21 July 2017

Not kidding around- Child care centres face new regulatory changes

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Child care centres must operate under some of the most stringent regulations applicable to any sector, from the ratio of staff to children and the size of the rooms, to the meals served and play equipment used.

Despite these already strict regulations, the sector faces changes to the National Quality Standards, being implemented by ACECQA in October this year around Australia, with the exception of Western Australia who will undergo the changes in February 2018.

 Changes to the NQS include:

·         The requirement of approved providers of family day care services to hold a service approval in each jurisdiction where their educators operate
·         Approved providers of family day care services must ensure a minimum family day care coordinator to educator ratio of:
o   1:15 for the first 12 months of operation and at any other time at the discretion of the regulatory authority
o   1:25 after the first 12 months of operation.
·         The National Regulations to clarify that a risk assessment must be completed for all regular outings at least once a year

As demand for child care services grows and the industry booms, the regulations tighten to ensure the highest quality of services are provided to future generations.

Sydney’s inner west alone has a projected demand of 518 extra places in the Marrickville, Dulwich Hill and Sydenham areas as development occurs over the next few years.

Despite the growing demand for child care services, it is a complex sector to navigate and survive. Several providers including ABC Learning have already been forced to close their doors having become “unviable”.

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire Dowler is a Senior Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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