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National Quality Framework Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Quality Assessment and Regulation Division Stakeholders Meeting 2 April.

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Presentation on theme: "National Quality Framework Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Quality Assessment and Regulation Division Stakeholders Meeting 2 April."— Presentation transcript:

1 National Quality Framework Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Quality Assessment and Regulation Division Stakeholders Meeting 2 April 2014

2 NQF Implementation Session 1: NQF Reviews Amendments to the National Regulations NQF Snapshot Results A&R for Victorian Services Group Discussion

3 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.

4 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.

5 Early Years Strategic Plan The Victorian Government’s Early Years Strategic Plan ( ) 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.

6 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 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 NQF Snapshot The NQF snapshot Q 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.

10 A&R Progress Nationally Education and Care ServicesNationallyVictoria Operating under the NQF Services assessed and rated4508 (32%)1324 (35%) By service type Centre-based care Family Day care 4319 (32%) 616 (25%) 1258 (35%) 66 (23%) Services rated Working Towards NQS1811 (40%)310 (23%) Services rated at Meeting NQS1549 (34%)635 (48%) Services rated at Exceeding NQS1130 (25%)378 (29%) *Note: Due to rounding, individual values may not add to 100% in all cases, and very small numbers will not be represented in percentages. * This data was drawn from NQA ITS on 31 December 2013.

11 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.

12 Overall Quality Ratings of Services Significant improvement required Working Towards NQS Meeting NQSExceeding NQSExcellentTotal ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA Total % of Quality Ratings 0% 40% 34% 25% 0% 100% Note: Due to rounding, individual values may not add to 100% in all cases, and very small numbers will not be represented in percentages.

13 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

14 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.

15 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.

16 Common Standards - Exceeding QA5 – Relationships with Children 5.1Respectful and equitable relationships are developed and maintained with each child 5.2Each child is supported to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships with other children and adults QA1 – Educational Program and Practice 1.1An approved learning framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child’s learning and development 1.2Educators and co-ordinators are focused, active, and reflective in designing and delivering the program for each child QA6 – Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities 6.1Respectful, supportive relationships with families are developed and maintained. 6.3The service collaborates with other organisations and service providers to enhance children’s learning and wellbeing

17 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

18 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.

19 Common Elements – Not Met QA1 – Educational Program and Practice 1.2.2Educators respond to children’s ideas and play and use intentional teaching to scaffold and extend each child’s learning Critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, is regularly used to implement the program QA3 – Physical Environment 3.3.2Children are supported to become environmentally responsible and show respect for the environment QA7 – Leadership and Service Management 7.1.4Provision is made to ensure a suitably qualified and experienced educator or co-ordinator leads the development of the curriculum and ensures the establishment of clear goals and expectations for teaching and learning.

20 Common elements – Kindergarten QA1 – Educational Program and Practice 1.1.3The program, including routines, is organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning The documentation about each child’s program and progress is available to families. QA2 – Children’s Health and Safety 2.3.1Children are adequately supervised at all times. QA7 – Leadership and Service Management 7.1.2The induction of educators, coordinators and staff members is comprehensive The performance of educators, co-ordinators and staff members is evaluated and individual development plans are in place to support performance improvement.

21 Common Elements – Long Day Care QA1 – Educational Program and Practice 1.1.3The program, including routines, is organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning 1.1.6Each child’s agency is promoted, enabling them to make choices and decisions and influence events in their world Sustainable practices are embedded in service operations QA 4 – Staffing Arrangements 5.2.2Each child is supporting to manage their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflict. QA3 – Physical Environment 4.1.1Educator-to-child ratios and qualification requirements are maintained at all times QA5 – Relationships with Children

22 Common Elements – OSHC QA1 – Educational Program and Practice 1.1.1Curriculum decision making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as leaners and effectiveness as communicators 1.1.4The documentation about each child’s program and progress is available to families 3.3.1Sustainable practices are embedded in service operations QA3 – Physical Environment QA7 – Leadership and Service Management 7.2.2The performance of educators, co-ordinators and staff members is evaluated and individual development plans are in place to support performance improvement Service practices are based on effectively documented policies and procedures that are available at the service and reviewed regularly.

