on the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care to ensure the NQF is improving the quality of education and care in Australia in the most efficient and effective way.
Proposed options for changes to the NQF were tested with the sector, families and communities. Overall, the review found the NQF is an important and successful reform with strong stakeholder support. However some technical and operational improvements are required after five years of operation.
After passage through the Victorian Parliament, legislation changes will come into effect:
- 1 October 2017 – National Law and Regulations changes commence in all states and territories, except Western Australia. In Western Australia changes will commence by 1 October 2018 to allow for the legislation to pass through that parliament.
- 1 February 2018 – Revised National Quality Standard commences in all states and territories, including Western Australia.
The Australian Government and state and territory governments thank the education and care sector for their feedback and commitment to improving and strengthening the NQF.
All governments and ACECQA will be working to support the sector to prepare for these changes. Additional information, guidance and resources will be released over the coming months.
Service providers can stay informed of the latest updates by subscribing to the ACECQA newsletter.
How will the approved learning frameworks guide your journey in 2017?
What is your personal and service journey with the approved learning frameworks?
How do the approved learning frameworks inform your practice, programs and interactions?
This month on We Hear You, we reflect on the frameworks that will guide you and your service through the coming year while exploring their intent and benefits when collaborating with families and communities.
Latest updates to online resources
To ensure you have access to the most up-to-date information, ACECQA’s online resources are regularly updated. While print-outs and hard copies can be handy when you are busy at your service, remember our online resources provide the latest up-to-date information.
You can access the latest versions of the online resources including the National Quality Framework Resource Kit on the ACECQA website.
Operational Policy Manual update
The Operational Policy Manual for regulatory authorities (Chapter H: Assessment and rating) has new information about how often service quality ratings are reassessed. The update explains more about the range of factors that regulatory authorities consider when scheduling quality rating visits. Scheduling is generally risk-based and responsive to service circumstances. For example, services with a lower quality rating can expect to be re-rated more frequently.
New guidance for providers on prohibition notices
ACECQA has also worked with regulatory authorities to develop a new FAQ and declaration form for prospective staff members. These resources are designed to help approved providers ensure they do not engage or employ a person who is prohibited from working in an education and care service, in line with Section 188 of the Education and Care Services National Law.
The FAQ on provider responsibilities when recruiting staff provides detailed information about prohibition notices and a checklist of reasonable steps a provider can take to ensure they do not engage a prohibited person.
One of the steps that providers might take is to ask prospective staff members to sign a declaration stating they are not subject to a prohibition notice and keep this declaration on file. ACECQA has created a template declaration form for prospective staff members to assist recordkeeping on the compliance history of prospective staff members. Completed forms do not need to be lodged with a regulatory authority.
The template declaration form is available on the ACECQA website in both PDF and Word formats.
Assessment and rating data show continued quality improvement in children’s education and care sector
The latest ACECQA NQF Snapshot reports on children’s education and care services operating under the National Quality Framework (NQF). It provides information and analysis on the profile of the sector, progress of assessment and rating, quality rating of services and waivers held by services.
As at 31 December 2016, there were 15,434 children’s education and care services approved to operate under the NQF, of which 86 per cent had a quality rating. Since there will always be a small number of services that have only recently been approved or have only been operating for a short time, the proportion of services with a quality rating will not reach 100 per cent at any one time.
Seventy-two per cent of rated services had a rating of Meeting National Quality Standard (NQS) or higher, with quality improvement continuing across the sector. Of the 1705 reassessments undertaken to date, 62 per cent resulted in an improved overall quality rating. Sixty-nine per cent of services previously rated at Working Towards NQS improved their overall rating to Meeting NQS or above at reassessment.
The range of data included in the Snapshot continues to expand, with new tables and graphs providing additional detail about services’ previous overall rating alongside their reassessed overall rating.
This Snapshot is the 16th report on the NQF and both the PDF and online versions of the Snapshot are available on the ACECQA website.
Quality Practice Workshop registrations open for Queensland
Bookings are open for our Queensland workshops focusing on educational leadership.
Led by ACECQA’s National Education Leader in partnership with the regulatory authority, the free sessions are open to all educators and approved providers across the sector.
Register now to secure your spot.
Nominate an inspiring educator
Every year, Australian Family searches the country for educators and education and care services that are making a lasting difference to the lives of staff, children and families in their community. If you know someone working in children’s education and care who deserves recognition, nominate them for the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards.
Nominations for the awards close Friday 10 March 2017. For full details and to nominate, visit the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards website.
As part of our ongoing commitment to openness and transparency, we continue to make information publicly available about a number of our operational functions. As of 31 December 2016, ACECQA has received:
More information is available on the ACECQA website, including applications by month, location and outcome. ACECQA will continue to update the information quarterly.
View the most recent ACECQA operational activity data.