Online Engagement Series Episode 3: Wellbeing in Family Day Care
Episode three of the FDCA Online Engagement Series is taking place on Thursday 27 April at 6.00pm (AEST).
For this episode, your host Michael Farrell, FDCA Policy and Advocacy Manager, will be joined by Be You Consultant, Maria Heenan, Bright Sun Family Day Care Coordinator/Educational Leader and 2021 Coordinator of the Year National Finalist, Mariam Shahid and Adventure Patch Family Day Care Educator and 2022 Educator of the Year National Finalist, Sue Higgs.
In the episode our panel will cover topics such as improving work/life balance, children’s wellbeing, separating home and work life and when and where to seek help for your wellbeing.
The panel will also cover questions submitted by members, to ensure the conversation is relevant to those on the front lines.
You can watch the panel live via the FDCA website, FDCA Facebook Page and FDCA YouTube channel.
Changes to the National Regulations commencing from 1 July 2023
In 2022, Education Ministers agreed to changes to the National Quality Framework based on findings from the 2019 NQF Review. The 2019 NQF Review included extensive consultation with the sector, families and other parts of the community which informed government decisions.
As most services will be aware, the Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2023 recently came into effect. This means the second round of approved regulatory changes will now apply in the majority of jurisdictions* from 1 July 2023.
Provide flexibility to FDC services that have been operating for at least 12 months, by allowing some adjustments when calculating family day care coordinator to educator ratios. This measure was advocated for in FDCA’s original Submission to the NQF Review which can be found here.
For services that have been operating for less than 12 months a minimum of 1 full time equivalent (FTE) family day care coordinator is required for every 15 FDC educators (1:15) or part thereof.
For services operating for more than 12 months a minimum of 1 full time equivalent family day care coordinator is required for a maximum of 25 FDC educators (1:25).
There will be a pro-rata allowance for second and subsequent coordinators. When a service employs more than 25 educators, the number of full-time coordinators that must be engaged for every 5 educators is the same as 0.2 FTE. The regulatory authority may impose the higher ratio of 1:15 at any time after the first 12 months of operation of the family day care service.
Certificate III Qualifications
Impose the condition that all family day care educators hold at least an approved certificate III level qualification prior to commencing their role. Existing educators will have a period of up to 12 months to complete their qualifications (not applicable in South Australia where this requirement is already in place).
Existing educators currently engaged at a family day care service will have until 1 July 2024 to complete an approved qualification. Waivers for staffing requirements will continue to be available. If by mid-2024, an educator does not hold an approved Certificate III level (or higher) qualification, the approved provider can apply for a waiver, which the regulatory authority may consider granting if it is satisfied the approved provider has reasonable justification for not being able to comply with regulation 127.
The amendments will also:
- Moderately increase several prescribed fees as well as introduce a new category to differentiate fees applied to ‘large’ and ‘very large’ services.
- Increase the incentive and reduce administrative burden for services applying for the Excellent Rating by extending the period of approval from three to five years.
- Implement a cut-off date for the original national Approved Learning Frameworks (1 February 2024), at which point services will be required** to use the new versions of the national Approved Learning Frameworks.
- Improve oversight of providers by regulatory authorities by expanding the definition of ‘person with management or control’ of the service to better capture persons exercising significant influence over the operation of services, and closer alignment between the Education and Care Services National Law and the Family Assistance Law on matters relating to the ‘fitness and propriety’ of service providers.
A third and final round of regulatory and legislative changes will come into effect later in 2023.
Where can I find more information?
To view the Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2023, click here.
ACECQA has released a number of factsheets that provide more detail on the amendments:
Educators who are ‘actively working towards’ a qualification from 2023
Legislative Requirements for family day care providers from 2023
Legislative Requirements for family day care educators from 2023
Documenting programs for school age services
Identifying persons with management or control of a service from 1 July 2023 – Existing Providers
Identifying persons with management or control of a service from 1 July 2023 – Prospective Providers
Suspending or cancelling a provider approval under National Law from 1 July 2023
Increases to fees and offence penalties as of July 2023
All decisions made by Education Ministers from the 2019 NQF review are published on the nqfreview.com.au website. The 2019 NQF Review website provides the Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (DRIS) and the comprehensive FAQs on all of the upcoming changes to the National Law and Regulations.
An updated version of the Guide to the National Quality Framework (NQF) will be published on 1 July 2023. ACECQA will also continue to update it throughout 2023 to reflect the agreed changes from the 2019 NQF Review.
* Please note: the implementation of this round of regulatory changes will be delayed for services in Western Australia. Contact your Regulatory Authority for further information.
**The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework will continue to remain an approved learning framework under the NQF.
Consultation continues on the Early Years Strategy
Community roundtables are being held across Australia as part of the consultation process for the development of the Early Years Strategy.
Earlier this month, Minister for Early Childhood Education, the Hon Dr Anne Aly MP, hosted a roundtable in Sorell, Tasmania, where she met with local ECEC services and heard from early years experts and advocates.
Community roundtables are part of the broader stakeholder engagement process for the strategy. The next roundtables will be held in Adelaide, South Australia and Gosford, New South Wales.
The strategy will guide Australian Government early years policies and programs for the next decade to ensure children aged 5 and below have the best start in life.
You can have your say on the discussion paper for the proposed strategy on the Department of Social Services website. Submissions close 30 April 2023. FDCA will be lodging a written submission on behalf of our members.
Be You Virtual Conference 2023
The Be You Virtual Conference is a FREE 2-day event with a focus on key topics and practical strategies to promote mental health and wellbeing in learning communities. This year, the theme of the Be You Virtual Conference is Building Capacity to Thrive. Over the 2 days, we will explore what it means to ‘thrive’, as well as practical approaches to build a resilient, inclusive and thriving learning community.
The Be You Virtual Conference is for educators and leaders working in early learning services or schools, as well as those in pre-service or training. Each session across the two-day event has been designed with our educators and their learning communities in mind. Be You is a NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) and TQI (ACT Teacher Quality Institute) accredited event.
Day 1: May 3, 2023 - 11am to 3.30pm (AEST)
Day 2: May 4, 2023 - 1.30pm to 6.30pm (AEST)
To attend the free event register here.
Can’t make a session? When you register, recordings are shared with you, post-event!
Find out how Family Day Care Legal Services has got you covered!
FDCA offers more than just great public liability insurance to protect your business. We have a range of options to protect your home, your vehicle and you!
We also offer Family Day Care Legal Services through our partners, Wotton & Kearney, to provide you with top tier legal advice and peace of mind.
Wotton & Kearney are one of the undisputed leaders in the legal services industry, with specific expertise in the provision of family day care and over 340 specialised lawyers operating across Australian and New Zealand.
Trusted by educators and services for over 30 years, visit our website or give us a call on 1800 658 699 to find out more about how FDCA has got all of your business needs covered.