SA Regulatory authority outlines evidence requirements for Waiver applications
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SA Regulatory authority outlines evidence requirements for Waiver applications

by Freya Lucas

June 30, 2022

With a number of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services experiencing challenges in meeting ratio requirements through the workforce crisis, South Australian regulator the Education Standards Board for South Australia (ESB) has issued advice for services about the evidence required when making a waiver application. 

 

ECEC providers or services must comply with the Education and Care Services National Law Act (2010), and the Education and Care Services National Regulations , unless a waiver is in place.

 

When circumstances change, such as a staff member resigning, a service should complete a waiver application promptly to ensure ongoing compliance.

 

Applications for waivers are assessed on a case-by-case basis. To ensure a prompt approval, services and providers should be sure to include sufficient detail and supporting evidence along with the waiver application.

 

The ESB may request more information or attend the service, to gather the information needed to grant or refuse a waiver if sufficient evidence is not provided in the application, as provided by s96 of the Act. The assessment begins once all the supporting evidence is validated.  

 

What to include in a waiver application

 

The Regulations provide that a waiver application must include (per r45 the Regulations):

 

  1. Measures being taken to protect the safety and well-being of children cared for or educated at the service while the waiver is in place
  2. Whether the service has alternative ways to meet the regulations
  3. Benefit to families, children, and the community in keeping the service operating
  4. Attempts made by the approved provider to comply with the requirements
  5. Cost of adjustments needed to bring the service into compliance
  6. Whether the issue is temporary or ongoing.

 

Specific evidence required for staffing waivers

 

Approved services may need a temporary staff waiver due to changes in staffing. The waiver application should include:

 

  • Staff details, including rosters and qualifications
  • Evidence of recruitment
  • Evidence of progress towards relevant qualifications
  • Strategies in place to attract, upskill and retain staff
  • The service’s plan to meet the immediate shortfall.

 

Once all supporting evidence for a waiver application is provided, the ESB will decide the application within 60 days (s98 of the Act).

 

Conditions may apply to an approved waiver

 

Waivers may be subject to conditions, for example, a specific date by which the service must comply with the Regulations.

The waiver applies only when the conditions outlined in the approval are taken, to protect the safety and wellbeing of children at the service.

 

Resources for services

 

Information Sheet – Evidence For Waiver Applications

Applying For A Waiver

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