Early childhood education & care
The department regulates the operation of early childhood education and care services for children from birth to school age. The department also provides some funding to education and care services.
Release of Productivity Commission draft report
The Productivity Commission has released the draft report of its Inquiry into Childcare and Early Learning and will be running public hearings including in Port Macquarie (11 August) and Sydney (14 and 15 August). For more information and to download a copy of the report, visit the Productivity Commission website.
Issue 13 of the Early Childhood Extra newsletter out now
In this issue, we provide you with information on our cluster managment trial, our community preschool operational support program, the ECEC Preschool Census and payments to funded services. We congratulate Kindamindi Preschool on being awarded an Excellent rating and include reminders about annual service fees, the phase out of paper processing and rules for advertising. To view this issue and all previous issues of the newsletter visit the Early Childhood Extra newsletter page on our site.
ECECD is now advertising for organisations to become cluster managers as part of a two year trial. This Cluster Management Trial will be implemented in two stages and will have a more flexible approach to allow preschools to negotiate their level of participation in the trial.
Government funded preschool services are required to participate in the ECEC preschool census each year as part of their funding agreement.
ECEC Data Collection Collection Hotline
(available 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday)
1300 951 381
2014/15 annual service fees for long day care, preschools, family day care and outside school hours care services were due on 30 June 2014. Thank you to the 86% of approved providers that have now paid. For providers that have not paid, late fees now apply. Please refer to your invoice or visit our Annual Service Fees page for more information.
A number of amendments to the National Regulations (the Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2013) (Amendment Regulation) will come into effect on 1 June 2014.
The amendments are primarily aimed at reducing the regulatory burden on providers and services. Detailed information on the changes is available from the ACECQA website. This information includes a NSW specific information sheet.
You can also download the entire amended regulations from the NSW Legislation website.
Family Day Care information seminar
The next information seminar for providers or provider applicants who have submitted or are intending to submit an application to operate a Family Day Care service in NSW will be on 20 August. Attendance numbers are limited. To find out more or to register your interest, please contact 1800 619 113.
Supporting Children with Additional Needs (SCAN)
The aim of the SCAN Program is to enable preschools to better include children with additional needs within the educational and physical provisions of the preschool. In 2014, the program continues to operate through the same eight SCAN organisations as previously.
The current arrangements for the Intervention Support Program have been retained in 2014. The program provides grants for programs designed to support learning and educational development opportunities for children with disability who are below school age and attending not-for-profit early childhood services.
The NSW Minister for Education has announced a new funding model for community preschools.
Based on the recommendations of the Brennan Review, the new model puts more money into the sector than ever before and introduces a needs-based funding system so more children in the year before school access early childhood education. The new arrangements include:
- Higher base funding rates
- Additional equity funding
- Service loadings for remote and outer regional services
- Loadings for English language needs
- Separate contracts for mobile services that recognise their unique service
The new Preschool Funding Model came into effect in January 2014.
Stay on top of infectious diseases in your service
All early childhood staff have an important role to play in preventing the spread of illness and infectious disease.
Download 'Staying Healthy - preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services' for recommendations on preventing infection, monitoring illness in children, personal hygiene and immunisation.
Services should also check in regularly with the NSW Health media centre for updates on issues that may impact on young children.
Changes to Working with Children Check requirements
From 31 March 2014, adults living in homes where either a home based education and care service or a family day care service is being provided must obtain a Working with children check (WWCC). The WWCC is administered by the NSW Office of the Children's Guardian and is a pre-requisite for anyone in child-related work.
Electronic payments reminder to services and providers
Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate now only accepts application fee payments by credit card or debit card, regardless of whether the application is for a new or existing provider or service. Any payments made by cheque or money order will not be processed by the Directorate. These changes are part of a whole-of-government initiative to move to electronic payments for regulatory services.
Services that are unsure about how to make the change to debit or credit card payments should contact their financial institution to discuss their options. A re-loadable prepaid card from Australia Post is another alternative services may wish to consider. Read more about annual service fees
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