10 January 2024

ACECQA Releases Review of Child Safety Arrangements Under the National Quality Framework

On 21 December 2023, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) released its Report of the Review of Child Safety Arrangements (“the Review”) under the National Quality Framework (NQF). 

This important Review was a direct request of the Australian Government Minister for Education and Minister for Early Childhood Education, and supported by all state and territory Education Ministers. The primary purpose of the Review was to identify new or refined systemic safeguards needed to support Approved Providers of education and care services to protect children, with a focus on reducing harm, abuse and neglect. 

The Review process confirmed that the NQF is a robust regulatory scheme with a strong focus on continuous quality improvement. However, it also highlighted that for the NQF to remain contemporary and fit-for-purpose in the context of child safety, more needs to be done to address:

  • the increase in the number of reported incidents and allegations and other emerging issues
  • close loopholes
  • strengthen policies and practices
  • support staff capabilities
  • improve the protection of children in the face of new online technologies.

Based on the evidence gained through extensive desktop research supplemented by targeted consultation across the education and care sector, the Review makes 16 recommendations falling into two categories:

  • NQF Additional Safeguards
  • Inter-related Child Protection Mechanisms - outside of the NQF. 

We encourage all Approved Providers to read the Review’s findings and recommendations. Links to the Terms of Reference for the Review, the Executive Summary of the Review of Child Safety Arrangements under the National Quality Framework and the full final report can be accessed through ACECQA’s website here.

Next steps

There will be a period of consultation on the Review’s recommendations in early 2024. Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) was involved in the 2023 targeted consultations for the Child Safety Review and will continue to represent our members through this forthcoming stage of consultation. The results will be reported to the first Education Ministers Meeting in 2024 with implementation advice.

FDCA Online Engagement Series: Incidents, Emergencies and Supervision

The first episode for 2024 of the FDCA Online Engagement Series will take place next Wednesday, 17 January from 6.00pm - 7.30pm (AEDT), with our special guest panel exploring the topics of incidents, emergencies and supervision.

Our panel will provide tips, advice and answer your questions about these topics that cover elements from Quality Area 2 of the National Quality Standard.

Guests that will be joining our host, FDCA Advocacy and Engagement Manager Michael Farrell include:

  • Julie Metselaar - Field Officer from Baw Baw Shire Family Day Care in Victoria.
  • Phillipa Hargrave - Manager Quality Support Program, Leadership, Quality and Regulatory Support Group from ACECQA.
  • Rebecca Davey - Family Day Care Educator from Southern Vales Family Day Care Scheme in South Australia.

Episode details

Be part of the conversation

To help guide the conversation towards topics that interest you, we're calling on FDCA members to submit questions for our panellists.

If you would like to submit a question, simply click here.

Can’t make it on the night?

If you can’t make the session on the night, don’t worry! A recording of the episode will be available via the FDCA Member Zone afterwards.

Kick-start your 2024 with the FDCA Learning Hub

With the new year underway we want to help you kick-start your year! That’s why over the coming weeks we will be featuring a number of resources that can support you in achieving your professional goals for 2024!

Whether it’s first-class professional learning material via the FDCA Learning Hub or putting your best foot forward in promoting your business, we’ve got a great range of FREE resources to set you up for a fantastic 2024!

In this edition of FDCM we’re focusing on professional learning via the FDCA Learning Hub.

Available through your Member Zone and backed by one of Australia’s most respected early childhood professional development and advocacy organisations, Early Childhood Australia, the FDCA Learning Hub offers contemporary and meaningful professional development opportunities that can be completed from the comfort of home, at a time that suits you.

With over 46 online modules available at your fingertips, the FDCA Learning Hub provides FREE, high quality professional learning, with a wide range of modules catering for early childhood professionals across various roles and levels of experience.

To access the FDCA Learning Hub, click here.

Download your FREE 2024 Wall Planner

FDCA’s 2024 Wall Planner is now available for download! 

The planner captures important dates including school and public holidays, key events and celebrations.

Two sizes of the Wall Planner are available to download:

  • A large A1 landscape sized version which displays all 12 months of the year (this version is best printed using a professional printer or through a retailer such as Officeworks); and
  • A smaller A4 portrait version which displays one month per page (this can be printed at home or at the office).

To download your FREE Wall Planner, log in to your FDCA Member Zone and click on the Resources and Factsheets subheading.

Help Support Research into Promoting Healthy Lives in Family Day Care

Researchers from Deakin University are inviting family day care service managers and/or coordinators to take part in a survey to understand how family day care service providers can be supported to empower children towards optimal health. 

The survey takes no more than 15 minutes to complete.  It seeks your input on opportunities and strategies to foster healthier eating, activity, and sleep habits among young children in family day care. Please follow this link to find out more and if interested in participating, follow the prompts to provide consent to participate.

You can go into a draw to win a $100 gift voucher by completing the survey. 

Example questions are:

  • Please rate how important it is to include healthy eating and physical activity support for children and/or parents/carers as part of your early childhood/parenting service(s)
  • Which of these strategies are likely to be the most feasible and effective if your early childhood/parenting service(s) wishes to support children’s healthy lifestyle in the next 2-3 years?
  • What support might you need to make this happen?

This research is conducted by Deakin University, as part of the NHMRC funded Centre of Research Excellence in Translating Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood. FDCA is supporting the research team through connecting the researchers to representatives from family day care approved services to participate.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr Konsita Kuswara by email or phone 03 9246 8793.

Help your New Starters Settle in with FDCA’s E-Book!

Inspired by our members and their families, FDCA’s “My Family” Day Care E-Book is a story about a child’s first day of family day care and is available to all FDCA members.

The E-Book is designed to support the transition of children into care and showcase the natural approach to play and discovery that family day care nurtures.

FDCA members are able to access, create and download as many versions of the E-Book as they would like, free of charge from any desktop device.

Members are also able to customise the names of the E-Book’s main characters, including the main child, the parent, the educator and the name of the family day care, to make the story personal to your children.

This level of customisation means that you can create a new E-Book for each child in your care, or create an E-Book for new children arriving in your care to share with their family!

Alongside the ability to choose the character names, the use of well-known Australian native animals in the illustrations will allow a wide range of readers to “step into the shoes” of their character and follow along with the adventure!

How to use the E-Book

“My Family” Day Care is available to access through your FDCA Member Zone, under the subheading E-Book.

To customise and download your very own copy of “My Family” Day Care, refer to our “How to” video here.

We hope you enjoy reading “My Family” Day Care as much as we enjoyed producing it for you!