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National Quality Framework. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Quality Assessment and Regulation Division Stakeholders Meeting 2 April 2014. NQF Implementation. Session 1: NQF Reviews Amendments to the National Regulations NQF Snapshot Results

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National quality framework

National Quality Framework

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Quality Assessment and Regulation Division

Stakeholders Meeting

2 April 2014

Nqf implementation

NQF Implementation

Session 1:

NQF Reviews

Amendments to the National Regulations

NQF Snapshot Results

A&R for Victorian Services

Group Discussion

Coag 2014 review national quality framework

COAG 2014 Review National Quality Framework

The review will be conducted this year to focus on the agreed objectives and outcomes that include to:

deliver an integrated and unified system for education and care

improve educational and developmental outcomes for children

foster a joint system of governance

improve efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Terms of reference for this review have been drafted and are yet to be endorsed.

Productivity commission inquiry

Productivity Commission Inquiry

The commission is undertaking a public inquiry into future options for childcare and early childhood learning and report on:

The contribution of childcare to workforce participation and child development

Current and future need for childcare in Australia

The capacity of the childcare system to ensure a satisfactory transition to schools, in particular for vulnerable or at risk children

Alternative models of care

Options – within existing funding parameters – for improving the accessibility, flexibility and affordability of childcare for families with diverse circumstances

The impacts of regulatory changes, including the

implementation of the National Quality Framework

and the childcare sector over the past decade.

Early years strategic plan

Early Years Strategic Plan

The Victorian Government’s Early Years Strategic Plan (2014-2020) aims to improve outcomes and better support all Victorian children from pregnancy to eight years with a focus across three areas:

Supporting parents and communities to give children a great start

Early and sustained support for those who need it most

All children benefiting from high-quality early learning.

The Plan includes a framework that defines the outcomes that contribute to Victorian children growing up in a safe environment and being engaged in stimulating experiences for children’s learning and development.

Ect vit bill

ECT & VIT Bill

A bill regarding amendment to the Education and Training reform Act 2006 (registration of early childhood teachers) has been passed by parliament for introduction during 2015.

The bill provides for registration of an ECT following the same model at the registration scheme already established for teachers in school settings.

ECTs will be able to secure one of three types of registration, full registration, provisional registration, non-practising registration.

An implementation plan to support these changes will be developed including opportunity for stakeholder engagement.

Nqf operational changes

NQF Operational Changes

National Regulations

Some further amendments to a range of operational matters outlined in the regulations are being considered including:

early childhood teacher requirements

fencing and safety glass requirements for family day care services

first aid requirements on school sites

probationary period for certificate III level educators.

Nqf operational changes cont

NQF Operational Changes (cont)

Assessment and Rating process

ACECQA is working with all states and territories to streamline the assessment and rating process.

Options will be explored to increase the rate at which services are being assessed without compromising reliability of the process.

Jurisdictions are also exploring options for streamlining while maintaining the integrity of the process and quality of reports.

Nqf snapshot

NQF Snapshot

The NQF snapshot Q4 2013 was published in February and is available on the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website.

These snapshots report on trends of education and care services, operating under the NQF including:

services assessed and rated

number of services operating under the NQF

waivers granted by Regulatory Authorities.

Key messages nqf snapshot q4

Key Messages – NQF Snapshot Q4

4508 education and care services have received a quality rating

Six services rated as ‘Excellent’ by ACECQA

There is a high level of consistency in ratings between centre-based (60% Meeting or Exceeding)and family day care services (54% Meeting or Exceeding NQS).

Nationally, services were more likely to:

be rated as Working Towards NQS in QA1, 2, 3 and 7, than in other quality areas

achieve a rating of Meeting or Exceeding National Quality Standard in Quality Areas 4, 5 and 6 than in other quality areas.

Assessment and rating

Assessment and Rating

As at 31 March 2013 the Department has:

Commenced over 1650 assessment and rating visits

This represents over 42% of approved Victorian services operating under the National Quality Framework

Exceeding services

Exceeding Services

The exceeding rating represents services that go beyond the NQS in at least 4 of the seven quality areas.

