Home' Belonging Early Years Journal : Vol 6 No 1 Contents V6N12017 3
President ’s report
ACA’s focus on the benefits of early learning and the importance
of school readiness has always clashed with the current
government’s view that this childcare reform is only about
ensuring that parents with young children can get back to work
We are disappointed that the significant benefits children experience
from attending quality ECEC services, which in turn flows on to their
family and the wider community, have not been recognised.
As all ECEC service providers know, these benefits include
better intellectual development and higher levels of concentration,
sociability and independence. Children who enjoy quality ECEC
are likely to be well socialised, confident, inquisitive about the
world, accepting of diversity, resilient to managing challenges and
also to be lifelong learners.
ACA cannot accept the actions of the government and
crossbench senators in ignoring the plight of these families in
their backroom negotiations. Standing up for these children, as
well as those from low-income families, is a cause that ACA will
continue to fight for.
Now that the Jobs for Families package has been passed through
the Senate, our sector will need to prepare for the transition period.
As a service provider, you will be challenged with a new set of
processes and government software, and your families will need
to understand how the new package will affect their rebates.
ACA is acutely aware of the need for clear guidance during the
transition period, which can in turn be passed on to parents or
guardians. These changes will affect more than 17,000 service
providers across Australia and more than 1.2 million families with
children attending early learning services.
We will remain engaged with the relevant government
departments during the rollout of the new Family Assistance
regime, to keep you and your families informed of how it will affect
your services and what is required of your business under the
We are hoping that the government and relevant departments will
better heed the advice of the sector through the implementation
process over the coming months.
On a positive note, the introduction of amendments to the
National Quality Framework (NQF), albeit three years later than
anticipated, is a marker of ACA’s success. These are mostly
practical changes that will simplify the administration of the
regulations in your delivery of ECEC services. ACA played a key
role in the review of the NQF, providing feedback on behalf of our
members. During our engagement with government, ACA made
clear that there are some technical and operational elements in
need of improvement, to reduce red tape and ensure positive
practical outcomes for ECEC services.
Thanks again to those of you who completed our recent survey
about the use of AUSkey and the Inclusion Support Portal.
Your valuable feedback has allowed us to identify specific
problems within the application process, and raise these with the
Department of Education and Training (DET)’s Inclusion Support
team. DET has agreed to an ongoing dialogue with ACA to
ensure that identified issues are addressed at the technical end,
as well as via their guidance materials.
ACA will continue to advocate effectively for its members to
ensure better outcomes wherever possible, and we will continue
to assess the practical implication of the NQF changes as they
are introduced. Over the coming months, we will keep you
updated with additional information, guidance and resources as
they become available.
On the industrial relations front, ACA continues to work on
behalf of members in relation to the Equal Remuneration
Order (ERO) case, which was filed in 2013 by United Voice (UV)
and the Australian Education Union (AEU), and the four-year
review of the Children’s Services Award, and the Educational
Services (Teachers) Award.
We are engaging regularly with Australian Business Lawyers
Associates (ABLA) to provide direction and keep matters
progressing. We will keep members updated as determinations
Finally, you may have noticed that our magazine has undergone
a makeover. The new look and feel, and the format changes,
aim to make Belonging Early Years Journal ’ s appearance more
consistent with the ACA’s other communications materials. We
also hope that the information we provide will be easier to read.
As always, we welcome your feedback on these changes.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members for
your ongoing engagement with ACA, whether at our events, via
our surveys, through social media or engaging with our staff.
We look forward to continuing our productive relationships with
members over the course of the coming year.
ACA’s focus on the
benefits of early
learning and the
impor tance of school
readiness has always
clashed with the
view that this childcare
reform is only about
ensuring that parents
with young children
can get back to
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