NSW ECEC sites invited to ‘opt in’ to ACECQA tool as part of Assessment and Rating

by Freya Lucas

October 18

Information shared with the broader New South Wales early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector earlier this week has indicated that the NSW Department of Education intend to invite services who are about to undergo assessment and rating to “opt in” to use  ACECQA‘s Self-Assessment Tool. 

 

The self-assessment tool was first announced by ACECQA in March 2019, and was developed in response to sector feedback. 

 

The tool has been designed to support approved providers, service leaders and educators assess the quality of their education and care service’s practices, policies and procedures, against the NQS, and the National Law and National Regulations.   

 

Speaking about the value of the tool, a spokesperson from ACECQA highlighted the importance of self assessment for services, saying that as well as supporting services to demonstrate that they are delivering against Element 7.2.1, the tool would also help services to identify service strengths, areas of compliance, practices that are Exceeding NQS, and areas and opportunities for quality improvement. 

 

“The Tool helps you through the process of self-assessment which can, where needed, inform your QIP” a spokesperson said. 

 

In an information release to members in relation to the proposed introduction, ACA NSW shared a sample email from the Department, which indicates that “The Department has reflected on feedback from the sector in relation to A&R and is excited to announce a change in the way we undertake Assessment and Rating. From February 2020 we will be incorporating service self-assessment as an integral part of the A&R process.”

 

Within the body of the same sample email, a Departmental spokesperson says “We believe that an increased focus on self-assessment in the A&R process will support services and ultimately increase quality outcomes for children”, before inviting services to use the tool as “a key component” in their upcoming assessment and rating visit with guidance and support from the Regulatory Authority. 

 

The information shared above by ACA NSW was part of broader sharing following ACA NSW attendance at one of several roadshow sessions offered by the Department, dates of which are shown below. The roadshow sessions aim to provide services with updates on key policy, programs, funding and regulatory decisions. 

 

Event Dates

14 October  – Sydney CBD

15 October – Queanbeyan

16 October – Ballina

17 October – Parramatta

18 October – Wagga Wagga

21 October – Penrith

22 October – Dubbo

23 October – Tamworth

23 October – Nowra

24 October – Coffs Harbour

25 October – Maitland

 

Registrations for the events above opened in September, with services having received an invitation by email.

 

For any queries relating to attendance at the roadshows, please contact the Early Childhood Education Engagement team at ECEDengagement@det.nsw.edu.au or on (02) 9244 5540.

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