ACECQA releases Report of the Review of Child Safety Arrangements under the NQF
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has released the Report of the Review of Child Safety Arrangements under the National Quality Framework (NQF).
The Report includes 16 recommendations related to physical and online safety, child supervision and staffing requirements, structured under three aims:
- Strengthening Child Safe Governance, Leadership and Culture
- Embedding Prevention and Early Intervention
- Building and Sustaining Child Safe Capabilities
One key recommendation is that anyone who is working or engaged in a centre-based service in any capacity be prohibited from having personal electronic devices that can take images or video, such as tablets and phones, on their person whilst with children.
Another is to establish a national, centralised mechanism to appropriately record and share national intelligence/ record keeping between authorised agencies to more effectively monitor and respond to suspected misconduct and allegations about a ‘person of interest’ who has unsubstantiated allegations.
Such a mechanism would need to long-term link with other data systems, such as teacher registration/accreditation, WWCC and to an NQF secure mechanism, with one option being an educator register.
The NQF is an internationally recognised framework that provides a robust regulatory scheme for ensuring the safety, health and wellbeing of children, however there are aspects where the Framework could be improved, Federal Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly said.
“This report highlights (that) the NQF can be better, and the Australian Government is absolutely committed to making it better so that our children have a positive, rewarding and safe early childhood education,” she said.
Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare agreed saying “Australia has a very good system of early childhood education and care, but more can be done to ensure the NQF remains contemporary and fit-for-purpose in the context of child safety.”
Education Ministers were presented with the report last week and have requested Senior Officials commence consultation with the sector on the Report’s recommendations and report to the first Education Ministers Meeting in early 2024 with implementation advice.
The Report into the Review of Child Safety Arrangements under the National Quality Framework can be found at https://www.acecqa.gov.au/child-safety-review.
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