Queensland approved provider reminder – time is running out on 1:5 ratio exemption
Queensland-based approved providers have been reminded of the 31 December expiry date for the current transitional regulation which allows some providers to apply a 1:5 ratio for children aged 15 to 24 months.
The exemption has been available for certain services who were operating prior to the introduction of the Education and Care Services National Law to continue to apply the 1:5 ratio for children aged 15 to 24 months of age, however this will cease come December when Regulation 300(2) no longer applies.
Approved providers who operate early childhood education and care (ECEC) services across Australia face various state based variations in relation to ratios, however when Regulation 300 (2) no longer applies, all states and territories will be consistent in providing a 1:4 ratio for children two years of age and under.
The 1:4 ratio extends to children over 24 months and under 36 months in Victoria only, with all other states then moving to a 1:5 ratio.
Services holding the waiver at present will have the following noted on their service approval:
… This service is approved to continue to use an educator to child ratio of 1:5 for children from 15 months to 24 months of age. This ratio applies for children from 15 months of age in place of regulation 123 (1)(a) until 31 December 2019.
Effective 1 January 2020, those approved providers currently running a 1:5 ratio for children 15-24 months of age will need to comply with Regulation 123(1)(a), which requires a 1 educator to every 4 children ratio for children from birth to 24 months of age, consistent with the national expectation.
Services will see their service approval certificates amended in the first six months of 2020 to reflect the changes, with those approved providers involved receiving a new service approval certificate from Queensland’s regulatory authority.
In an announcement emailed to approved providers in relation to the change, the Regulatory Authority stated they will be taking the opportunity to check the other details currently appearing on these particular service approval certificates and will correct any administrative errors identified, with approved providers invited to submit any changes required ahead of the alterations in 2020.
Further information for approved providers who may be affected by this change is available through local regional offices.