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New regulatory priorities and targets for early childhood education and care in South Australia, 2023-24

22 December 2022

To set clear expectations for regulated parties (educators, services and providers) of early childhood education and care under our legislative remit, the Education Standards Board is releasing our regulatory priorities and targets. These priorities and targets apply to regulated parties under the National Law and National Quality Framework and early childhood services regulated under the Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011.

Publishing our regulatory priorities and targets improves transparency and enables clear reporting on regulatory outcomes within the sector. These evidence-based regulatory priorities and targets aim to reduce regulatory burden on regulated parties and provide clarity about the activities of the Education Standards Board in the coming year.

Our regulatory priorities and targets contain areas of focus for both the regulator and the sector, where evidence shows that continuous improvement is needed for both the regulator and regulated parties, to meet our objectives of the National Quality Framework and state-based legislation.

Our regulatory priorities

Our evidence-based regulatory priorities for early childhood education and care services and providers in 2023-24 are:

Adequate supervision

Adequate supervision for children is provided at all times. This means:

  • that age-appropriate supervision is evident in daily practice
  • that an educator can respond immediately, particularly when a child is distressed or in a hazardous situation
  • knowing where children are at all times and monitoring their activities actively and diligently
  • balancing supervision and engagement by drawing on a range of skills such as positioning, using peripheral vision and monitoring changes in noise and stress levels.
  • children of different ages and abilities have different levels of supervision. Travel and excursion might require different levels of supervision.

Appropriate discipline

Measures are in place to promote and support positive, safe and respectful relationships with children and young people in education and care settings.

Regulated parties do not tolerate or engage in any form of conduct which might cause physical or emotional harm to children and young people.

There is a consistent approach to behaviour guidance to ensure that each child is supported at all times to regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflicts.

Medical management

Effective policies and practices for storing and administering mediation and managing children’s medical condition are in place, and risk-based measures are implemented in daily practice.

There are accurate, current and accessible individual medical management plans for children with a specific health care need, allergy or diagnosed relevant medical condition, along with a risk-minimisation plan and communication plan.

Educators are adequately trained to manage the medical conditions of the children who attend the service.

Improved reporting of serious incidents

Timely, accurate and well documented serious incident notifications facilitate critical reflection, analysis and learnings from an incident. Identified areas for improvement are captured in the service’s quality improvement plan.

Our regulatory targets

Our regulatory targets provide detail on the performance measures the Education Standards Board will use to measure progress towards our regulatory priorities and legislative objectives.  The targets also outline some ways providers and services can expect to engage with the Education Standards Board in 2023-24. You can find the detailed regulatory targets, along with our Regulatory Practice Statement, under Our Role on the Education Standards Board website. 

These regulatory priorities and targets should be read in the context of the Regulatory Practice Statement released in December 2022, which outlines the Education Standards Board’s approach to regulation, including our regulatory principles.