ACECQA Newsletter Issue 1 2023
Happy New Year and welcome to our first newsletter of 2023.
As the National Authority, we strive to work closely with all stakeholders including the nine governments of Australia, service providers, teachers and educators through peak bodies, unions and associations, higher education authorities, registered training organisations and with parents to support the achievement of the objectives of the National Quality Framework. This has been our role for the last ten years and children’s rights to experience high quality while attending an early childhood education and care service remain our goal.
To this end, our monthly newsletters are an important vehicle to bring you the latest news about, and resources to support your role under, the National Quality Framework which includes the National Quality Standard, the National Law and Regulations, the independent assessment of quality ratings and the Approved Learning Frameworks.
We understand you are very busy with essential and time critical responsibilities but we also acknowledge that, as professionals, you want access to ongoing professional development. Our commitment to you is to provide information and resources which are easy to read and free to access at any time.
Particularly relevant for the beginning of a new year, we share resources that have been created to assist new teachers and educators in their induction to Australia’s National Quality Framework. In partnership with the Australian Government, we have developed resources to support inclusive practices (understanding obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992) and four new modules that will help with understanding the context of your critical role. For experienced teachers and educators, they may be a foundation resource for team meetings, critical reflections or onboarding staff into your service.
This month, we have also released the updated Approved Learning Frameworks after an intensive review by the highly acclaimed consortium of Macquarie University, Edith Cowan University and Queensland University of Technology. The refreshed frameworks reflect contemporary research and what is already happening in high quality services.
Early childhood education and care is such a critical profession and we hope this year is a happy and successful one for you, your colleagues, communities, families and the children to whom you are dedicated.
In acknowledging their continued importance supporting high quality education and care, all Australian, state and territory Education Ministers have now approved updates to Australia’s two national approved learning frameworks:
- Belonging, Being & Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia V2.0 (EYLF); and
- My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia V2.0 (MTOP).
Approved learning frameworks are a critically important part of the National Quality Framework (NQF). They guide early childhood teachers and educators in the design, delivery and evaluation of quality learning and development experiences for more than 1.5m children attending over 17,000 education and care services across Australia.
Version 2 of the national approved learning frameworks are now approved for use under the NQF and are available on our website, along with these supporting resources:
- Information Sheet – Approved Learning Frameworks overview
- Overview of changes online video
- ‘What’s changed?’ fact sheet for the EYLF V2.0
- ‘What’s changed?’ fact sheet for MTOP V2.0
- Approved Learning Frameworks Update FAQs
- Mapping the updated EYLF to V9 Australian Curriculum
- Mapping the updated MTOP to V9 Australian Curriculum
Additional material will also be developed by governments and ACECQA to support providers and their services to implement the refreshed frameworks.
The updates strengthen the connection between the national approved learning frameworks and the National Quality Standard in areas such as transitions, sustainability, theoretical approaches, critical reflection, the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being, knowing and doing, and inclusion.
During 2023, approved providers and their services are encouraged to familiarise themselves with Version 2 of the national approved learning framework(s) as they apply to them and begin incorporating the new aspects into their educational program and practice.
The original national approved learning frameworks will remain in operation alongside the EYLF Version 2.0 and MTOP Version 2.0 in 2023 to enable approved providers and their services time to transition. Both versions can be used throughout 2023, before the original versions of these documents are revoked from early 2024.
No changes have been made to the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.
As transportation can present heightened risks to the safety of children when children get in or out of vehicles and when they arrive at or leave a service, from 1 March 2023 the following new regulatory requirements will apply to centre based services that provide regular transportation:
- Approved providers and nominated supervisors must ensure a staff member or nominated supervisor (other than the driver) accounts for children as they get in or out of a vehicle at an education and care service.
- Approved providers and nominated supervisors must ensure records are made showing children are accounted for as they get in or out of a vehicle at the education and care service.
- Approved providers and nominated supervisors must ensure records are made confirming a check of the inside of a vehicle was completed at the service after all children have left to ensure no children remain.
- Approved providers must notify the regulatory authority when they start providing or arranging regular transport, and again when they finish. This can be done through the NQA ITS.
- Information sheet – Changes to regular transportation of children
- Information sheet – Minimising the risk of children left in vehicles
- Information sheet - Guidance for adequate supervision during transportation
- Safe Transportation of Children Safety Checklist and regular transportation record form
We will also be publishing amendments to the national policy and procedure guidelines and updates to the Guide to the National Quality Framework.
We will be releasing information through our newsletters, on our website and through eDMs to regulatory authorities, providers and their services over the next few months. We will also update the Summary of the 2019 NQF Review outcomes table on the 2019 NQF Review website regularly to share implementation progress with you.
A key piece of legislation which protects the rights of children with a disability is the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). Equity, inclusion and diversity underpin the National Quality Framework (NQF) and are embedded throughout the National Quality Standard (NQS) and the approved learning frameworks.
The NQF and DDA promote inclusive programs, practices and policies that support children with disabilities and their families to access and fully participate in children’s education and care services.
We have and continue to develop free new national resources to support service teams to build understanding of DDA requirements and so support inclusion in education and care services.
These resources include posters, fact sheets and information sheets.
We have been sharing them on our ACECQA social media channels as they become available, and will be sharing more resources in coming months.
With the New Year, many services may be welcoming new team members and ACECQA’s National Quality Framework (NQF) professional development eLearning modules are an ideal induction resource for new teachers and educators or as a refresher for existing staff.
These eLearning modules have been developed to support educators’ understanding of their role within the education and care sector, in an easy to use and engaging format. There are four eLearning modules, each covering a different aspect of the NQF:
- NQF Induction 1: Introduction to the children's education and care sector
- NQF Induction 2: Overview of the NQF
- NQF Induction 3: Law and Regulations
- NQF Induction 4: National Quality Standard
Keep your service details up to date to help families find you in 2023
StartingBlocks.gov.au is the one place where families can find and compare early childhood education and care services.
On the StartingBlocks.gov.au website, families can:
- find local services and view their vacancies, costs, quality ratings and inclusions
- compare services side-by-side
- estimate their out-of-pocket costs
- get information and advice about education, children’s development, and parenting.
Update your details via the PEP or your third-party software to help families find your service.
Resources for new families at your service
StartingBlocks.gov.au is a useful hub of information and resources on children’s early education and care. We encourage you to share our Tips for Parents resources with families at the service and in your local community.
- How can you help your child settle into an education and care service? Starting early childhood education and care is often a child's first experience outside of their family environment. It can be an emotional time for everyone involved. This fact sheet offers tips on how families support their children during the settling in period.
- Illness in early learning services - It can be difficult for families to know when their child is sick enough to need to stay at home.
- The importance of play in children’s learning and development – this factsheet explains why learning through play is one of the most important ways children learn and develop.
- Supporting children during transitions - Tips to help families support their child if they are transitioning to a new group, room or service.
- Transition to school – Starting school is a major event in the lives of children and their families. Preparing children for this change sets them up for future successful learning and development, particularly if children have not had experience in an early education and care service. This fact sheet offers parents and carers tips on how to support children in their transition to school.