ACECQA Newsletter Issue 2 2015
- 14 577 children’s education and care services operating under the NQF across Australia
- 7637 or 52% of services have received a quality rating
- 65% of assessed services are Exceeding or Meeting NQS.
Not sure what to expect of your assessment and rating visit?
While each state and territory regulatory authority is responsible for conducting assessment and ratings visits, one of ACECQA’s roles is to support national consistency and comparable outcomes.
Read our quick guide to know what to expect and remember the assessment and rating process is an opportunity to gain valuable feedback about the operation of your service.
Before the visit
- Approved providers receive a letter notifying them of the four week period in which their assessment and rating visit will occur.
- Regulatory authorities will ask services to submit their Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) within three weeks, giving the approved provider time to ensure their QIP is up to date.
- To be prepared for the visit authorised officers will review the QIP. They will also consider the service’s compliance history, including previous assessment or accreditation visits, and records of any notifications, complaints or investigations as this information is part of determining a rating level.
- Approved providers typically receive at least five days’ notice of the date of the service visit.
During the visit
- The number of authorised officers present and the length of time spent on an assessment visit will depend on a number of factors including the size and location of the service, the number of educators and whether the authorised officer is supervising a less experienced officer.
- During the visit the authorised officer will observe day to day program and practice, and discuss and view supporting documentation to identify examples and evidence that the service is meeting the NQS and legislative requirements.
- The authorised officer may give some general comments at the time of the visit but will not give the service rating results.
- The authorised officer may also identify any minor adjustments that the provider can make before the draft report is issued. If the service appropriately addresses these minor issues, their rating may improve.
After the visit
- Around three to five weeks after the assessment and rating visit, providers will receive the assessment and rating draft report.
- Providers have 10 working days to comment on the draft report before it is finalised by the regulatory authority.
- After receiving the final assessment and rating report, providers can request a review of the decision within 14 days.
- centre-based services report lower overall burden in 2014 than in 2013
- the perception of burden is lower around supervisor certificates and displaying information than reported in the first survey
- a greater proportion of not-for-profit services agree that administrative requirements are simpler now than under previous licensing and accreditation systems.
- Agency - being able to make choices and decisions, to influence events and to have an impact on one’s world.
- Intentional teaching - involves educators being deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in their decision and actions. Intentional teaching is the opposite of teaching by rote or continuing with tradition simply because things have ‘always’ been done that way.
- Curriculum - in the early childhood and school age care setting curriculum means ‘all the interactions, experiences, activities, routines and events, planned and unplanned, that occur in an environment designed to foster children’s learning and development’. [adapted from Te Whariki]
- Scaffold - the educator’s decisions and actions that build on children’s existing knowledge and skills to enhance their learning.
Download the complete Glossary.
Thinking critically helps us to improve outcomes by looking beyond the surface and exploring deeper layers of experience. The ability to think critically and reflect on practice is an important professional skill and a key aspect in the cycle of planning, documenting and evaluation that aligns with elements 1.2.1, 1.2.3 and 7.2.3 of the NQS.
Not sure where to start? Overarching questions to help guide critical reflection can be found in the approved learning frameworks. Some examples include ‘Who is disadvantaged when I work in this way? What are my understandings of each child? Are there other theories or knowledge that could help me to understand better what I have observed or experienced?’ (Early Years Learning Framework page 13 and Framework for School Age Care pages 11 & 12).
- thinking deeply about the child’s perspective
- drawing on the experience and knowledge of other educators and professionals
- considering theories, research and literature and how this information can inform practice
- considering broader societal issues which may impact on practice such as stereotypes and cultures
- engaging in professional discussion or action research with colleagues and other professionals.
- Early Childhood Educator of the Year – for all educators/carers who work directly with children
- Early Childhood Director of the Year – for those in charge of an early years’ education and care service
- Early Childhood Service of the Year - for all early years’ and out of school hours education and care services
- Rising Star Award – open to people who have worked in early childhood for five years or less, regardless of their age.