updated 12 May 2020
- The ECU are working collaboratively with the early childhood education and care sector on how we can support and provide information to providers and services at this time of uncertainty and change.
- The ECU are in regular contact with all providers and services in the state to see what support they need to operate a safe and viable service while ensuring children’s safety and wellbeing a priority. We are consulting with our Stakeholder Reference Group, peak bodies and colleagues in other government agencies. We are decreasing regulatory burden and working to support providers and services that may be managing challenging issues and risks due to COVID-19.
- In line with other Regulatory Authorities and as noted by the Education Council, the Education and Care Unit is:
- waiving fees and charges for COVID-19 related applications and waivers;
- fast-tracking qualification waivers;
- suspending assessment and rating; and
- making rapid operational adjustments, as required.
- The Education and Care Unit will continue to apply child safety as the primary consideration in regulatory decisions and fast-tracking qualification and operational requirement waivers is subject to there being no increased risk to the safety of children and staff.
- We are taking proactive measures and will be flexible in how we interact with providers and services. This includes temporarily suspending Assessment and Rating and monitoring visits to services. We will only visit services in person in situations where there is an urgent need for us to do so based on risk. The ECU will notify services when Assessment and Rating and monitoring visits will resume. Where we can do our work by calling or emailing providers and services we will, and our staff will be available if you have any questions.
- We are also reviewing communications, resources and templates sent to schools by the Department of Education to support schools to respond to COVID-19. The ECU will adapt and provide relevant information and resources to providers and services where those tools may be useful.
Ratio and Qualification Requirements
- If educators are absent from work due to COVID-19 and this impacts on the approved provider’s ability to meet regulatory requirements such as ratio or qualification requirements, approved providers can apply for a temporary waiver by submitting an application to the ECU using the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS).
- The ECU will consider waiver applications on a case-by-case basis including any measures the approved provider is taking or intends to take to protect the well-being of children if the waiver is approved. The ECU will waive fees for waiver applications that are related to COVID-19.
Keeping in contact with the ECU
- We will continue to keep you updated, but please be in touch with any questions or concerns and we will try to help you resolve issues arising during this pandemic. We are all in this together and hope that by proactive action we can help to minimise the spread through the community with minimum disruption to children.
If you have any questions, please contact the ECU on 6165 5425 or via email@example.com or call your point of contact authorised officer directly.