In the last week of August 2016 Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham demanded that the NSW Government take action to make childcare centres comply with the national quality standards, originally set out 4 years prior, in 2012.
He stated that, “Australian families reasonably expect that the centre their child attends meets nationally agreed standards.”
Childcare fees in NSW have increased by 6% a year since the federal, state and territory governments set the strict new standards, which do not seem to have been met with much regard by many childcare services.
In fact ¼ of the very centres who are implementing these price hikes at the promise of the Government quality standards do not meet them. With some of these fee increases reaching six times the level of inflation, it is clearly discerning parents who are suffering financially, while their children are not afforded the quality of care they have paid for.
The National Quality Standard (NQS) brings together the 7 key quality areas that are important to outcomes for children.
- Educational program and practice
- Children’s health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Leadership and service management
The ratings for which are as follows:
- Excellent rating, awarded by ACECQA
- Exceeding National Quality Standard
- Meeting National Quality Standard
- Working Towards National Quality Standard
- Significant Improvement Required
Even though these quality standards were imposed 4 years ago, 1 in 3 of 3,917 centres inspected in NSW have failed to meet the (ACECQA) Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority standards.
Of course, this is not the case with all the preschools and childcare centres tested. At our Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning and Childcare Centres in NSW we are very proud to boast that all the key quality elements of our processes and systems tested by ACECQA thus far meet, or in many cases exceed, the rigorous and exacting standards!
We have several brand new centres that are still waiting to be rated, and we are confident that they too will meet the criteria. With this in mind our parents and their children can rest easy in the knowledge that they are receiving the full quality of care and value that they deserve and expect.
Search individual centre ratings on the ACECQA National Register.