Generally these services:

are able to articulate the uniqueness of what they do, why and how they do it.

are able to critically think and reflect about how their program is developed to meet the needs of their families, children and the broader community.

High quality teaching practice is embedded across the program to extend and maximise each child’s learning.

Deliberate strategy of continuous improvement and review that engages, staff, families, children and the broader community.

Effective leadership and service management.

Exceeding services victoria

Exceeding Services Victoria

As at 31 March 2014 the following percentage of services were rated at exceeding NQS:

430 assessed services have been rated Exceeding NQS

As a percentage, 29% of services have achieved this rating

26% of these services have achieved exceeding in all seven quality areas.

Common standards exceeding

Common Standards - Exceeding

QA5 – Relationships with Children

QA1 – Educational Program and Practice

QA6 – Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities

Group feedback

Group Feedback

What are the areas of your services operations that you identify with being exceeding

What do you see as distinguishing your exceeding services from others

2014 deecd priorities

2014 DEECD Priorities

Services yet to have their first assessment will generally be prioritised over services due for second assessments.

Continue compliance visits of services against the National Legislation.

Undertake investigations through the notification process.

Common elements not met

Common Elements – Not Met

QA1 – Educational Program and Practice

QA3 – Physical Environment

QA7 – Leadership and Service Management

Common elements kindergarten

Common elements – Kindergarten

QA1 – Educational Program and Practice

QA2 – Children’s Health and Safety

QA7 – Leadership and Service Management

Common elements long day care

Common Elements – Long Day Care

QA1 – Educational Program and Practice

QA3 – Physical Environment

QA 4 – Staffing Arrangements

QA5 – Relationships with Children

Common elements oshc

Common Elements – OSHC

QA1 – Educational Program and Practice

QA3 – Physical Environment

QA7 – Leadership and Service Management

Feedback on the a r process

Feedback on the A&R Process

Is this data consistent with what you have experienced or observed with services.

What aspects do you think are working well and contribute most to ongoing quality improvement.

What aspects are you finding most challenging about the implementation of the NQF.

What do you think services need most to improve quality outcomesfor children.

Operational requirements

Operational Requirements

Session 2:

Qualification requirements

Programs and practice

Sustainable practices

Criminal history requirements

Serious incidents

Managing complaints and notifying the Department

Resources and support

Qualification requirements

Qualification Requirements

A number of qualification requirements for services came into effect on 1 January 2014, including requirements for:

Early childhood teachers (centre-based services educating and caring for children preschool age and under)

General educator qualifications (centre-based services)

at least 50 per cent of educators required to meet the relevant educator to child ratios must have or be actively working towards an approved diploma level education and care qualification (school age requirements – enrolled and studying)

all other educators are required to meet the relevant educator to child ratios must have or be actively working towards an approved certificate III level education and care qualification.

Actively working towards certificate iii

Actively Working Towards – Certificate III

An educator is actively working towards an approved certificate III level education and care qualification if the educator –

Is enrolled in at least an approved certificate III level education and care qualification; and

Provides the approved provider with documentary evidence from the provider of the course that

the educator has commenced the course; and

is making satisfactory progress towards completion of the course; and

is meeting the requirements for maintaining the enrolment.

Actively working towards diploma level

Actively Working Towards – Diploma Level

An educator is actively working towards an approved diploma level education and care qualification if the educator

holds an approved certificate III level education and care qualification; or

has completed the units of study in an approved certificate III level education and care qualification determined by the National Authority.

For school aged children educator is enrolled and studying in at least a diploma level qualification

Actively working towards early childhood teacher

Actively Working Towards – Early Childhood Teacher

Until 31 December 2015 a person is taken to be an early childhood teacher ifthey are actively working towards an approved early childhood teaching qualification; and

Can provide documentary evidence that:

they hold an approved diploma level qualification; or

have completed at least 50% of the course.

