The Australian, state and territory education Ministers have agreed to changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF). Changes will come into effect from:
- 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.
Some of the key changes to the NQF include:
- A revised National Quality Standard (NQS) to strengthen quality through greater clarity, remove conceptual overlap between elements and standards, clarify language and reduce the number of standards and elements from 18 standards to 15, and 58 to 40 elements.
- A reduction in documentation requirements for children over preschool age attending early childhood education and care to reduce the administrative burden for these services (applies in Queensland, NSW and NT only)
- Introducing a national educator to child ratio of 1:15 for services providing education and care to school age children to align with Queensland’s current requirement for OSHC services.
- Removing supervisor certificate requirements so service providers have more autonomy in deciding who can be the responsible person in each service, and to reduce red tape.
- Improving oversight of the FDC sector with requirements that predominantly align with Queensland’s current regulatory practices with a focus on maintaining the safety and wellbeing of children
- Requiring all early childhood education and care services to have sleep and rest policies and procedures for children and infants in response to recommendation from a Queensland coronial inquest
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.
More information and guidance will be released over coming months.