Assessment and Rating to extend to mobile and occasional care services

Assessment and Rating to extend to mobile and occasional care services

The National Quality Framework (NQF) has been progressively updated since 2012, and has been an instrumental tool in the state’s strong track record in delivering high quality early childhood education and care services.

On 19 September 2018, the NSW Parliament passed the Children (Education and Care Services) Supplementary Provisions Amendment Act 2018. This new state legislation aligns the regulation of Mobile and Occasional Care services with the National Law.

As part of these changes, the Department of Education will be extending Assessment and Rating to services regulated under the NSW State Law. This will allow for greater consistency in standards and the recognition of high quality mobile and occasional care services that have not been previously required to operate in accordance with the National Law requirements.

Executive Director of the department’s Early Childhood Education directorate Tracy Mackey said state-regulated services have been requesting this change since the introduction of the National Law.

“These amendments reflect the commitment of providers and stakeholders in NSW to ensuring a high quality early childhood education sector, regardless of the service type,” she said.

Revised regulations, mirroring those in the National Law, will be introduced by the end of April 2019, and the Assessment and Rating of state regulated services will commence approximately six months later. The department will advise relevant services directly of the timing as these milestones approach.

In preparing for these changes, and to assist relevant services with making this transition, the department has conducted a pilot Assessment and Rating project for mobile and occasional care services, to identify potential challenges or hurdles for these service types in meeting the updated requirements.

The findings from the pilot project will guide the design and development of sector support programs, to help state-regulated services adjust to the new regulations when they commence next year.

“These sector support programs will assist with the transition to ensure services have the information and systems in place which they need to follow the new guidelines,” Ms Mackey said.

“Ultimately we are working together with the sector to ensure the health and safety of all children attending education and care services in NSW.”

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