National Quality Framework Information on the National Quality Framework February 2012
Welcome Session 1. Overview of the National Quality Framework Session 2. National Law and National Regulations Session 3. Assessment and Rating Process Session 4. Operational Requirements including National Quality Standard Session 5. Sector Support and Resources
Session 1 Overview of the National Quality Framework www.acecqa.gov.au
Objectives of the National Quality Framework To ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children attending education and care services To improve the educational and developmental outcomes for children attending education and care services
Guiding principles of the National Quality Framework • The rights and best interests of the child are paramount • Children are successful, competent and capable learners • Equity, inclusion and diversity underpin the Framework • Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are valued • The role of parents and families is respected and supported • Best practice is expected in the provision of education and care services
National Quality Framework • The National Quality Framework includes: • a new national legislative framework • the National Quality Standard • an assessment and rating system • a Regulatory Authority in each State and Territory • the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).
Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority www.acecqa.gov.au • The Board appointments are as follows: • Chief Executive Officer - Karen Curtis • Chairperson - Rachel Hunter • Deputy Chairperson - Prof. Collette Tayler
Regulatory Authorities • Each State and Territory has appointed a Regulatory Authority. • The Regulatory Authority: • provides advice and guidance about the National Quality Framework to services and the community • administers the National Quality Framework • assesses approved education and care services against the National Quality Standard and the Regulations and determines the ratings of those services • monitors and enforces compliance • receives and investigates notifications of serious incidents and complaints.
The Regulatory Authority • The Regulatory Authority in Victoria is the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development • The newly formed Quality Assessment and Regulation Division will: • encompass all previous regional children’s services teams • coordinate all service approval functions • monitor the assessment and ratings processes against the NQF • implement policy and support Authorised Officers.
Monitoring and enforcement • Regulatory tools include: • monitoring compliance • undertaking assessment and rating visits • undertaking a schedule of visits, announced, unannounced, random, and targeted campaigns • investigating notifications • compliance action.
Map of the National Quality Framework and resources www.acecqa.gov.au
Session 2 National Law and National Regulations
National legislative framework National Law • Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 National Regulations • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 • National Quality Standard
Services covered by the National Law Any service providing or intending to provide education and care on a regular basis to children under the age of 13 years which INCLUDES: • preschools (kindergartens) • long day care • outside school hours care • family day care services.
Services excluded by the National Law • A school providing full-time education to children, including children attending in the year before grade 1 but not including a preschool program delivered in a school or a preschool that is registered at a school • Preschool programs delivered in a school if (i) the program is delivered in a class or classes where a full-time education program is also being delivered; and (ii) the program is being delivered to fewer than 6 children in the school • Personal arrangements • A service principally conducted to provide instruction is a particular activity e.g. dance classes, homework clubs • A service providing education and care to patients in a hospital or patients of a medical or therapeutic care service • Care provided under a child protection law
Services excluded by the National Regulations • In Victoria this means: • limited hours or short term licence services • occasional care services providing ad hoc care • early childhood intervention services • mobile services • some school holiday care programs • budget-based funded services without CCB. These services continue to operate under the Victorian children’s services legislation.
The national approval system • The new approval system has replaced the current licensing system for services operating under the National Law • There are three inter-related approval processes: • Provider approval • Service approval • Supervisor Certificate.
Provider approval • Provider approval is a national ongoing approval to operate services • Allows a provider to apply for one or more service approvals in any jurisdiction • An individual applicant must meet fit and proper requirements • If not an individual, each person in management or control must meet fit and properrequirements
Responsible personscentre-based services Responsible person At a centre-based service a responsible person must be physically present at all times Needs to be either a : • Approved provider or person in management and control • Assessed and granted to a legal entity or person with management or control that will operate the education and care service. • Certified supervisor • Makes a person eligible to be put in day-to-day charge of a service in the absence of the approved provider or nominated supervisor. • Nominated supervisor • All services must have a nominated supervisor as part of the service approval • A nominated supervisor must have a supervisor certificate.
Family day carestaffing requirements • Family day care services must ensure that: • an approved provider or person with management or control; or • a nominated supervisor; or • a certified supervisor is available to educators including being contactable by phone.
