Changes to the NQF fast approaching

Changes to the NQF fast approaching

Do you feel prepared for the changes to the National Quality Framework and revised National Quality Standards?

ECED is working with the Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) to share a range of helpful information materials to support the early childhood sector prepare for the changes.

ACECQA's website provides a comprehensive range of tools to help understand what is new and changing over the upcoming 6 months:

National Quality Framework's key changes

Key dates to remember:

1 October 2017 – changes to the National Law and Regulations commence
1 February 2018 – revised national Quality Standard commences

Key changes include:

A revised National Quality Standard (NQS) to strengthen quality through greater clarity, remove conceptual overlap between elements and standards and clarify language.

Improved oversight and support within Family Day Care to achieve better compliance and quality across the whole sector

Removing supervisor certificate requirements so service providers have more autonomy in deciding who can be the responsible person in each service, and to reduce red tape

Introduction of a national educator to child ratio of 1:15 for services providing education and care to school age children. A 12 month transitional period will apply in NSW to allow the sector time for introduction of this new requirement.

For additional insight there's also a Fact Sheet that includes a summary table of proposals and final decision by the Ministers on the ACECQA website.

National Quality Standards revisions

ACECQA has also developed an Information Sheet outlining the changes to the Standards that come into place from 1 February 2018. This includes:

The number of standards of the NQS has been reduced from 18 to 15, and the elements from 58 to 40.

The language is clearer, and each standard and element now describes a single unique concept.

New guidance will clarify the difference between the Meeting NQS and Exceeding NQS rating levels for each standard.

Services will be assessed and rated against the revised NQS from 1 February 2018. If a quality assessment visit starts before 1 February 2018, the service rating will be completed against the current NQS, and any review of this rating will also be against the current NQS.

Other changes that you will find useful to know include:

Excellent rating – The application fee for the Excellent rating will be removed. Services must be rated Exceeding in all quality areas to be eligible.

Exceeding NQS – All standards in a Quality Area will need to be rated Exceeding NQS for that Quality Area to be rated Exceeding NQS. There are no changes to the way in which the overall rating for Exceeding NQS is calculated.

Significant Improvement Required – The definition of the Significant Improvement Required rating will change from ‘unacceptable risk' to ‘significant risk' to increase clarity for families. Regulatory authorities will continue to work with these services to improve quality and impose sanctions where needed.

Want more resources?

In addition to ACECQA's suite of information, online is a PowerPoint presentationfrom the Education Council. This details how the amendments to the NQF came about, including the Decision Regulation Impact Statement (DRIS), the consultation process that shaped the regulatory changes, the changes by Quality Area in the NQF, and other changes that relate to service operations and who does what.

Posters for services: ACECQA have produced a downloadable poster targeted at users of early education and childcare. The poster lists the 7 quality areas and explains in plain English what the ratings mean.

Another helpful way to stay informed is by signing up to the AECQA newsletter and becoming familiar with ACECQA's "Changes to the National Quality Framework Frequently Asked Questions"

The department is committed to keeping services informed to support the improvements to the assessments and ratings framework. If you require help, you can call the directorate's Information and Enquiries team on 1800 619 113 (toll free) or email



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