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Mandatory reporting changes for early childhood professionals commence 1 July 2017

 

From 1 July 2017, new obligations apply to certain early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals who work in approved services as they become mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse.

Am I a mandatory reporter?

ECEC mandatory reporters are:

  • approved providers who are individuals (not associations, corporations or other entities such as voluntary parent management committees);
  • nominated supervisors;
  • supervisors;
  • family day care (FDC) coordinators; and
  • educators (including early childhood teachers and FDC educators).

Volunteers and individuals under the age of 18 years will not be required under legislation to report to Child Safety Services, however like any concerned person, they have the option to make a voluntary report.

How can I learn about my role as a mandatory reporter by 1 July 2017?

The Department of Education and Training will continue to work with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and the sector to ensure early childhood professionals are supported by training and resources.  To learn more:

  • watch the online training video
  • watch a recent live panel question and answer webinar
  • visit the Child Safety website and read about mandatory reporting
  • look out for information resource packs that have been sent to all approved services. Additional copies can be downloaded from the DCCSDS website

It is important to note that, in many cases, making ECEC professionals mandatory reporters isn’t about changing current practices, rather it formalises the policies and procedures already in place for protecting children.

National Quality Framework Review

The Australian, state and territory education Ministers have agreed to changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF) following a review of the National Partnership on the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care (NP NQA).

The review commenced in 2014 to assess whether the objectives and outcomes of the NQF are being met in the most efficient and effective way with a goal of improving the quality of early childhood education and care in Australia.

Overall the NP NQA review found the NQF is an important and successful reform with strong stakeholder support for quality improvements to support children's learning and development.

After five years of operation, some technical and operational improvements can be made to the NQF to promote national consistency and streamline and reduce regulatory burden.

These changes will also recognise the evolving nature of the sector and seek to address new challenges by maintaining a key focus on quality outcomes for all children, particularly in relation to health, safety and wellbeing.

Changes to the NQF through legislation will commence from 1 October 2017 in Queensland with a revised National Quality Standard to be introduced on 1 February 2018, subject to the passage of legislation.

All governments and the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) are committed to supporting the early childhood education and care sector to understand and prepare for these changes prior to implementation.

More information and guidance will be released over the coming months.

New website for parents

The Early Years Count website is an online resource with information about brain development and activities and tips for parents to support their children's early learning and development.

Research shows 90 per cent of a child's brain development occurs within the first five years of life and by the age of three, a child's brain has more connections than at any other time in their life.

So it's never too early for parents to start communicating with their children, who learn every day through new experiences.

The website provides do-it-yourself activities and tips for encouraging their children to learn through the five ways critical to early learning and development. These include talking with and listening to children, reading and counting, caring for and encouraging children and playing with them so they can explore and express ideas.

Parents can find specific information about activities relevant to them and their families by entering their child's age, geographical location and activity preferences into a content filter.

For more information visit The Early Years Count website.

Early years services open in Barcaldine and Blackall

Families in Barcaldine and Blackall can now access quality early childhood education and care and other family support services with new integrated early years services.

The new services provide each community with their first ever long day care program, enabling parents to pursue work and study opportunities more easily.

Operated by Lady Gowrie, the services also offer a kindergarten program and outside school hours care.

The new services are part of the State Government's commitment to provide children and families throughout Queensland with quality, integrated early education, and other family support services from the one location.

ECEC Emergency Closure portal

A secure online portal provides Approved Providers with a convenient way to advise the Regulatory Authority of any service closures due to a natural disaster.

The ECEC Emergency Closure portal is available 24 hours a day from a computer, smart phone or tablet.

In a few clicks, Approved Providers can comply with the legislative requirements under the National Law to notify the Regulatory Authority within 24 hours of any incident that requires them to close a service.

Importantly, any closures logged through the portal are also displayed on the Department of Education and Training's Natural disasters and closed education facilities website to ensure families and the broader community have 'real time' information regarding service closures.

Approved Providers can continue to notify the Regulatory Authority through the current process of contacting their local regional office and emailing ececemergencyclosures@det.qld.gov.au.

Check your details on national registers

National registers of approved providers, services and certified supervisors are available on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority's (ACECQA) website.

While ACECQA and the department have taken steps to ensure details in the registers are accurate, it is important approved providers and services regularly check their information.

You can update your details including email, phone number and postal address on ACECQA's National Quality Agenda IT system.

To update some items such as the number of approved places at your service or the conditions on your approval you must submit an application to the department to amend your service approval.

For information, visit ACECQA's website.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/ )
Last updated
15 June 2017
UA-4726377-44 found