Amendments to the National Regulations will come into effect on 1 June 2014 for all states and territories, except Western Australia.
The amendments are in response to feedback from the sector and will deliver benefits for providers, educators and regulatory authorities by streamlining processes and reducing paperwork.
Visit the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority website for a list of all amendments affecting Queensland services.
Download the Amendments to the National Regulations (search 'education and care').
Services, educators and families are being encouraged to have a say on the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (NQF) to help ensure the goal of improving quality in education and care services is being met.
Consultation sessions will take place around Australia and across 4 locations in Queensland from 16 - 20 June 2014. The sessions will involve discussion about the objectives of the NQF, what is working well and areas for improvement as well as the effectiveness of the assessment and rating process.
You can also participate in an online survey and provide a formal submission to the review or submit brief comments online.
The Australian and state and territory governments are keen to hear from you, but make sure you get any online feedback in before the consultation closes on 4 July 2014.
Amendments to the National Regulations to support the implementation of the National Quality Framework (NQF) were agreed to by all state and territory ministers and the Australian Government on Friday 11 April 2014. Ministers also discussed actions to streamline the quality rating process.
Changes to streamline assessment and rating are being rolled out immediately and are explained in the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) newsletter .
Regulation amendments around staffing arrangements, the physical environment of early childhood services and transitional provisions to deal with workforce shortages for early childhood teachers in remote and very remote areas were agreed to. Ministers asked that work continue to finalise the more complex amendments to the National Law and Regulations to reduce regulatory burden on the sector.
Further information about the regulation amendments will be provided once the details are final. The department will distribute an NQF e-bulletin to all Queensland providers and services, explaining these changes when confirmed.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show a significant increase in kindergarten participation rates in Queensland.
Results from the Preschool Education in Australia 2013 publication show Queensland kindergarten enrolment rates have risen from 29% in 2008 to 97.4% in 2013.
While overall results have improved, the survey showed that some groups are still below the state-wide average with the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in a kindergarten program at 77.9% and children from low socio-economic backgrounds at 85.5%.
The ABS data release provides more comprehensive information than previously available, including national totals for service providers, child and worker statistics from 8,654 service providers across Australia.
We know that quality experiences in early childhood education and care (ECEC) help give children a great start in life.
This is why we are strengthening our focus on the importance of the early years, with an emphasis on supporting families and services to improve each child's transition from early childhood programs and services into school.
To support this renewed focus, the department will improve linkages with ECEC providers to better understand their needs and to support the valuable role they perform for children and their families.
The department will also reorganise and strengthen some of its services and functions.
Key changes include:
Updates to the National Quality Framework Resource Kit
Two of the four guides in the National Quality Framework Resource Kit (NQF Resource Kit) have been updated to reflect the amendments. The key changes are outlined in a table and on the inside cover of the Guide to the National Law and Regulations and Guide to the National Quality Standard. The updated version of the kit is available to download or view.
Education and Care staff in regular contact with children and their families are well placed to observe and report when children appear to be at risk of harm and can play an important role in protecting the safety and wellbeing of those children.
Under the Education and Care Services National Law (National Law) services and their staff are required to ensure the safety of children in the course of the provision of education and care by:
There is no legal requirement in Queensland for services or their staff to report suspected child abuse that occurs outside a service. However education and care service staff may report suspected child abuse.
Child safety service centres have professionally trained child protection staff who are skilled in dealing with information about harm or risk of harm to children. When you make a report to Child Safety Services or the Queensland Police Service your details are kept confidential and your identity is strictly protected.
National registers of approved providers, services and certified supervisors are available on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority's (ACECQA) website .
While ACECQA and the department have taken steps to ensure details in the registers are accurate, it is important approved providers and services regularly check their information.
You can update your details including email, phone number and postal address by submitting these forms on ACECQA's National Quality Agenda IT system :
To update some items such as the number of approved places at your service or the conditions on your approval you must submit an application to the department to amend your service approval.
For information, visit ACECQA's website .
This page was last reviewed on 27 Jun 2014 at 01:56PM