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.
The Office for Early Childhood Education and Care (OECEC) has commissioned market research company, TNS, to undertake targeted research into the effectiveness of how we, as an organisation, are communicating and engaging with the sector.
The findings of this research will be used to highlight improvements to our service delivery to our stakeholders.
TNS will be contacting a range of peak organisations, services providers, approved providers and educators over the period 24 March - 10 April.
If you would like more information about this project, please contact Bronwyn Smith, Principal Program Officer, OECEC on 3404 3851 or email Bronwyn Smith or Susan Knight, Senior Project Manager, TNS or call Susan Knight on 3011 4215.
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:
The storm and bushfire season has begun and the department encourages providers and services to prepare for these natural disasters.
You will find useful information on the Get Ready Queensland website .
If your service is affected by a natural disaster and you need support in providing continuity of education and care, contact your nearest regional office.
Your regional office will work collaboratively with you in dealing with operational difficulties.
Services are required to notify their regional office in writing within 24 hours if an incident occurs that requires a service closure or reduction in the number of children attending (see Regulation 175/176).
This includes service closures due to natural disasters.
If your service is closed, you should also make sure parents of enrolled children are notified.
Amendments to the Education and Care Services National Regulations came into effect on 1 September 2013. The amendments deliver benefits for providers, educators and regulatory authorities by streamlining processes and reducing paperwork.
The major amendments include:
A copy of the National Regulations with the amendments is available on the NSW Legislation Register .
Queensland specific amendments
There are also a number of amendments specific to Queensland including:
Please see ACECQA's Information sheet on the amendments specific to Queensland for further information.
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 28 Mar 2014 at 02:13PM