ACECQA issues final reminder about 1 October NQF rule changes
The Sector > Policy > Changes > ACECQA issues final reminder about 1 October NQF rule changes

ACECQA issues final reminder about 1 October NQF rule changes

by Freya Lucas

September 29, 2023

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has issued a final reminder for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services ahead of the pending changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF) which come into effect on 1 October 2023. 


To help services understand and implement the changes, the changes have been incremental and on 1 October the third round for the majority of jurisdictions will commence* as follows:


  • Improve the safety and wellbeing of children by:


  • Enhancing sleep and rest policies and procedures requirements, including the content of risk assessments
  • Strengthening approval processes for centre-based services and family day care venues to be located in multi-storey buildings, by requiring additional information about the proposed premises and layout to be provided to the regulatory authority
  • Requiring providers of services operating in multi-storey buildings to have more robust, risk-based emergency and evacuation procedures in place
  • Enhancing policies, procedures and risk assessments required for the safe arrival of children
  • Further embedding the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations into the NQF including a small number of items found to not already be addressed in the Education and Care Services National Law (i.e., new obligations for volunteers and students, child protection training for family day care (FDC) coordinators, and enhanced requirements for policies and procedures on providing a child safe environment and managing complaints)
  • Prescribing currency periods for first aid qualifications
  • Requiring providers of centre-based services to notify the regulatory authority of any changes to the ages of children or the nature of care offered at the service
  • Strengthening regulatory authority oversight and improved information sharing of service transfers between providers, regulators and families
  • Increasing penalties in line with CPI increases since the commencement of the NQF.
  • Amend requirements for the FDC sector to strengthen regulatory oversight and safety by:


  • Improving the provision of information on the FDC Register to regulators, including where educators are operating under exceptional circumstances
  • Providing additional guidance on safety requirements, compliance with fencing requirements and requiring monthly inspections at FDC residences and venues that have swimming pools, water features and other potential water hazards**
  • Mandating nationally consistent requirements for safety glass used in FDC residences and venues 
  • Mandating new processes for FDC educators to inform approved providers of any circumstance that may affect whether residents are fit and proper to be in the company of children, or any other circumstances arising that may pose a risk to children’s health, safety or wellbeing.
  • Improve the provision of NQF information to families by:


  • Providing greater transparency and timeliness on when services are transferred between providers
  • Requiring the quality assessment and rating certificate to be clearly visible at every FDC residence or venue
  • Requiring providers of FDC services to display a diagram of areas of residences and venues that are assessed to be suitable for education and care
  • Enhancing consent processes for the disclosure of information held by approved providers.


New and updated guidance has been prepared for other recommendations arising from the Review. Information sheets are available on the ACECQA website


The Guide to the NQF will also be updated and is now available in a new online format, as well as the interactive PDF format. New content will also be added to the Guide to the NQF to assist services to implement the updates in v2.0 of the national Approved Learning Frameworks. 


Providers and services can also view a summary of the 2023 NQF changes with links to key legislation and supporting resources on the ACECQA website at NQF changes overview.


This information was obtained from the ACECQA newsletter. Click here to subscribe for regular updates. 


*The implementation of this round of regulatory changes will be delayed for services in Western Australia. Contact your regulatory authority for further information


**Jurisdiction-specific requirements apply in Tasmania and Western Australia

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