Recently Education Ministers agreed to a number of amendments to the Education and Care National Regulations including displaying of service rating certificates and managing risks while transporting children and workforce transitional provisions.
Service Rating Certificates
Approved providers must display ratings certificates issued by or on behalf of the Regulatory Authority, or ACECQA. This is to avoid confusion for families, the community and the broader sector.
The rating must be clearly visible from the main entrance of the service premises.
Section 172(d) of the National Law contains an offence where an approved provider of an education and care service fails to display the rating of the service.
This amended regulation will come into effect on 30 July 2021.
To better manage risks transporting children between a vehicle and a service premises or other location, new requirements including policies and procedures for the safe transportation of children, including requirements for risk assessments and written authorisations. have been introduced to strengthen oversight arrangements when children are being transported under the care of a service.
Minor amendments to the National Regulations come into effect on 1 October 2021.
Workforce Transitional Provisions
Ministers want to provide certainty about the transitional workforce provisions in the Education and Care Services National Regulations which are due to expire in some jurisdictions at the end of this year. Ministers recognise that workforce challenges have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
Accordingly, Ministers have agreed to extend and align the transitional provisions until the end of 2023, where jurisdictions have identified this need, as outlined in the table below. In addition, for some provisions the aim is to develop an ongoing evidence-based regulatory approach, prior to their expiry. The amended regulations will come into effect on 30 December 2021.
None of these transitional provisions apply in Victoria.
*Regulation 242 does not apply in NSW for educators working in a centre-based service educating and caring for 30 or more children preschool age or under.
**South Australia will adopt both the substance and timing of the existing jurisdiction-specific regulations which apply regulation 135 as if the reasons for an ECT to be absent included resignation until the end of 2023. This change will commence on 30 July 2021.
Education and Care National Amendment Regulations, ACECQA Newsletter Issue 7 2021