ACECQA Newsletter – Issue 1 2024

Approved learning frameworks covers

CEO foreword

Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter for 2024. 

We start the year with topical issues such as helping children and their families in transition – from home to a service, to a new group, from early childhood into school and into outside school hours care. Often this is the time of the year when services are making changes to their own teams, welcoming new team members or new staff to the service. We discuss ways in which these can all be positive experiences: building a sense of belonging and adjusting to new ways, processes and policies and guiding the child, family or staff member into the unique environment of your service. 

This year, we have introduced a series of insights from our National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone, to help make it easier to find and read about current issues coming from the sector and leading researchers.  

In this issue, Rhonda talks about Exceeding practice and being aware of the differences between engaging with families and communities at the Meeting NQS level and engagement at the Exceeding NQS level.  

Rhonda also provides some important questions for reflection about documentation and the (over)use of digital technology to document and share children’s learning and development. We have heard that some services require so many photos and images of each child every day that teachers and educators find it difficult to find time for quality educator-child interactions which support children’s learning and development.  

We provide some clarity about what is actually required under the National Quality Framework (NQF) (Regulations and NQS Quality Area 1) to document a child’s developmental needs, interests, experiences and participation in the educational program and, for young people, their wellbeing, development and learning. The documentation must be done in a way that is readily understandable by the educators and the parents/carers of the child. The NQF does not require multiple images and videos. 

We have also added a useful link to the Checklist for online safety for guidance on the safe use of digital technology for the protection of children. As always, we provide updates and reminders including a reminder about the use of the new Approved Learning Frameworks V2.0 and, for providers, there will soon be an upgrade to our NQA IT System for the submission of applications and notifications to regulatory authorities. 

We also want to keep you up to date with actions committed to in Shaping our Future, the National Children’s Education and Care Workforce Strategy (2022-2031). In late November, key government and sector stakeholders met to discuss what is happening to improve workforce supply, retention and quality. Acknowledging that workforce shortage is a national issue and the shortage of Early Childhood Education and Care professionals is an international problem, the inaugural biennial National Workforce Forum was an important event to keep all commitments on track.  

Many of the changes you will see in this edition and in all our newsletters this year came from your valuable feedback. If you read an article that you find interesting, please share with colleagues, families and friends. As a professional educator, keeping abreast of regulatory requirements as well as professional knowledge and practice can be complex: we aim to help you navigate this complexity.   

And, of course, we hope that you have a great and prosperous 2024. 

Gabrielle Sinclair