23 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 outcomes for children.

24 Short Break

25 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

26 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.

27 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.

28 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

29 Actively Working Towards – Early Childhood Teacher Until 31 December 2015 a person is taken to be an early childhood teacher if they 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.

30 Working towards ECT qualification Qualifications An educator who is actively working towards an approved early childhood teaching qualification can 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.

31 Waivers 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)

32 Waivers - Victoria Currently, the Department has granted 109 active waivers: 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.

33 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?

34 Educational Program and Practice 1EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM AND PRACTICE - The educational program and practice is stimulating, engaging and enhances children’s learning and development. In services for children over preschool age the program nurtures the development of life skills and complements children’s experiences, opportunities and relationships at school, at home and in the community. 1.1An Approved Learning Framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child’s learning and development Curriculum decision making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators Each child’s current knowledge, ideas, culture abilities and interests are the foundation for the program The program, including routines, is organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning The documentation about each child’s program and progress is available to families Every child is supported to participate in the program Each child’s agency is promoted, enabling them to make choices and decisions and influence events and their world. 1.2Educators and co-ordinators are focused, active, and reflective in designing and delivering the program for each child Each child’s learning and development is assessed as part of an ongoing cycle of planning, documentation and evaluation Educators respond to children’s ideas and play and use intentional teaching to scaffold and extend each child’s learning Critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, is regularly used to implement the program. For the purposes of Quality Area 1 - Agency involves 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 decisions and actions. Intentional teaching is the opposite of teaching by rote or continuing with traditions simply because things have “always” been done that way. Scaffold means the educators’ decisions and actions that build on children’s existing knowledge and skills to enhance their learning. Elements and 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.

35 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.

36 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. Section 168Offence relating to required programs A program must be delivered to all children being educated and cared for by the service that:  Is based on an approved learning framework  Is delivered in a manner that accords with an approved learning framework  Is based on the development needs, interests and experiences of each child. Reg 73(2)An educational program is to contribute to the following outcomes for each child  The child will have a strong sense of identity  The child will be connected with and contribute to his or her world  The child will have a strong sense of wellbeing  The child will be a confident and involved learner  The child will be an effective communicator.

37 Educational Program and Practice Documentation requirements Requirements of the National Regulations Documentation will be the major source of evidence. Regulation 74Documenting of child assessments or evaluations for delivery of educational program For the purposes of the educational program, the following must be documented  For a child preschool age or under –  Assessments of the child’s development needs, interests, experiences and participation in the educational program  Assessments of the child’s progress against the outcomes of the educational program Consider  The period of time that the child is being educated and cared for by the service; and  How the documentation will be used by the educators at the service; and  Whether the documentation is prepared in a way that is readily understandable by educators at the service and parents of the child. Regulation 75Information about educational program to be kept available  Information about the contents and operation of the educational program for the service must be displayed at the education and care service premises at a place accessible to parents of children being educated and cared for by the service.  A copy of the educational program must be available at the education and care service premises for inspection on request.

38 The Planning Cycle

39 Educational Program and Practice

40 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.

41 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.

42 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.

43 Sustainable practices focuses on how sustainable practices impact on the services operations 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.

44 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.

45 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 SI01 and Notification of a complaint – form NL01 These forms are available on ACECQA website:

46 Complaints 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).

47 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

48 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.

49 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 is available on the Department’s website.

50 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 is available on the Department’s website. Information on transporting children on school buses will be available shortly

51 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 or via at:

52 DEECD Website

53 Resources 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.

54 Further Information Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Quality Assessment and Regulation Division can be contacted at: Ph:


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