ACECQA Newsletter Issue 7 2017

Prepare for changes to the National Quality Framework 

The education and care sector is preparing for the changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF). Are you across these changes and how they will impact on your role?

In the coming months, we will be showcasing new resources in the ACECQA newsletter to help providers and educators across all service types. Our website has resources to support the sector understand all the changes.

The resources include:

More guidance materials including a new Guide to the National Quality Framework and information sheets will be published in coming months. Visit the ACECQA website for the full range of resources and more information.


Start a conversation about quality 

Two small children mixing paint with a stick

As educators, you play a vital role in helping families understand the important work you do to support them as their child’s first teacher, to expertly guide children’s early development and ongoing learning, and ensure their safe care and wellbeing.

In this month’s We Hear You blog, we look at how you can shine as professionals, translate the sometimes complex language of the sector, help families better understand their child’s potential and explain how you work with them for their children’s physical, emotional, social, language and cognitive development.  


Guide to vocational qualifications

Female educator with two children wearing striped tops

The below information is a follow-up to our article in the December 2016 ACECQA newsletter.

Choosing a registered training organisation

When choosing a vocational qualification, there are many options to consider. The following information will assist in deciding whether a training or education provider is right for you:

  • Check the requirements – Make sure you review the ACECQA list of approved qualifications to ensure the qualification is recognised under the National Quality Framework (NQF).
  • Do your research – To find out more about available training providers visit the MySkills website. Keep an eye out for organisations specialising in education and care qualifications and offering modes of training delivery suited to your individual needs. Remember that shorter, cheaper courses may seem attractive but may not provide you with the level of skill and knowledge employers look for when hiring new staff.
  • Ask the right questions – The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has published a fact sheet  explaining the most important things to look for when choosing a training or education provider, and a recognised training or education course.

Making a complaint or reporting a concern

Having a problem with your training provider? If you are unhappy with the service they are providing, the first thing to do is talk to your trainer or their manager. Often problems can be resolved informally. If this is not successful, you should access your training provider’s formal complaints process.

If you are still experiencing difficulties, or if you are a prospective student, recent graduate, employer or other stakeholder with concerns about a training provider, you can contact ASQA through its website.

ASQA takes complaints seriously and values feedback from the sector to inform its regulatory operations.

What to do if a training provider ceases operations

Recently, we have received reports of a number of training providers who have closed or ceased operations. It is understandable to feel concerned in these circumstances. However, there are options available to students of these providers. You may be able to transfer your studies to another training provider or obtain a refund for studies completed. For more information about obtaining your student records, you can contact ASQA on 1300 701 801 or by emailing enquiries@asqa.gov.au. For more information about obtaining a refund, please contact your state fair trading or consumer affairs department.


Children’s Day

ATSI Children's Day photo of five children lying on the ground in a circle

Every year, 4 August is a special calendar event as it marks the celebration of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day. This year’s theme – Value Our Rights, Respect Our Culture, Bring Us Home – recognises the 20th anniversary of the Bringing them Home Report

The day builds on the foundation of celebration, respect and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures that are already embedded in your practice. The principles of equity, inclusion, diversity and the valuing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are guiding principles that underpin the National Quality Framework and influence education and care programs, practices and policies.

Children’s Day is an opportunity for education and care services to support and learn about the crucial role that strong connection to community, culture and family plays in the life of every Indigenous child. Established in 1988 by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), it is a communal birthday celebration for the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who grew up in orphanages and institutions and who do not know their own birthday.

Children’s Day also illuminates the unique needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and the issues they face. In 2017, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care is almost 10 times that of other children and continues to grow. According to the AEDC Index, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are also twice as likely to be developmentally vulnerable as non-Indigenous children.

The approved learning frameworks encourage educators to view culture and the context of family as central to children’s sense of being, belonging and success in lifelong learning. The frameworks also seek to promote children’s cultural competence and greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being.

SNAICC provides ideas and inspiration for Children’s Day celebratory events. These provide positive opportunities to demonstrate Quality Area 6 of the National Quality Standard – Collaborative partnerships with families and communities. Examples from the SNAICC website include: 

  • the rich storytelling and cultural activities that can be shared by Elders, families and their children with everyone at your service or school
  • creating young achiever awards to promote the successes and accomplishments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in your school or local community
  • acknowledging and celebrating  the importance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags with a flag raising ceremony
  • spreading the word through local papers, radio, television and community newsletters about why and how your service or school supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and cultures
  • creating messages of support and recognition on video, in audio recordings, drawings or letters to wish all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children a happy Children’s Day.

Further reading and resources

ACECQA – What does it mean to be culturally competent?

Australian Human Rights Commission – Building Belonging Toolkit

Family Matters – Strong Communities. Strong Culture. Stronger Children.

Narragunnawali – Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning

SNAICC – Research, resources and training


The Quest for Quality game

Close-up of ACECQA's Quest for Quality game cards on a yellow background

Are you looking for ways to engage educators at your service with the revised National Quality Standard (NQS) which commences on 1 February 2018?

Our new Quest for Quality game explores the seven quality areas in the revised NQS and key aspects of the National Quality Framework. It has been designed as a knowledge and capacity building tool and provides educators an opportunity to integrate an element of fun into their professional discussions and critical reflection.

Visit the ACECQA website for more information about purchasing a set or to download the free game and instructions.