OCTOBER 1ST – CHANGES TO THE NQF – is your service ready?

Following the review and consultations with the sector the following changes come into operations on the above date…  

Please read the summary below:

Changes to OOSH documentation

OOSH Services in NSW will no longer be required to keep documentation about individual children’s development. Instead, services must keep documentation about the development of the educational program. This means services will no longer be required to evaluations of each child’s wellbeing, development and learning. This does not mean you can’t continue to do – it is no longer a requirement….

Child led programming

Services must still have processes in place to allow children to influence the program contributing ideas, based on their interests, and abilities… Services must be able to produce evidence about how this occurs…. Consider some of the following way….

  • Mind maps
  • Ideas walls
  • Suggestions boxes
  • Recorded or documented Conversations
  • Surveys & children’s meetings, which are child focuses, and are voluntary…. (Remember no process should be a barrier or inhibitor to children’s play)

There are many other ways and this list is a starting point only…. Let us know how you get children’s ideas for programming….

We know these changes will be good news for many services…

ACECQA has produced an information sheet on the changes in this area:

http://files.acecqa.gov.au/files/NQF/1DocumentingPrograms.pdf

Nominated supervisors (NS)

Services now allowed having more than one NS per service….

The Approved provider is still responsible for assessing if a person is suitable to be a nominated supervisor and/or in day-to-day charge.

Services must notify the regulatory authority must be notified if:

  • You wish to add one or more nominated supervisors to the service (a written consent must be completed by all NS)

NOTE -Services are now able to have more that one NS per service.

  • a nominated supervisor changes, or
  • a nominated supervisor name or contact details change.

Revised minimum requirements for nominated supervisors

It is the role of the Approved Providers to determine if a person is suitable to be a nominated supervisor before nominating the person. It is important that the approved provider records this information, and keeps some evidence, on file to demonstrate compliance to the Regulatory Authority. This will help to show that you have taken reasonable steps to comply with your obligations under the National Law.

How do you ensure that a Responsible person meets the requirements?

The person must:

  • be 18 years or older
  • Have adequate knowledge and understanding of the Laws & Regulations (Get them to take the Responsible persons quiz on the Network website)
  • Have an ability to e effectively supervise and manage an OOSH service

Consideration should be given to the following:

  • the person’s history of compliance with the National Law and other relevant laws
  • any decision under the Law to refuse, suspend, refuse to renew, or cancel a licence, approval, registration, certification or other authorisation granted to the person under the National Law and other relevant laws

Approved providers can ask the nominated person to complete and sign a Compliance History Statement template and then keep it on file. The is not mandatory but can help make informed decisions about a person’s suitability to be the nominated supervisor or to be placed in day-to-day charge of the service. ACECQA has developed a template to assist services….website to download this template: www.acecqa.gov.au/sample-forms-and-templates- now available

acecqa.gov.au/files/NQF/ResponsiblePersonRequirements.pdf

 

Educator to child ratio for OSHC services now specified

Introduction of a national minimum educator to child ratio of 1:15 for services providing education and care to children over preschool age.

This change will only affect services operating in NSW, as services in all other states and territories are already required to comply the 1:15 staff/child ratio as a minimum… There will be a 12-month transitional period in NSW to allow sufficient time for NSW OSHC services to prepare, however the majority of services already comply.

 

Notifying the regulatory authority of a complaint

Providers will only be required to notify the regulatory authority of a complaint that alleges a serious incident has occurred or is occurring; or that the National Law or National Regulations have been contravened.

 

Removing supervisor certificates

Remove supervisor certificates from the National Law and National Regulations. This has been in place for several months in NSW and approved providers at the service level can make decisions about a responsible person.

Approvals – assessment of capability

Amendments to the National Law so that an applicant’s capability to operate a service in accordance with the National Law may be taken into consideration before granting provider approval.  NSW has an information session and a 1-hour test all new applicants must now sit before their approval is completed….

Revised National Quality Standard February Changes -2018

New resources available October

The revised National Quality Standard (NQS) come into affect from February 2018 that removes conceptual overlap between elements and standards, clarifies language and reduces the number of standards from 18 to 15, and reduces the elements from 58 to 40.

This will be welcomed, as services already know the duplication within the quality areas….

A new Guide to the National Quality Framework are planned for publication on the ACECQA website before 1 October 2017 to provide more guidance and support. Keep your eyes posted on ACECQA Changes to the National Quality Framework page for the full range of resources and more information.

CHILD PROTECTION awareness and training obligations

Under the National Law and Regulations services must also ensure the nominated supervisors and staff members who work with children are advised of the existence and application of the current child protection law and understand their obligations under that law. Educators must be aware of the MRG and their obligations to report should they have concerns about a child…

Staff records must include staff clearances for working with children checks.

There must be policies and procedures are in place in relation to providing a child safe environment (regulation 168).