Western Australia is now aligned to new national quality standards for education and care services, designed to improve learning and developmental outcomes for children in childcare.
Community Services Minister Robyn McSweeney said with the passing of the Education and Care Services National Law (WA) Act 2012 in State Parliament earlier this year, children in WA childcare centres would have better educational and care opportunities.
“Under the new National Quality Framework (NQF), families will for the first time know the quality of childcare their children are receiving,” Mrs McSweeney said.
“The State Government understands how critical the early years are in shaping a child’s learning and development and is committed to supporting our children’s future by ensuring high standards of education and care.”
The legislation was implemented this month and applies to centre-based long day care, family day care, outside school hours’ care and occasional care services.
The new NQF requires more staff to have diploma qualifications so they can better guide children’s development and learning and are planned to be phased in over time.
Every education and care service will be assessed and receive a rating of how well it is meeting the national quality standards.
“There has been a long lead time for these reforms and consultation with the sector started as far back as December 2010,” the Minister said.
“The Government will continue to work with the education and care sector to ensure successful implementation of this important legislation shaping our children’s future.”
Last week the Minister met with higher education providers to discuss early childhood education teacher qualifications.
NQF for Early Childhood Education and Care agreed to by all States/Territories
Aims to ensure high quality early childhood education and care
WA’s newly established Education and Care Regulatory Unit will assess, rate and monitor childcare providers in accordance with the new standards
In WA, 891 individual, private and community-based childcare services and 821 family day carers provide 50,768 licensed childcare places, caring for about 70,000 children
Minister’s office - 6552 6500
Photo caption (left to right): ECU’s School of Psychology and Social Science Dr Anna Targowska; Curtin University’s Early Childhood Education course co-ordinator Sharon Davies; Community Services Minister Robyn McSweeney; Notre Dame’s Early Childhood and Care co-ordinator Christine McGunnigle; ECU’s School of Education Associate Professor Carmel Maloney; and Murdoch University’s School of Education Dr Sandra Hesterman