ACECQA Newsletter Issue 1 2015
There is keen interest in the role of authorised officers and the assessment and rating process. We discuss authorised officer roles and responsibilities with Perry Campbell, Manager Consistency and Review at ACECQA.
“One of ACECQA’s functions is to provide support and training for staff of regulatory authorities,” said Perry.
Are you currently studying early childhood education and care, or seeking a qualification to equip you to work in an education and care service?
Over the past few months, ACECQA has received a number of enquires relating to educator qualifications. We’ve summarised some useful information to help you get the most out of your training.
Choosing a registered training organisation
When choosing a registered training organisation (RTO), make sure you review the ACECQA list of approved qualifications to ensure the qualification you wish to study is recognised under the NQF.
To find a RTO that is right for you, we recommend you visit the MySkills website. Keep an eye out for organisations that specialise in early childhood qualifications. You may also take the opportunity to ask your prospective RTO about the relationships that they have with local services.
Considering enrolling in an online course? Before you choose your course read up on admission and enrolment advice provided by the consumer group Choice.
Making a complaint
Recognising on-the-job experience
Do you have on-the-job experience but not the qualification? Your experience is valuable and may contribute towards Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Should you choose to pursue study, your experience might earn credits towards part, or all of an approved qualification.
Contact a RTO to see what options are available to you. Alternatively download the Australian Government’s Recognition of Prior Learning Initiative (PDF) for a list of accredited assessors who specialise in RPL for the early childhood education and care sector.
There are a number of agencies involved in administering the NQF and it’s not always obvious which agency to contact for your specific enquiry. We’ve broken down the roles and responsibilities of each agency to ensure the right questions are directed to the right body.
Contact ACECQA if you would like to:
- check qualifications
- have qualifications assessed for equivalence
- apply for a second tier review; clarification on legislative requirements
- apply for an Excellent rating
use the NQA IT System to submit application and notification forms.
Contact your regulatory authority:
- if you have a compliance issue or complaint about a service
- for issues relating to service and provider approvals
- for information about the assessment and rating schedule in your area
- to apply for a first tier review
- to follow up on notification or application forms
- if your service has not received a copy of your service supervisor certificate
- if you would like to discuss State Government funding availability.
Contact the Professional Support Coordinators (PSC) in your state:
- if you would like support in understanding and meeting the NQS
- if you would like support implementing approved learning frameworks
- for professional development information
- for information about available resources.
When would you contact the Inclusion Support Agencies (ISA)?
Contact an ISA if you would like assistance to facilitate the inclusion of children in your service. The target groups for inclusion support are children with disability, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children from a refugee background and Indigenous children. ISAs operate within 67 regions across Australia. Find the contact details for the ISA in your region.
Incursions and excursions can be an exciting way to give children a sense of the world and encourage team work and inquisitive thinking. If you are incorporating incursions and excursions into your program for 2015, consider these handy tips to start your planning.
Check your regulations
Make sure you consult the National Law and Regulations before you start any planning. Remember, the same minimum educator to child ratios apply for an incursion and excursion, but you may need more staff to support you on the day to ensure children are adequately supervised at all times.
Be as creative as you can. Use this as an opportunity to involve your team, children and families in coming up with ideas. For example, you might like to invite interesting external educators or a family member with an unusual occupation to visit your service.
Identify the risk
Have you recently received a quality rating under the NQF and want to share your rating with your families and local community? ACECQA has developed media release templates and a how-to guide to help you promote your service’s rating.
What is a statement of philosophy and why is it important?
Why is it important to review the service philosophy and where should you start?
Principles of the Education and Care Services National Law:
- the rights and best interests of the child are paramount
- children are successful, competent and capable learners
- the principles of equity, inclusion and diversity underlie this Law
- 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.
Principles of the Early Years Learning Framework and the Framework for School Age Care:
- secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
- high expectations and equity
- respect for diversity
- ongoing learning and reflective practice.
The practices, learning outcomes and reflective questions in the approved learning frameworks are also helpful prompts for reflection, as is identifying the theories of children’s learning and development that inform your practice. The Early Years Learning Framework (p.11) provides useful information about the theories that inform practice.
Who should be involved?
It is important the philosophy reflects the values of stakeholders including children, families, educators and staff, management and the community. We know from research that collaborative approaches improve responsiveness and effectiveness. For example, when stakeholders are involved in the process they will more clearly understand the philosophy’s purpose and its importance in guiding practice. In recognition of this, NQS Element 6.1.2 is about the opportunities families have to contribute to service decisions, which could include the statement of philosophy.
There are many resources available to help with this, including:
- ACECQA, Guide to the National Quality Standard
- Early Childhood Australia, NQS PLP Newsletter No. 28, Revising the Service Philosophy
- Early Childhood Australia, NQS PLP Newsletter No. 31, What have theories got to do with it?
- Early Childhood Australia, e-Learning videos. Talking about practice (TAPS), Revising a Service Philosophy
- Department of Education and Child Development SA, Developing a Statement of Philosophy
1. [Barnes, H (2012). 'Revising the service Philosophy' Early Childhood Australia NQS PLP, Newsleter No. 28, pp. 1]↩