Service approval • There are two types of service approvals: • centre-based services includes: long day care, preschool or kindergarten and outside school hours care services • family day care services. • An annual fee applies • Existing licenses must be displayed whilst awaiting service approval.
Associated Services • Provisions have been made under the National Law for associated services • The National Law contains provisions for an associated service to operate under one Service Approval • Associated services will continue to comply with the Victorian children’s services legislation in relation to the standards that apply
Supervisor Certificates • A person to be put in day-to-day charge of the service must meet the following: • be 18 years or over • satisfy the Regulatory Authority that they are a fit and proper person to be the supervisor of a service including mandatory criminal history information (Working with Children Check) • the applicant must have – • adequate knowledge and understanding of the provision of education and care to children • the ability to effectively supervise and manage an education and care service • the applicant must have either – • 3 years experience or an approved diploma or early childhood teaching qualification (not a requirement for OSHC services).
Supervisor Certificates • The Regulatory Authority may grant a supervisor certificate to a prescribed class of person, such as: • a principal of a school on a school site • a person in charge of a campus of a school that provides an education and care service at that campus.
Nominated Supervisor • Requires a person to hold a supervisor certificate • All services must have a nominated supervisor • The nominated supervisor is responsible with the approved provider for compliance with the National Law and National Regulations
Session 3 Assessment and Rating Process
Assessment and rating • Promotes continuous quality improvement • Measures the aspects of quality that contribute to better outcomes for children • Places an educational lens on assessment of services and considers pedagogy • Is technically valid, robust and a consistent assessment and rating process across Australia • Provides meaningful, transparent and reliable information to parents and families about the quality of early childhood education and care services • Ratings publicly available
National Quality Standard • The new National Quality Standard is divided into 7 quality areas that contribute to the quality of early childhood education and care Educational program and practice Children’s health and safety Physical environment Staffing arrangements Relationships with children Collaborative partnerships with families and communities Leadership and service management
Rating levelsKey changes from exposure draft Rating names Provisional rating Until a service is first assessed under the National Law it will have a rating of Provisional - Not yet assessed under the National Quality Framework
Earned autonomy system • Significant Improvement Required– service is not meeting the National Quality Standard and this constitutes a risk to the health safety and wellbeing of a child and the regulator is working with the service • Working Towards National Quality Standard– generally every year for a full assessment • National Quality Standard– generally every two years for a full assessment • ExceedsNational Quality Standard– generally every three years for a full assessment • Excellent– generally every three years for a full assessment
Quality Improvement Plans • Services are required to complete a self assessment against the National Quality Standard. This includes: • gathering information from management; educators; families and others. • In order to develop a Quality Improvement Plan services are required to: • reflect on and evaluate practice • identify strengths and areas for improvement • develop strategies and timelines to achieve goals • outline the statement of philosophy of the service.
Assessment and rating process in 2012 • From 30 April 2012 all existing services must have completed a self-assessment against the National Quality Standard and have a Quality Improvement Plan available at the service. • New services must submit a Quality Improvement Plan to the Regulatory Authority within 3 months of the service approval being granted. • Assessment and rating visits will commence in mid June 2012.
Assessment and rating process • Assessment and rating visits will be announced • Proposed length of visit (1-5 days) • Assessors will: • consider compliance history • consider the Quality Improvement Plan • observe the programs provided on the day • have discussion with educators and providers • sight documentation.
Session 4 Operational Requirements including National Quality Standard
Operational Requirements and the National Quality Standard • Educational program and practice • Children’s health and safety • Physical environment • Staffing arrangements • Relationships with children • Collaborative partnerships with families and communities • Leadership and service management
Educational program and practice Quality Area 1 Educational program and practice • Approved services must provide an educational program that is: • delivered based on an approved learning framework • based on the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child • takes into account the individual differences of each child. • Requirements for: • documenting child assessments or evaluations • ensure information about the educational program is available • providing information about the educational program to parents on request.
Approved National Frameworks The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia • for educators working with children aged birth to 5 • 5 learning outcomes • pedagogy, principles and practice My Time, Our Place • for educators working in school aged care • 5 learning outcomes • Belonging, Being & Becoming reinforced Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework • For all professionals working with children from birth to 8 years Quality Area 1 Educational program and practice
Children’s health and safety Quality Area 1 Educational program and practice • The National Law contains important provisions relating to children’s health and safety, including: • adequate supervision of children • protection of children from harm and hazards • offence to use inappropriate discipline.
