ACECQA Newsletter Issue 11 2014

Latest NQF Snapshot shows services continue to meet and exceed higher standards

Almost 62 per cent of assessed children’s education and care services are Meeting or Exceeding the National Quality Standard (NQS), according to the latest National Quality Framework (NQF) report.
 
The NQF Snapshot Q2 2014 released today is the sixth national report on children’s education and care services.
 
Read more here.

National Workshop series launched

ACECQA is presenting a series of national workshops to support services in meeting Quality Area 1 – Educational program and practice.
 
The workshops will be held in each state and territory, starting with Tasmania in late September.
 
Led by ACECQA’s National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone, the workshops will be practical, hands-on sessions supported by local Professional Support Coordinators and regulatory authority staff.
 
The workshops are open to all educators and providers, but are particularly targeted at services that have received a rating of Working Towards National Quality Standard or have not yet been rated.
 
Further workshop details are available on our Events page.

One, two what can we do? Exploring literacy and numeracy with young children

National Literacy and Numeracy week (August 25-31) offers an opportunity to consider the rich diversity of experiences and opportunities our early childhood and school age care environments offer to extend children’s thinking, understanding and learning about literacy and numeracy.  As part of this, we need to consider the links with the national learning frameworks and ask ourselves: How do we embed literacy and numeracy into education and practice in a way that is relevant and meaningful for children?  
 
Building on real life experiences, as well as being creative in providing opportunities for children to expand their knowledge and skill in understanding and using literacy and numeracy concepts, is important to engage children and prompt their learning and understanding. 
 
Read more on ACECQA's We Hear You blog.

Embedding cultural competence in everyday practice

Cultural competence is a relatively new concept for many people working in the children’s education and care sector. ACECQA asked a number of experts to discuss some of the key issues at our recent ACECQA Forum. 
 
ACECQA’s National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone was joined by Geraldine Atkinson, Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care; Jennifer Sebire, National Inclusion Support Agency Alliance; Narelle Semmens, Indigenous Professional Support Unit and Dawson Ruhl, Professional Support Co-ordinator Alliance to discuss the topic in depth. 
 
You can watch the discussion here and read more about what it means to be culturally competent on  ACECQA’s We Hear You  blog.

New Ministerial Advisory Council announced

Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, announced the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Council for the education and care sector. Its members are:
  • Ms Kylie Brannelly – Queensland Children’s Activities Network.
  • Ms Gwynn Bridge – Australian Childcare Alliance.
  • Ms Brianna Casey – Childcare NSW.
  • Ms Ros Cornish – Early Childhood Australia.
  • Ms Anita Jovanovski – NSW Family Day Care Association.
  • Ms Christine Legg – KU Children’s Services.
  • Ms Judith McKay-Tempest – Macquarie University.
  • Ms Carla Northam – Family Day Care Australia.
  • Ms Robyn Paterson – National Association of Mobile Services for Rural and Remote Families and Children.
  • Ms Prue Warrilow – Australian Community Children’s Services.
  • Ms Naomi Wilson – Former QLD Minister for Families Youth and Community Care.
Assistant Minister Ley co-chairs the council with former Departmental Secretary, Dr Jeff Harmer AO.

Number of Excellent services continues to grow

Wesley College Early Childhood Learning Centre (Glen Waverley Campus) is the second service in Victoria awarded the Excellent rating for its outstanding commitment to improving quality outcomes for children in Australia. 
 
Wesley College received the rating by demonstrating distinction in a number of its programs, including a cultural exchange partnership with the Aboriginal people of the Fitzroy Valley community in Western Australia and weekly English language lessons for bilingual and non-English speaking students.
 
The centre also promotes sustainable practices and has taken on a leadership role within the community, mentoring other early learning centres.  
 
Read more about Wesley College or how services that have received an overall rating of Exceeding can apply for the Excellent rating.

Reminder individual supervisor certificates no longer required 

Following changes to the National Regulations, most educators are no longer required to apply for an individual supervisor certificate (except Western Australia). Instead, a service supervisor certificate is issued for each approved service and may apply to any employee who is identified by the approved provider as:
  • responsible for the day-to-day management of the service, or
  • exercising supervisory and leadership responsibility as part of the service, or 
  • a family day care coordinator.
For more details read the changes to the supervisor certificate requirements information sheet on our website
 
We have also updated the Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations with information about these new requirements.

ACECQA and ECA join forces to demystify documentation 

ACECQA’s National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone is featured in a new video produced by Early Childhood Australia that reinforces ACECQA’s own advice on the NQF requirements for documenting children’s learning and development. The seven minute clip is part of 'Documenting and assessing children's learning', an upcoming online module from the ECA Learning Hub  and looks at the importance of planning, documenting and evaluating. It’s full of helpful advice, ideas and facts, including:
  • why documentation helps educators
  • simple ways in which educators can document children’s learning and development and
  • what authorised officers are really looking for from documentation.

Read our blog post on the importance of qualifications

The National Quality Framework (NQF) sets out minimum qualification requirements for educators working in children's education and care services. One of ACECQA’s key roles is to determine approved qualifications for educators and to assess applications for equivalence from individual educators.
 
Following the recent publication of ACECQA’s online qualifications checker, this post looks at why improving qualifications across the sector is such an important element of the NQF.

Have your say on Productivity Commission draft report

The Productivity Commission last month released its draft report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning.
 
ACECQA welcomed its release and the finding that there is broad support for the National Quality Framework.
 
The Commission is seeking feedback on the draft report before the final report is presented to the Australian Government on 31 October for its consideration.
 
Written submissions on the draft report can be made by Friday 5 September or you can register to attend one of the public hearings happening this month.
 
To read the report or find out more about how to have your say, visit the Productivity Commission website.