October update from the Chief Executive
October has seen us hit the ground running in our work to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care.
As mentioned in our last bulletin, the two recommendations directly relating to the Education Standard Board (ESB) are:
- Recommendation 7: to Improve the function of the ESB.
- Recommendation 30: a focus on improving services that are ‘Working Towards’ the National Quality Standard.
With our additional state government funding, we have begun work on boosting staffing levels to ensure we assess and rate early childhood education and care services every three years, in line with the national average.
Another focus of our efforts has been to work closely with service providers, to continue to educate and support them in their quest for continuous improvement.
One area, which serves as both an example and a handy reminder, is ensuring our applications process is efficient. In April we distributed FAQs in an effort to boost the standard of applications to the ESB, which range from new service applications, through waivers, to discontinuing services, to name a few examples.
Our recent data indicates we are still receiving large numbers of incomplete applications. If information is missing, the application cannot be validated or assessed. Legislated timeframes do not begin until all the prescribed information is received.
Next Monday 23 October we will present the first in a series of educative webinars, co-presented with ACECQA, focused on the legislative changes to the National Quality Framework which came into effect earlier this month. Limited spaces are available so I encourage you to register soon.
Over the past month I have engaged with providers, educators, early childhood teachers, directors and others at various events. These included the Early Childhood Australia Conference and a preschool leaders’ meeting hosted by the Preschool Directors Association. Next month I look forward to speaking with members of Australian Childcare Alliance and members of the Association of Independent Schools OSHC and ELC networks.
These events and my conversations with you clearly demonstrate to me the commitment you all bring to delivering quality early childhood education and care services to improve outcomes for children. I look forward to continuing to work together with you to support continuous improvement of education services and standards of competence and conduct by providers.
If you would like to share your experiences, please email me on ESB.ChiefExecutive@sa.gov.au.
I look forward to providing further updates next month.