Early Childhood Education
The Department, through the Early Childhood Education Directorate, administers several programs and funding streams designed to meet the goals of the National Partnership Agreements on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education and the National Quality Agenda.
The Directorate regulates the operation of approximately 5,500 ECE services for children from birth to school age across the state.
NSW 2017/18 Budget: Start Strong Funding extended
June 9, 2017
To ensure affordability is not a barrier for families with young children, the NSW Government has allocated an additional $217 million in funding over four years to 2021 to support universal access to early childhood education.
This builds on the success of the Government's Start Strong initiative, announced in 2016.
The Start Strong reforms link needs-based funding to 600 hours of enrolment in quality early childhood education in the year before school, aiming to encourage increased levels of participation by all eligible children.
Through Start Strong, funding is targeted to the children who need it most, across the community preschool and long day care sectors. The extended program also ensures Aboriginal and disadvantaged children will continue to receive additional support for two years in the year before school.
The NSW Government's 2017-18 budget ensures that every child in NSW participates in a quality early childhood education program in the year before school.
We know investing in the early years is one of the most important actions governments can take to build a more prosperous future for our society.Read the media release for more information.
Fostering Effective Early Learning: Literature Review
May 26, 2017
Available evidence, both locally and internationally, shows that access to quality early childhood education is consistently a major factor influencing developmental, learning and social abilities. The quality of interactions with educators, including their sensitivity, responsiveness and relationships with the children all have a significant impact.
The Fostering Effective Early Learning Study, launched by the NSW Government in late 2015, has delivered a Literature Review highlighting the importance of quality teaching practice in early childhood education and outlining the key elements of the best practice professional development used in the Study.
The Fostering Effective Early Learning Study is a world-first to explore how specific early childhood teaching practices improve a child's learning outcomes. It is led by the University of Wollongong's specialist research centre Early Start and esteemed researcher Professor Iram Siraj from the University of London. Initial findings are due later this year.
Measles outbreak in western Sydney
April 6, 2017
NSW Health has advised the department of a measles outbreak in south western and western Sydney, with at least nine people having acquired the disease in the region during March 2017, including infants and children.
What to do
- Read NSW Health's alert on the measles outbreak in the region
- Inform parents and carers of the current measles outbreak, and refer them to NSW Health's website for more information.
For more information
Starting in 2017, community preschools across the state who enrol children for at least 600 hours in the year before school will receive increased subsidies from the NSW Government.
Under the Start Strong program, these new preschool funding rates will go to a maximum of $6,600 for the most disadvantaged children per year. These rate increases are in addition to the NSW Government's $150 million Preschool Funding Model introduced in 2014, which supports the important role community preschools play in supporting children's learning and development in the year before school.
For more information go to Start Strong.
Changes to NQF from October 2017
The NQA Review commenced in 2014 to determine if the goals of the NQF to improve the quality of education and care in Australia are being met in the most efficient and effective way.
Proposed options for changes to the NQF were tested with the sector, families and communities. Overall the review found the NQF is an important and successful reform with strong stakeholder support, and some technical and operational improvements are required after five years of operation.
Urgent recall - EpiPens
March 21, 2017
The Department of Education has been informed of an urgent recall of EpiPens, which are used for the treatment of allergic emergencies (anaphylaxis).
Visit TGA's website for more information on the recall, and how to return and exchange any affected EpiPens: http://www.tga.gov.au/alert/epipen-300-microgram-adrenaline-injection-syringe-auto-injector
What to do
- Check whether the EpiPens at your early childhood centre are from the recalled batches.
- Inform parents and carers of this recall, and encourage them to check whether EpiPens in their homes are part of the recall.
- Check the TGA website regularly for any additional information
New NQS rating logos
New logos have recently been designed by ACECQA, in collaboration with State and Territory regulatory authorities and the Australian Government, to support services to promote their overall service rating to families and the community. Use or display of the logos is voluntary and does not replace the ratings certificate that all assessed and rated services must display.
Services awarded an overall rating of Working Towards, Meeting or Exceeding the National Quality Standard (NQS) can request their NQS rating logo through the national registers located on the ACECQA website.
The quality ratings on the national registers will update approximately two weeks after the service receives its final assessment and rating report. This is to allow for the 14 day period in which a review of the quality ratings can be requested. The service's rating logo will be made available at this time.
It is an offence under the Education and Care Services National Regulations to falsely represent a services NQS rating. If you have any questions about the usage of the NQS rating logos, please contact ACECQA.
To find out more information about the new NQS rating logos, please visit the ACECQA website.
Family Day Care Fact Sheets Now Available in Community Languages
Family Day Care approved providers and educators can now access a series of fact sheets in community languages provided by the Commonwealth Department of Education. These facts sheets assist individuals to understand their responsibilities and obligations as a family day care provider and/or educator, how to comply with family assistance law and provide information on where to go for support or further information.
The eleven community languages include Amharic, Arabic, Assyrian, Dari, Dinka, French, Hazaragi, Nuer, Somali, Sudanese, and Swahili. These are now available from the Commonwealth Department of Education's website.
Preschool Disability Support Program for 2016
The Department of Education and Northcott are streamlining and refining the application process for the Preschool Disability Support Program (PDSP) for 2016.
The application process will be clearer, simpler and more efficient. Applications will be through two funding rounds for 2016:
- Main round applications will open on 12 October 2015 and close on 06 November 2015 and be made through the PDSP portal.
- Second round applications will open on 25 April 2016 and close on 20 May 2016 through the PDSP portal.
- For any child to be eligible for funding in 2016, an application must be submitted in either October 2015 or April 2016, regardless of whether they are currently receiving PDSP funding or not.
Mandatory reporting reminder
Child protection training reminder
This site uses Google Translate, a free language translation service, as an aid. Please note translation accuracy will vary across languages.
- Guide to the National Law and National Regulations
- Education and Care Services National Regulations
- Children (Education and Care Services National Law Application) Act 2010
- ACECQA website - the national authority for early childhood education and care
- Assessment and rating information
- DEC-approved child protection courses