Working towards ect qualification

Working towards ECT qualification


An educator who is actively working towards an approved early childhood teaching qualificationcan be counted in the following qualified ratios:

less than 30 per cent of the course - Certificate III level educator.

30 per cent of the course or more - Diploma level educator.

Early childhood teacher

A person meets the requirements for an Early Childhood

Teacher if they are actively working towards an early childhood teaching qualification; and

have completed 50% of the course; or

holds an approved diploma level education and care qualification.

Funded programs may have to meet additional requirements.



Services may apply for a waiver from some of the requirements of the National Regulations

Includes services having difficulty meeting the transitional provision for qualifications and early childhood teachers that came into effect on 1 January 2014

applications consider the circumstances of the applicant and the current compliance of the service

an application fee applies

generally staffing waivers are granted on a temporary basis (for no more than 12 months)

Waivers victoria

Waivers - Victoria

Currently, the Department has granted 109 activewaivers:

21 are for physical environment and 88 for staffing arrangements

29 waivers granted for staffing arrangements relate to Early

Childhood Teacher requirements and 8 for approved certificate III level education and care qualification.

Group feeback

Group Feeback

Are your services having issues in meeting the new transitional requirements?

Are there aspects of the new transitional requirements that you require further clarification on?

Educational program and practice
Educational Program and Practice

  • Elements 1.1.4 and 1.2.1 sighting documentation major source of evidence

  • All other elements observation of the program being delivered will be the major source of evidence with discussion to provide additional information.

Educational program and practice1

Educational Program and Practice

Planning is making decisions about the program, thinking ahead of time about individual children, the children as a group and the program you want to offer, and then preparing for it.

Planning needs to happen ahead of time and be part of an ongoing cycle of planning, implementing the plan, reflecting and evaluating.

Alongside this are ongoing efforts to get to know children better.

Plans need to be intentional and to link to documentation of the overall program plan and the information collected and documented about each child.

Plans should reflect the service’s statement of philosophy.

Educational program and practice2

Educational Program and Practice

Requirements of the National Law

Requirements of the National Regulations

  • Observation of the program being delivered will be the major source of evidence.

Documentation requirements

Documentation requirements

Educational Program and Practice

Requirements of the National Regulations

  • Documentation will be the major source of evidence.

Educational program and practice4

Educational program and practice

Planning and documenting the educational program

A critically important part of the planning process is recording the plan. This means that planning involves the process of thinking, reflecting and deciding and documenting that process.

What is required?

A documented plan of the educational program that provides information about the contents and the operation of the program to be delivered to all children at the service.

Planning may include:

setting broad goals over a longer period (a month or even a term) for individual children and the group, and identify strategies that will contribute to progress towards achieving those goals

detailed plans for a fortnight or a week are required

adjustments maybe made to the documented plans as needed to ensure educators can respond to children’s individual interests and needs.

Educational program and practice5

Educational program and practice

Documenting child assessments

Every service needs to have in place a system for assessing each child’s learning in an ongoing and regular way.

Assessing children’s learning should include educators analysing and interpreting what they notice – asking ‘what does this mean?’

Educators’ assessments and evaluations of children’s learning should inform the program plan.

Information must be documented for each child being educated and cared for by the service and should demonstrate educators knowledge of children and include information sourced from children’s families.

The extent of the information that is recorded is dependent on the length of time the child has attended the service and the hours they attend the service.

Educational program and practice6

Educational program and practice

Should the written plan be displayed for families?

Displaying plans for the program in advance allows families to stay informed about their child’s experience.

Providing information about the program at the end of the day informs families about variations to the plan and spontaneously occurring opportunities and experiences their child may have had.

Sharing information about not only what is planned or what actually occurred but also why -- the reasons behind the plan and its variations -- is a good way to let families in on educators’ thinking and critical reflection and increase their understanding of how best to support children’s learning.

