Education Council Wrap Up for 2020
On Friday 11 December 2020, the Education Council conducted its last meeting for the year.
The Education Council is a forum for Education Ministers across the country to discuss strategic policy relating to early childhood education and care, as well as primary and higher education.
At the meeting on Friday, Ministers considered a number of items relevant to the early childhood education and care sector.
The Education Council commissioned a review of ACECQA in 2018, to ensure that its operations remained ‘fit for purpose’ in the current early childhood education and care environment.
The Review, undertaken by KPMG on behalf of Council, found that ACECQA plays an integral role in the regulatory ecosystem and that there is strong support for its role in promoting national consistency and driving continuous quality improvement.
In December 2019, the Education Council endorsed the ACECQA Review report, and noted that a response to the Review would be developed in 2020.
On Friday, Ministers determined that Review recommendations be supported or noted as appropriate, resulting in ten recommendations and eleven improvement opportunities.
The full Review response will be published on the Education Council website in the coming weeks.
National Quality Framework Review: Consultation Regulation Impact Statement
Ministers also endorsed the National Quality Framework Review (NQF Review) Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (CRIS).
The NQF Review is primarily focussed on assessing whether the objectives of the NQF are being met, the ongoing effectiveness and sustainability of the NQF in light of the continuing evolution of the education and care sector, and whether the regulatory framework enables best practice regulation.
FDCA remains an active participant in the NQF Review process and will continue to advocate for consideration and representation of the family day care sector.
Approved Learning Frameworks
The Education Council has further commissioned an update of the two national approved learning frameworks under the National Quality Framework (NQF) – the learning framework for children aged birth to five years (Belonging, Being & Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia), and the learning framework for school age care (My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia).
The purpose of the update is to assess whether the EYLF continues to reflect contemporary developments in practice and knowledge, while supporting all educators to best meet the learning and development needs of each child.
Work on this project is expected to commence from early 2021, with a stakeholder feedback and engagement process to be conducted from mid-2021.
Reminders from the Department regarding changes to absences
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) has reminded services that, from 1 January 2021, absences before and after care will return to normal. This means, DESE will not pay Child Care Subsidy (CCS) for absences submitted after a child's last physical attendance at your service.
If a family chooses to stay enrolled in 2021, but their child does not return to care before their enrolment ends, we will recover absences paid between 1 January 2021 and the enrolment end date. Enrolments end if a child does not attend a session of care for 14 weeks. As such, DESE encourages all providers to review their enrolments for 2021.
Additionally, services should be aware that $0 sessions of care in the CCS system will end, as the Department transitions away from COVID-19 relief measures. These were used in 2020 to maintain enrolments while children were not attending care.
Additional absences for Victorian families
Please also note that DESE has announced additional relief measures for early childhood education and care services in Victoria in recognition of the impact of the extended lockdown.
Children attending early childhood services in Victoria have been allocated an additional 15 allowable absences to use this financial year, increasing the allowable absence count from 72 days to 87 days per child.
As such, in Victoria, CCS can be paid for additional absences for COVID-19 related reasons without the need for medical evidence for the period 24 March 2020 to 31 December 2020.
Do you have a story to tell?
Consider submitting an abstract for the FDCA 2021 National Conference! The National Conference is a professional opportunity second to none for educators, coordinators and service staff alike, and is the perfect platform to share your experiences in the sector.
We're calling for abstracts on a range of topics that appeal to the unique and varied experiences of our members, and enrich the work of FDCA in representing, supporting, and promoting the family day care sector.
To submit an abstract of your presentation, simply click on the link below:
[CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT AN ABSTRACT]
More information on submitting an abstract to present at the FDCA 2021 National Conference, including suggested abstract themes, click here.
Please note that abstract submissions close on 31 January 2021.
Need more information about the conference?
To find out more about the FDCA 2021 National Conference, including information on accommodation and our keynote speakers, visit www.fdca.com.au/conference.
Save time and money with FDCA's National Police Checks
As your national peak body, FDCA is committed to supporting our members.
We are proud to offer our National Police Check service to FDCA members for an exclusive, market leading price of only $37.50.
Our tailored National Police Checks not only save you money, but also save you time by allowing you to send your National Police Check directly to your approved family day care service. This means that you and your service will get the results as soon as they become available, without having to worry about sending your service a separate copy.
FDCA educator members can receive up to four discounted checks per year to use for themselves and/or for adults residing in their home that may require a check.
To start your discounted FDCA National Police Check, simply visit www.fdcapolicechecks.com.au.
Do I need a National Police Check?
Service providers have obligations under both the Education and Care Services National Regulations and the Child Care Subsidy Minister's Rules 2017 to ensure the fitness and propriety of all educators registered with the service.
As such, services may have a policy that requires educators or other personnel to undertake a National Police Check regularly - for example, annually.
Additionally, you will need to undertake a National Police Check if you transfer to a different family day care service.
When an approved provider registers a new family day care educator to a service, the provider must provide a declaration to the Department of Education and Training, within 7 days, that they have sighted the National Police Check (that is no more than 6 months old).
To find out more about who needs a National Police Check and why, click here.
If you have any questions or need assistance please call 1800 658 699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Day Care Australia office closure
A reminder that the FDCA office will close at 5.00pm (AEDT) Thursday 24 December 2020 and will re-open at 9.00am (AEDT) Monday 4 January 2021.
Should your family day care insurance require renewal during this period, or if you need to purchase a new family day care insurance policy, please visit our website at www.fdca.com.au.
If you need to make an emergency claim, details of how to do this are located on our website. Otherwise please call our office on Monday the 4th of January 2021.
We wish you all a happy holiday season and look forward to returning in the New Year!