September update from the Chief Executive

Kerry Leaver, Chief Executive and Registrar, Education Standards Board

September update from the Chief Executive

27 September 2023

Since I last wrote to you, the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care released its final report.

The Royal Commission presented an excellent opportunity for the Education Standards Board to reflect and evaluate how regulation of early childhood services is performing in South Australia, and the Royal Commission has endorsed and acknowledged the ESB's ongoing efforts to drive reform.

Of the 43 recommendations, two directly relate to the Education Standards Board:

  • Recommendation 7: Improving the functioning of the Education Standards Board
  • Recommendation 30: A focus on improving services that are ‘Working Towards’ the National Quality Standard

The government has accepted the recommendation seven and increased resourcing to the Education Standards Board to ensure we assess and rate services every three years (in line with the national average).

This additional funding to help us build capacity and capability and improve assessment and rating cycle timeframes recognises our critical role in supporting and driving continuous improvement in the delivery of early childhood services.

We now have an ambitious goal to assess and rate to 2018 standards over 600 services currently rated against 2012 standards. This level of reform will require changes to our structure and I will provide detail about this in the coming months.

While the safety, health and wellbeing of children at early childhood and care services remains the ESB's primary concern, there is an opportunity for us to work more closely with services to support their continuous improvement and voluntary compliance with the National Quality Standard.

This is a pivotal moment for the ESB. We are committed to acting quickly and cohesively to improve our practice.

In last month's bulletin, I outlined the action steps we have taken so far to strengthen our regulatory capability. You can learn more here.

I am pleased to announce upcoming training we will deliver in collaboration with ACECQA. There will be two educative webinars in October and November, and I highly encourage you to join one or both if you are able.

I am delighted to co-host the first webinar on Monday 23 October, which will be about legislative reforms coming into effect in October. The second webinar focuses on assessments and ratings and will be co-hosted by Sean Heffernan, Director, Regulatory Practice and Operations, Early Childhood Services at the Education Standards Board, and ACECQA, on Thursday 9 November.

Our Quality Assurance team has recently developed a suite of new articles which will be introduced over the coming months. The first of the series is ‘Providing quality feedback on your Assessment and Rating draft report', which aims to provide guidance on how to provide quality feedback to the ESB on your assessment and rating draft report. The purpose of the article is to articulate the stages involved in the feedback process, clarify what good evidence looks like and provide guidance on completing the ACECQA Assessment and Rating draft report feedback template. I urge you to please read the article carefully and share it with your early childhood peers.

I look forward to sharing the other new articles with you in the coming months, and I hope to see you in the webinars.

If you would like to share your experiences, please email me on

I look forward to providing further updates next month.

Yours sincerely,

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