Early childhood education & care

The department, through the Early Childhood Education & Care Directorate, 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.


Minister Piccoli launches Transition to School Statement

The Minister for Education has announced the release of the NSW Transition to School Statement, a new tool designed to support children moving from early childhood education to formal schooling.  To support implementation of the Statement, the Directorate has developed information sheets for early childhood education and care services, families and schools. 

 


Issue 14 of the Early Childhood Extra newsletter out now

In this issue, we provide information about the new Transition to School Statement, the Preschool Disability Support Program and the Anaphylaxis Guidelines as well as updates on Operational Support and the Productivity Commission Inquiry.  We also highlight some examples of quality practice in three services (two preschools and an OSHC) and provide details of training and professional development opportunities.  


New Anaphylaxis Guidelines

ECECD has published new Anaphylaxis Guidelines for Early Childhood Education and Care Services. 

 


Preschool Disability Support Program

 

Preschool Disability Support Program (PDSP) supports the inclusion of children with disability in NSW community preschools.

This new program includes targeted funding for individual children and a new universal disability loading that will be provided to all community preschools, based on the total number of children included in the Community Preschool Funding Model.

The PDSP replaces the Supporting Children with Additional Needs (SCAN) Program and Intervention Support Program (ISP) for community preschools. ISP is still applicable for long day care and early childhood intervention services.


Release of Productivity Commission draft report

The Productivity Commission has released the draft report of its Inquiry into Childcare and Early Learning.  The due date for submissions is 5 September 2014.  For more information and to download a copy of the report, visit the Productivity Commission website


Operational Support Program to help community preschools

ECECD is establishing an operational support program to assist community preschools, particularly those that have been identified as requiring additional assistance with their operations.  This support program is designed to help preschools adjust to the new Preschool Funding Model, and to build their capacity as sustainable organisations. 


Cluster management

The competitive application process for the Cluster Management Trial has now closed and applications are being evaluated. Once the evaluation process is completed, cluster managers will begin recruiting preschools. Preschools are strongly encouraged to participate in the two year trial to explore the opportunities to support good governance, service delivery and professional development in the community preschool sector.


Reminder: overdue annual service fees

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. 


National Regulations

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 22 October.  Attendance numbers are limited. To find out more or to register your interest, please contact 1800 619 113.


Early Childhood Teacher doing art

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.

Intervention Support Program

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.

In 2015 the department's Intervention Support Program (ISP) will continue to be available for a range of education providers across NSW. However, for community-based preschools, the Preschool Disability Support Program (PDSP) replaces the ISP.  Community-based preschools can no longer apply for ISP funding. For all other early childhood education services ISP eligibility, application requirements, and child-based funding remains the same.


New Community Preschool Funding

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.

Find out more about the Community Preschool Funding model here


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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Newsletter

The Early Childhood Extra looks at a range of issues relevant to the early childhood sector in NSW.  To view the current and previous issues of the newsletter or to subscribe, visit our Early Childhood Extra page.