ACECQA, the National Quality Framework and the NSW Regulator
The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) oversees the national implementation of the NQF, which is the application of the National Law and Regulations. The NQF covers the following areas:
- Approval for providers of education and care services
- Assessment and rating systems
- Offences, obligations and compliance
- Review processes
- Roles of regulatory authorities
- Records & privacy
- Transitional arrangements.
In NSW, the regulator for all approved ECEC services is the Department of Education's Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate (ECECD). In order to operate an ECEC service approved under the NQF, several regulatory approvals are required, including Provider Approval and Service Approval. The ECECD only accepts online applications for approvals and notifications which are submitted through ACECQA’s National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS).
All NQF services should ensure they are up to date with recent changes to NQF, which came into effect on 1 October 2017. The changes include the approved number of children to form a condition of service, removing supervisor certificates, changes to incident and allegation notification, complaint notification, definitions of serious incident and emergency and workforce issues – leave periods. A summary of the changes is available here, with more detail available through ACECQA.