JOINT MESSAGE FROM NQF PARTNERSHIP GROUP
This message comes to you from a Partnership Group that has been established to promote communication between the Department of Education and Communities and the early childhood education and care sector during the initial stages of the rollout of the National Quality Framework (NQF) in New South Wales. The Group comprises representatives of the Department and some of the peak groups in the sector.
The NQF maps an ambitious agenda to drive continuous improvement in the quality of education and care of young children. It challenges us – governments and service providers – to work together to raise the quality bar and achieve the highest standards.
Clarity about what is expected of services under the NQF is particularly critical during the first months of its implementation.
We will therefore give priority to helping ensure:
services know and understand the new NQF requirements; and
a smooth and successful roll-out of the assessment and rating process that commenced in June 2012.
The Department will have a special focus on ensuring services are aware of the new regulatory requirements and monitoring compliance with the Framework.
This will involve:
Assessing and rating services against the National Quality Standard;
Processing applications relating to approval of services, providers and supervisors, and
Visiting services to inform them about requirements, check compliance and respond to complaints and incidents.
In performing its role as the regulator of the National Quality Framework in New South Wales, the overarching priority of the Department will continue to be the safety, health and wellbeing of children attending education and care services, consistent with NSW legislation.
The Partnership Group is keenly aware of the importance of service providers and their staff having all the information they need as they begin to work with the NQF. There is a great deal of information on the Department’s website, at www.det.nsw.edu.au/ecec, as well as the website of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, www.acecqa.gov.au.
Education and care services may also access professional development and support to further their knowledge, understanding and implementation of the NQF through the Professional Support Co-ordinator in New South Wales, an initiative funded by the Australian Government under the Inclusion and Professional Support Program. Contact Children’s Services Central on 1800 157 818, or http://www.cscentral.org.au/.
The peak groups represented on the Partnership Group are also available to provide services with assistance and advice during the implementation phase.
The groups are:
Child Care New South Wales
Community Child Care Cooperative
Community Connections Solutions Australia
Kindergarten Union Children’s Services
NSW Family Day Care Association
Network of Community Activities
NSW Mobile Children’s Services Association
These groups will continue to have an important role in working with services to identify issues in implementing the NQF.
The Hon Victor Dominello MP
Minister for Citizenship and Communities Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
SAFER AND SIMPLER CHECK FOR WORKING WITH CHILDREN
The system for running background checks on people working with children will be made simpler, safer and more widely available, under new legislation tabled today by Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello.