Overall quality ratings steady in Q2 2022 but waivers record another sharp rise says latest ACECQA snapshot
The Sector > Quality > NQF and Policy Changes > Overall quality ratings steady in Q2 2022 but waivers record another sharp rise says latest ACECQA snapshot

Overall quality ratings steady in Q2 2022 but waivers record another sharp rise says latest ACECQA snapshot

by Jason Roberts

August 15, 2022

The percentage of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services rated as meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard (NQS) remained steady in the June quarter of 2022 although underlying improvements in quality were evident despite another new record in waivers outstanding. 


The latest Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority’s (ACECQA) NQF Snapshot confirmed that 87 per cent of all services are now rated exceeding or meeting the NQS which was the second consecutive quarter at this level. 


The performance comes amidst a pick up in both the number of Assessments and Rating (A&R) visits that took place in the quarter and the number of reassessment visits too. There were 678 A&R visits, up significantly from the relatively low levels of the previous quarter and around 318 reassessments, up from 213. 


Across the key settings the overall trend in the proportion of services rated working towards the NQS continues to be down with outside school hours care (OSHC) and long day care (LDC) ticking lower in this current quarter to 16 per cent and 12 per cent respectively, both record lows. 

Although overall ratings are moving in the right direction there is evidence that a core proportion of working towards services appear to not be participating in the positive trend with 33 per cent, around 2,077 services, of working towards services undergoing a reassessment exercise remaining at that rating. 


Waiver trends remain concerning as workforce shortages continue to bite


After recording a record percentage in the first quarter of 2022 staff waivers granted, both temporary and service, as a percentage of services reached a new record of 8.6 per cent as at the end of June.  


The rise reflects services applying for waivers to cover instances where staff members, mostly early childhood teachers, cannot be found to fill ratio requirements, a problem that will increasingly be exacerbated by relatively strong demand for ECEC services as we move into the seasonally strongest part of the year. 


The long day care setting remains the hardest hit with 14.6 per cent with Western Australia and Queensland recording 21.1 per cent and 24.4 per cent respectively of services with staffing waivers. 



Notably, Victoria appears to be managing the call for teachers and educators relatively well with just 3.4 per cent of services with a waiver currently outstanding. It is unclear why Victoria has recorded such low numbers suffice to say that the Victorian Department of Education has launched a number of high profile initiatives, including substantial financial incentives, to attract teachers to the region. 


To read the Q1 2022 NQF snapshots, as well as all past snapshots, visit the ACECQA website

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