Changes to the National Quality Framework - 1 July 2023
In 2022, education ministers agreed to changes to the National Quality Framework based on findings from the 2019 NQF Review. The 2019 NQF Review included extensive consultation with the sector, families and other parts of the community which informed government decisions.
The first round of approved regulatory changes relate to the regular transportation of children in centre based care. These came into effect on 1 March 2023.
The second round of approved regulatory changes come into effect from 1 July 2023 to:
- assist in addressing workforce challenges
flexibility is provided for services when replacing educators during short term absences and resignations.
- improve oversight of providers by regulatory authorities
the definition of ‘person with management or control’ of the service expands to better capture persons exercising significant influence over the operation of services.
The updated definition aligns the Education and Care Services National Law and the Family Assistance Law on matters relating to the ‘fitness and propriety’ of service providers.
- amend documentation requirements for out of school hours care (OSHC) providers
OSHC services in South Australia will now be required to keep ‘program level’ documentation about the educational program, rather than documentation at the ‘individual child level’.
- provide flexibility to family day care services that have been operating for at least 12 months, by allowing some adjustments when calculating family day care coordinator to educator ratios. This change will assist in addressing workforce challenges within the family day care sector.
- improve the provision of quality of education and care by ensuring all family day care educators hold the minimum Certificate III qualification requirement prior to commencing their role.
- moderately increase several prescribed fees
Fees will be increased for the first time since the introduction of the NQF in 2012, and a new category introduced to differentiate fees applied to ‘large’ and ‘very large’ services.
- increase the incentive and reduce administrative burden for services applying for the Excellent Rating
The Excellent rating period of approval is extended from three to five years.
- implement a cut-off date in early 2024 for the original national Approved Learning Frameworks
After the cut-off date services will be required to use the updated versions of the national Approved Learning Frameworks.
A third and final round of regulatory and legislative changes will come into effect later in 2023.
All decisions made by education ministers from the 2019 NQF review are published on the 2019 NQF Review website, where you can also find the Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (DRIS) and the comprehensive FAQs on all the upcoming changes to the National Law and Regulations.
An updated Guide to the NQF will be available from 1 July 2023
An updated version of the Guide to the National Quality Framework (NQF) will be published on 1 July 2023. ACECQA will also continue to update it throughout 2023 to reflect the agreed changes from the 2019 NQF Review.
The Guide to the NQF is a key resource ACECQA publishes, designed to help education and care providers, educators and authorised officers understand and apply the requirements of the NQF. It provides information for all types of service in all states and territories.
Family day care:
Out of school hours care: