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The Australian, state and territory education Ministers have agreed to changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF) following a review of the National Partnership on the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care (NP NQA).
The review commenced in 2014 to assess whether the objectives and outcomes of the NQF are being met in the most efficient and effective way with a goal of improving the quality of early childhood education and care in Australia.
Overall the NP NQA review found the NQF is an important and successful reform with strong stakeholder support for quality improvements to support children's learning and development.
After five years of operation, some technical and operational improvements can be made to the NQF to promote national consistency and streamline and reduce regulatory burden.
These changes will also recognise the evolving nature of the sector and seek to address new challenges by maintaining a key focus on quality outcomes for all children, particularly in relation to health, safety and wellbeing.
Changes to the NQF through legislation will commence from 1 October 2017 in Queensland with a revised National Quality Standard to be introduced on 1 February 2018, subject to the passage of legislation.
All governments and the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) are committed to supporting the early childhood education and care sector to understand and prepare for these changes prior to implementation.
More information and guidance will be released over the coming months.
The Early Years Count website is an online resource with information about brain development and activities and tips for parents to support their children's early learning and development.
Research shows 90 per cent of a child's brain development occurs within the first five years of life and by the age of three, a child's brain has more connections than at any other time in their life.
So it's never too early for parents to start communicating with their children, who learn every day through new experiences.
The website provides do-it-yourself activities and tips for encouraging their children to learn through the five ways critical to early learning and development. These include talking with and listening to children, reading and counting, caring for and encouraging children and playing with them so they can explore and express ideas.
Parents can find specific information about activities relevant to them and their families by entering their child's age, geographical location and activity preferences into a content filter.
For more information visit
Certain early childhood professionals may become mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse after the Queensland Government accepted recommendations made in a Queensland Law Reform Commission review.
New information is now available on the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services website following the Queensland Government acceptance of recommendations by the Queensland Law Reform Commission regarding mandatory reporting for early childhood professionals.
In the Review of the Child Protection Mandatory Reporting Laws for the Early Childhood Education and Care Sector, the commission said early childhood professionals were uniquely placed to observe child protection concerns.
It has recommended mandatory reporting laws be expanded to the early childhood sector and that certain professionals become mandatory reporters.
The Department of Education and Training will continue to work with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and the sector to ensure any changes for early childhood professionals are practical and supported by training and resources.
For more information visit the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services website.
Families in Barcaldine and Blackall can now access quality early childhood education and care and other family support services with new integrated early years services.
The new services provide each community with their first ever long day care program, enabling parents to pursue work and study opportunities more easily.
Operated by Lady Gowrie, the services also offer a kindergarten program and outside school hours care.
The new services are part of the State Government's commitment to provide children and families throughout Queensland with quality, integrated early education, and other family support services from the one location.
A secure online portal provides Approved Providers with a convenient way to advise the Regulatory Authority of any service closures due to a natural disaster.
The ECEC Emergency Closure portal is available 24 hours a day from a computer, smart phone or tablet.
In a few clicks, Approved Providers can comply with the legislative requirements under the National Law to notify the Regulatory Authority within 24 hours of any incident that requires them to close a service.
Importantly, any closures logged through the portal are also displayed on the Department of Education and Training's Natural disasters and closed education facilities website to ensure families and the broader community have 'real time' information regarding service closures.
Approved Providers can continue to notify the Regulatory Authority through the current process of contacting their local regional office and emailing email@example.com.
National registers of approved providers, services and certified supervisors are available on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority's (ACECQA) website .
While ACECQA and the department have taken steps to ensure details in the registers are accurate, it is important approved providers and services regularly check their information.
You can update your details including email, phone number and postal address on ACECQA's National Quality Agenda IT system .
To update some items such as the number of approved places at your service or the conditions on your approval you must submit an application to the department to amend your service approval.
For information, visit ACECQA's website .
This page was last reviewed on 13 Feb 2017 at 01:25PM
Make your child's early years count