ACECQA Newsletter Issue 12 2014

ACECQA responds to Productivity Commission’s draft report

Submissions in response to the Productivity Commission’s draft report on the inquiry into future options for childcare and early childhood learning closed last week and ACECQA took the opportunity to respond. 
 
Released in July, the Commission’s draft report highlighted the broad support for the NQF and acknowledged the improvements to quality of care following the establishment of national standards.
 
ACECQA’s submission supports maintaining the qualification requirements introduced under the NQF, particularly for educators working with the youngest children, as the research increasingly shows the positive effect higher qualifications have on the quality of services.
 
The submission also addresses the Commission’s draft findings and recommendations on the scope of the NQF, the NQS and assessment and rating, regulatory burden and opportunities for streamlining and simplifying the NQF without compromising outcomes for children. 
 
The final report is due to the Australian Government at the end of October. Read more about the Productivity Commission inquiry.

Food for thought

We are all familiar with the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and likely remember being told that “carrots help you see in the dark”. But what are the physical implications of the intake of nutritious food and why is their consumption so highly promoted in the NQF?
 
When receiving nutrients, studies have shown the body prioritises survival first, followed by growth, then brain development. Being well-nourished can have a significant impact on children’s long term health including physical and motor development, brain development, immunity and metabolic programming. 
 
Read more on ACECQA's We Hear You blog. 

Reviewing your service’s first aid, asthma and anaphylaxis qualifications

The qualification requirements for first aid, anaphylaxis and emergency asthma management vary slightly across education and care service types.
 
At centre based services, for all times that children are being educated and cared for, there must be at least one educator who:
  • holds a current approved first aid qualification 
  • has undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management training 
  • has undertaken current approved emergency asthma management training. 
One educator may hold one or more of the qualifications. 
 
For family day care services, each educator and educator assistant must hold all three of the listed qualifications.
 
For education and care services with premises on a school site, staff of the school site who hold the qualifications listed may meet the requirements above if they are in attendance at the school site and immediately available in an emergency.
 
Training for first aid, emergency asthma and anaphylaxis management must be updated at least every three years from the date of completion. The first aid certificate may specify additional requirements to keep it valid. For example, if your first aid certificate requires the CPR component to be completed every 12 months to keep it current, you will need to comply.
 
View ACECQA's approved qualifications list for further information. 

New National Education Leader web page

Looking for information and resources about the NQF? ACECQA has launched a new web page to help educators and providers in their journey to improve quality education and care. 
 
ACECQA’s National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone, works with regulatory authorities, peak organisations and professional support coordinators (PSCs) to provide helpful advice to educators and services about the NQS and NQF. The new web page brings this work together, providing regular updates and links.
 
Click here to view the new web page and to read the current featured article. It examines the critical stages of a child’s brain development and how early experiences directly affect children’s intellectual capacity, personality and behaviour. 

Notifying about a serious incident 

Recent sector feedback and calls to ACECQA’s enquiries line show some educators would like further information about serious incident notifications.
 
Education and care services are required to notify their state regulatory authority of any incidents that seriously compromise the health, safety or wellbeing of children. 
 
The notification needs to be provided within 24 hours of a serious incident, using either the SI01 Notification of Serious Incident form or online through the NQA ITS.
 
In some cases, services may only become aware afterwards that an incident was in fact serious. In such circumstances, the regulatory authority needs to be notified within 24 hours of the service becoming aware that the incident was serious.
 
The National Regulations also require services to confidentially store an incident, injury, trauma and illness record until the child is 25 years old. Information should be recorded as soon as possible, and within 24 hours after the incident, injury, trauma or illness. A sample Incident, injury, trauma and illness record is available for services to adapt or providers may develop their own.
 
Read ACECQA’s FAQs for further information about serious incidents, including definitions. 

ACECQA awards ACT’s first Excellent rating 

Canberra Girls Grammar School Early Learning Centre (ELC) is the first children’s education and care service in the Australian Capital Territory to be awarded the Excellent rating by ACECQA.
 
The Excellent rating promotes and reinforces the value of quality education and care and recognises the professionalism of the people working in our sector.
 
Canberra Girls Grammar School ELC demonstrated excellence in several areas including providing an environment that enhances children’s learning and growth; ongoing commitment to professional development; and inclusive partnerships with children and families.
 
Read more about Canberra Girls Grammar School ELC here

Scheduled maintenance for the NQA ITS 

The NQA ITS website will be undergoing essential maintenance later this month. The website will be unavailable from 7pm Thursday 18 September and will be back online during the weekend. Please check the website for updates.
 
For incidents, complaints or events that require notification within a 24 hour period under the National Law, please submit the information using the relevant paper based form. For all other online applications/notifications, please wait until the system is back online.

Reminder: ACECQA National Workshops

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, kicking off with Tasmania in late September, ACT in October and now the Northern Territory in November. 
 
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 details, including dates and session times are available on our Events page.