Children’s health and safety • Ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children including: • incidents, injury, trauma and illness • medical conditions policy and administration of medication • emergencies and communication • collection of children from premises and excursions • Child Protection awareness. • For children over preschool age: • recognition of self-administration of medicine by children over preschool age • recognition that children may leave premises with written authorisation. Quality Area 2 Children’s health and safety
Excursions • Ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of children on excursions: • Undertake a risk assessment to identify and assess any risks including hazards, transport, supervision and activity • Parental supervision • Amended regulation: • Recognises that movement within a service premises is no longer defined as an excursion Quality Area 2 Children’s health and safety
Physical environment • Many requirements focus on outcomes. For example: • equipment to be safe, clean and good repair • ensure fencing is of a height and design that children preschool age and under cannot go through, over or under • services which don’t have laundry facilities may meet the requirement by ensuring the services has other arrangements in place for dealing with soiled items • removal of prohibition on swimming pools (existing bans retained in Tasmania and New South Wales) • different requirements for outdoor space for older children. Quality Area 3 Physical environment
Physical environment – Family Day Care • An existing family day care residence or venue does not need to meet the fencing requirements of regulation 104 until the venue or residence is renovated • For the purpose of a rating assessment a family day care service is taken to comply with that regulation until 31 December 2015 Quality Area 3 Physical environment
Staffing arrangementsnew definitions Quality Area 4 Staffing arrangements • Educational leader • A suitably qualified and experienced educator, co-ordinator or other individual is designated in writing as an educational leader at the service to lead the development and implementation of educational programs in the service • Working directly with children • For the purpose of calculating ratios educators are physically present with the children and directly engaged in providing education and care to children • For teachers in attendance at a centre-based service • Is present at the service and may include working directly with children, planning, mentoring, facilitating research, performing the role of educational leader
Fitness and propriety prior to engagement • Family day care educators and educator assistants on engagement or registration must hold a valid: • Working with Children Check • Criminal History Record Check • Educators in centre-based services on engagement must hold a: • Working with Children Check • Limited exceptions • Teachers with VIT registration are not required to have a working with children check • Under 18 years Quality Area 4 Staffing arrangements
Educator to child ratio: Family day care Quality Area 4 Staffing arrangements
Staffing arrangements: centre-based services from 1 January 2012 Quality Area 4 Staffing arrangements • Children aged less than 36months • a ratio of 1 educator to 4 children • at least 1 of every 3 educators required to meet relevant ratios must have at least an approved diploma level education and care qualification. • Children preschool age or under who are aged 36 months or over • a ratio of 1 educator to 15 children • at least 1 of every 2 required educators required to meet relevant ratios must have at least an approved diploma level qualification. • Children over preschool age • a ratio of 1 educator to 15 children • at least 50 per cent of educators required to meet the relevant ratio must have or be enrolled in and studying for at least an approved diploma level qualification
Staffing arrangements : centre-based services from 1 January 2014 Quality Area 4 Staffing arrangements • Children aged less than 36 months • a ratio of 1 educator to 4 children • at least 50 per cent of educators required to meet relevant ratios must have or be actively working towards at least an approved diploma level qualification. • Children preschool age or under who are aged 36 months or over • a ratio of 1 educator to 15 children • at least 50 per cent of educators required to meet relevant ratios must have or be actively working towards at least an approved diploma level qualification. • Children over preschool age • A ratio of 1 educator to 15 children • at least 50 percent of educators required to meet relevant ratios must have or be enrolled and studying for at least an approved diploma level qualification.
Staffing arrangements : centre-based services from 1 January 2016 Quality Area 4 Staffing arrangements • Children aged less than 36 months • a ratio of 1 educator to 4 children • at least 50 percent of educators required to meet relevant ratios have or are actively working towards at least an approved diploma level qualification. • Children preschool age or under who are aged 36 months • A ratio of 1 educator to 11 children • At least 50 percent of educators required to meet relevant ratios have or are actively working towards at least an approved diploma level qualification. • Children over preschool age • a ratio of 1 educator to 15 children • at least 50 percent of educators are required to have or be enrolled and studying for at least an approved diploma level qualification.