Are you across the latest Education and Care National Regulation amendments?
On 7 July 2021 Education Ministers agreed to a number of amendments to the Education and Care National Regulations (National Regulations) which relate to the display of quality ratings, transportation of children and workforce transitional provisions.
The Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2021 are now available on the NSW Government legislation website and are summarised below.
Display of quality ratings
Section 172(d) of the National Law contains an offence where an approved provider of an education and care service fails to display the rating of the service. The rating must be clearly visible from the main entrance of the service premises.
Education Ministers have approved an amendment to the National Regulations to clarify that an approved provider must display rating certificates issued by or on behalf of the Regulatory Authority, or ACECQA (if ACECQA has given the service the highest rating level) to the approved provider. This is to avoid confusion for families, the community and the broader sector.
This amended regulation will come into effect on 30 July 2021.
Transportation of children
Children are sometimes transported, or travel on transport arranged, by children’s education and care services – for example, transport to and from the service and a child’s home or other location.
Transporting children may present additional risks, including during transition between a vehicle and a service premises or other location. To better manage these risks, all governments have introduced new requirements to strengthen oversight arrangements when children are being transported under the care of an education and care service.
The Education and Care National Amendment Regulations 2020 established new requirements for services to have in place policies and procedures for the safe transportation of children, including requirements for risk assessments and written authorisations.
Further minor amendments were made to the National Regulations to ensure the effective interaction between provisions relating to authorisations for transportation under Division 7 of Part 4.2 of the National Regulations and other existing provisions.
The amended regulations will come into effect on 1 October 2021.
Workforce transitional provisions
Ministers want to provide certainty about the transitional workforce provisions in the Education and Care Services National Regulations which are due to expire in some jurisdictions at the end of this year. Ministers recognise that workforce challenges have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
Accordingly, Ministers have agreed to extend and align the transitional provisions until the end of 2023, where jurisdictions have identified this need, as outlined in the table below. In addition, for some provisions the aim is to develop an ongoing evidence-based regulatory approach, prior to their expiry. The amended regulations will come into effect on 30 December 2021.
Details of the extended provisions are in the table below.
|Regulation||Expiry date of 31 December 2021||Expiry date of 31 December 2023|
Attendance of an Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) at a service in remote or very remote location.
|QLD||NT, WA, NSW, SA, TAS|
Qualification requirements for educators working in remote and very remote services.
|QLD||WA, SA, TAS|
Persons taken to be an ECT.
|QLD||NT, WA, ACT, NSW, SA, TAS|
General qualifications for educators in centre based services.
|Regulations 386, 390, 392, 394**
Resignation of an ECT.
|QLD||ACT, TAS, WA, SA|
|Regulations 405, 407, 409, 411**
Resignation of a Suitably Qualified Person.
|QLD||ACT, TAS, WA, SA|
Services with any queries about the table above which are specific to a state or territory, please contact the relevant Regulatory Authority.
ACECQA asked services to note the following:
None of these transitional provisions apply in Victoria.
*Regulation 242 does not apply in NSW for educators working in a centre-based service educating and caring for 30 or more children preschool age or under.
**South Australia will adopt both the substance and timing of the existing jurisdiction-specific regulations which apply regulation 135 as if the reasons for an ECT to be absent included resignation until the end of 2023. This change will commence on 30 July 2021.
To read this communication in its original format, as produced by ACECQA, see here.