Key changes and updates to the National Regulations and Law are now in full swing. These include supporting Family Day Care to achieve better compliance and quality across the whole sector and an introduction of a national educator to child ratio of 1:15 for services providing education and care to school age children.
It is very important for FDC Educators and OOSH Services to understand the new regulations that have been put in place which changes their requirements of the day to day operations of both FDC and OOSH Services.
All Approved Providers, Supervisors, FDC Co-Ordinators, OOSH Co-oridinators and Educators are to familiarise themselves with the changes and updates of the National Regulations and Law which has now come into effect as of 01 October 2017.
Here is a brief summary for FDC Educators and OOSH Services of some of the changes that have now come into effect:
Mandating a minimum Certificate III for FDC educators:
No change to the existing requirements that allow family day care educators to work towards the required qualification while engaged by a family day care service. South Australia retains the higher requirement that all family day care educators must hold an approved Certificate III (or equivalent) qualification before being permitted to educate and care for children.
FDC educator assistants’ activities:
FDC educator assistants should only be able to stand in place of a FDC educator in the event of unforeseen or exceptional circumstances and include additional guidance on what constitutes an ‘appointment’. New penalties will apply to approved providers and FDC educators to ensure that FDC educator assistant activities are limited to the circumstances specified in the National Regulations.
Powers of entry to FDC residences:
Permit authorised officers to enter a family day care residence during usual operating hours or if the authorised officer reasonably believes that a service is operating.
Family Day Care –notifications to approved provider:
Family day care educators must notify the approved provider of
• A serious incident
• Any complaint alleging that a serious incident has occurred or is occurring or that there has been a breach of the National Law or National Regulations
• Any renovations or changes which pose or could pose a risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of children
• Any changes in the persons aged 18 and over residing at the residence
New monetary penalties will apply to family day care educators if they fail to notify this information to the approved provider.
Family Day Care – risk assessments:
Changes to the National Regulations to clarify that a risk assessment must be completed for all regular outings at least once a year
Reduction in documentation of assessments or evaluations of school age children:
Services that educate and care for children over preschool age in the Northern Territory,
Queensland and New South Wales will no longer be required to keep documentation about individual children’s development. Instead, these services must keep documentation about the development of the educational program.,There is no change to existing requirements for services that educate and care for children over preschool age in the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
National educator to child ratio for OSHC services:
Introduced a national minimum educator to child ratio of 1:15 for services providing education and care to children over preschool age. This change will only affect services operating in NSW, as services in all other states and territories are already required to comply with jurisdiction specific ratio requirements or at least 1:15. There will be a 12 month transitional period in NSW to allow sufficient time for NSW OSHC services to prepare. Services in the ACT and Western Australia will retain their higher educator to child ratio provisions.
For detailed information of the summary of changes including those for Early Childhood Services, please read the following: