Educator to Child Ratio Requirements Clarified


Regulations now include 'Suitably qualified persons’ when calculating educator child ratios in centre-based services under the National Quality Framework.

This training brochure applies to all organisations that provide education and care services under the Education and Care Services National Law.

Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2019 No 631 (NSW)

Relevant provisions of the Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2019 No 631 (NSW) (the Amending Regulations) commenced on 31 December 2019, amending the Education and Care Services National Regulations (the Regulations).

The Amending Regulations have clarified for regulations 122 and 123 that suitably qualified persons are included in educator to child ratios for centre-based services.

Regulation 126 of the Regulations (Centre-based services – general educator qualifications) now additionally provides that where under regulations 129 – 135 a second early childhood teacher or suitably qualified person is required to be in attendance at a centre-based service, that person, or a suitably qualified person is to be counted as meeting the qualification requirements under regulation 126. Additionally, regulation 126 provides that an early childhood teacher or a suitably qualified person who is working directly with children can be included in determining the number of educators who have an approved diploma level education and care qualification.

Regulation 132 of the Regulations (Illness or absence of early childhood teacher or suitably qualified person) has been amended to clarify that an early childhood teacher or second early childhood teacher (or a suitably qualified person) required to be in attendance at a centre-based service may be replaced for a maximum of 60 days in any 12-month period. Where the second early childhood teacher or suitably qualified person is absent due to short-term illness, a person who holds an approved diploma level education and care qualification or a qualification in primary teaching may be taken to be a second early childhood teacher or suitably qualified person for the purposes of regulation 133 or 134.

Regulation 152 of the Regulations has been amended to now also provide that an approved provider of a centre-based service for 60 or more pre-school age children or under is required to keep an attendance record of each early childhood teacher and each suitably qualified person at the service.

Subscribers should note that the transition period under regulation 140 of the Regulations (Centre-based services in remote and very remote areas – qualifications for educators) has been extended until 31 December 2021 for Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, and to 31 December 2023 for Western Australia.

The transition period under regulation 242 of the Regulations (Persons taken to be early childhood teachers) has also been extended until 21 December 2021 for the ACT, NSW, Queensland, SA and Tasmania, and until 31 December 2023 for NT and WA.

Conclusion

Subscribers should update their Human Resources policies to ensure that staffing ratios are maintained and attendance records are kept as outlined above and covered in detail in the NATIONAL – Education and Care Services topic.

Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au