ACECQA resources available to support providers to develop policies and procedures
ACECQA has worked with state and territory regulatory authorities to develop provider guidelines that will help when preparing or reviewing policies and procedures to cover matters set out in regulations 168 and 169 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations.
The first 12 national policy and procedure guidelines are now available on the ACECQA website, with a further 16 to be published over the coming months. As the guidelines are for use Australia-wide, approved providers will also need to consider any relevant state/territory requirements.
Changes to IT system to identify prohibited people
Along with the guidelines, ACECQA notified the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector about modifications which have been made recently to the NQA IT System public portal to ensure that approved providers can search for prohibited persons or suspended family day care educators through a register of prohibited persons and suspended educators.
The changes have been made to support the Education and Care Services National Law Act (National Law), which states that an approved provider must not engage a person as an educator, family day care educator, employee, contractor or staff member of, or allow a person to perform volunteer services for, an education and care service if the provider knows, or ought reasonably to know that there is a prohibition notice in place for this person.
A regulatory authority may disclose information to approved providers regarding prohibited persons and suspended educators under the circumstances set out in section 272 of the National Law.
In the event that a search identifies a potential match on the register, this can then be confirmed by the relevant regulatory authority which can provide further information on the person or educator.
The register is available on the landing page of the portal. Please note that only approved providers under the National Law are able to request information through the register.
Serious incident notifications
The changes to the NQA IT System have also impacted the serious incident space.
Currently the NQA IT System allows for the notification of serious incidents to regulatory authorities. The recent changes to the system have improved the way in which information about children involved in serious incidents is reported, allowing for all children involved in the incident to be included, the ACECQA newsletter noted.
To review the latest newsletter from ACECQA, please see here.