Sustainable practices

Sustainable practices

3.3.1 focuses on how sustainable practices impact on the services operations.

3.3.2 focuses on how children are involved to become environmentally responsible and supported

An Exceeding NQS rating in this Quality Area requires services to:

Promote sustainability within the program and in the broader community.

Serious incidents

Serious incidents

Regulation 12(b) - Meaning of serious incident

Any incident involving serious injury or trauma to, or illness of, a child while being educated and cared for by an education and care service—

which a reasonable person would consider required urgent medical attention from a registered medical practitioner; or

for which the child attended, or ought reasonably to have attended, a hospital.

Serious incidents and complaints

Serious incidents and complaints

The Regulatory Authority must be notified of a serious incident (section 174(2)(a)) or complaint (section 174(2)(b)) in writing in the case of:

the death of a child, as soon as practicable but within 24 hours of the death, or the time that the person becomes aware of the death

any other serious incident, within 24 hours of the incident or the time that the person becomes aware of the incident

a complaint within 24 hours of the complaint or incident if the complaint alleges

the safety, health and wellbeing of a child was or is being compromised; or

the  National Law or National Regulations  has been contravened.

Notifications of a serious incident – form SI01and Notification of a complaint – form NL01

These forms are available on ACECQA website:

C omplaints


Complaints from any person can be made directly to the Regulatory Authority.

Services should ensure they have relevant policies and procedures to manage complaints (regulation 168).

Processes must be in place to ensure that all grievances and complaints are addressed, investigated fairly and documented in a timely manner (element 7.3.4).

Which notifications are investigated

Which notifications are investigated?

Notifications of serious incidents and complaints, that

allege the safety, health or wellbeing of a child or children was or is being compromised while that child or children is or are being educated and cared for by the approved education and care service and/or

the National Law and/or National Regulations may have been contravened, will be investigated by the Regulatory Authority.

Some notifications fall below the threshold for investigation as the above criteria have not been met

Criminal history checks

Criminal history checks

Considering a person’s criminal history is one important part of assessing whether that person is suitable to be involved with the education and care of children.

Services must ensure all staff members engaged by the service, e.g. educators and administrative staff have a current a Working with Children Check or Victorian Institute of Teaching Registration.

The National Regulations define a staff member as an individual (other than the nominated supervisor or a volunteer) employed, appointed or engaged to work in or as part of an education and care service.

Criminal history checks cont

Criminal history checks (cont)

Services need to ensure they have effective processes in place to ensure currency of staff members Working with Children Checks or VIT registration.

Currency of working with children checks should be checked regularly at:

The Victorian Institute of Teaching Register may be checked at:

A factsheet Children Criminal history requirements: Centre-based services provides more information and isavailable on the Department’s website.

Transporting children

Transporting children

When an education and care service manages the transportation of children the service must make it clear whether:

the arrangements are part of the provision of education and care; or

separate from the provision of education and care for children

Depending on the arrangements different regulatory requirements apply.

A factsheet Transporting Children provides more information and isavailable on the Department’s website.

Information on transporting children on school buses will be available shortly

National quality agenda it system

National Quality Agenda IT System

The Department is moving towards receiving most applications and notifications through the NQ AITS secure portal.

Completing these actions online will provide services with evidence that the application or notification has been submitted including a reference number for quicker follow-up.

For those yet to register with NQA ITS, ACECQA have developed a step by step guide available at:

ACECQA can also be contacted for assistance through the NQA ITS service desk on 1300 667 319 or via email at:

Deecd website

DEECD Website



A number of recent changes have been made to factsheets for centre-based services available on the Department’s website, including:

Mixed age ratios

Staffing arrangements

Criminal history requirements

Early childhood requirements: centre-based services

Educator to child ratio calculator

The educator to child ratio calculator has also been updated to reflect the recent changes in educator qualifications, including a version to assist services with educator to child ratio requirements for mixed ages.

Further information

Further Information

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Quality Assessment and Regulation Division

can be contacted at:

Ph: 1300 307 415