Australian Childcare Alliance South Australia (ACA SA) Members understand that the provision of childcare services within a community is an essential support for families to participate in the workforce, to study or to access respite and support.
Our centres are approved services. This means they have a license to operate, are staffed with qualified and trained staff and meet obligations under regulatory standards in health, safety and education of young children. Licenses are granted through the Education and Early Childhood Services Registration Board of SA.
The Australian Government and all state and territory governments have introduced a new National Quality Framework (NQF) system. The Framework includes a new National Regulatory System aimed at increasing national consistency of quality service delivery.
The new system includes a new National Quality Standard to ensure high quality and consistent early childhood education and care across Australia. The Standard covers 7 key areas and aims to provide clarity about what is expected in the provision of quality education and care in Australia.
Titles used to identify services vary such as long day care, childcare, children's centre, preschool, kindergarten, early learning centre and so on but you can be assured they all meet the minimum state and federal requirements with each centre providing their own unique aspects of services.
They offer a variety of services to babies, toddlers, preschool and school children including full-time and part-time care for children aged 6 weeks to school age, vacation care and before and after hours school care.
Financial assistance is provided to families from the Commonwealth Government to assist with the cost of accessing childcare services. More information can be obtained by visiting the website of the Family Assistance Office www.familyassist.gov.au
Childcare Benefit reduces the total costs of your weekly fees. It is available to parents, foster parents and grandparents with children in their care who attend an approved service. Families have a number of obligations they must meet to access the Childcare Benefit such as income assessment.
The Childcare Rebate is a financial assistance to families in reducing the out of pocket expense for childcare up to the annual cap if you are using approved childcare for work, study or training. The Childcare Rebate is capped and adjusted annually.
Jobs, Education and Training (JET)
JET is additional assistance if you are a parent on an income support payment and are currently looking for work, undertaking studies or commencing a job. It covers most of the childcare costs.
In South Australia all services covered by the National Quality Framework which are Centre Based Long Day Care, Out of School Hours Care, Government and non-Government preschools and Family Day Care, are regulated by the newly formed Education and Early Childhood Services Registration and Standards Board of South Australia (EECSRSB) and will need to meet the requirements of the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 which includes new Education and Care Services National Regulations.
The new National Quality Framework that came into effect from 1 January 2012 requires that all states and territories regulate early childhood education and care and school age care services covered by the Framework. A national body called the Australian Children's Education and Care QualityAuthority (ACECQA) has the role of guiding implementation and management of the National Quality Framework and ensuring national consistency.
The 7 quality areas covered by the National Quality Standard are;
- Educational program and practice
- Children's health and safety
- Physical environments
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Leadership and service management
Each centre will individualise their approach to implementing a rich program for the children in their service. Such programs will provide many opportunities for children to engage in social and learning experiences.
All centres are required to comply with regulations in relation to child :staff ratios and in relation to the number of qualified (Diploma and above) and untrained staff (Certificate level) required for each group. Staff are professional in their approach to their job of providing for the emotional, physical, social, intellectual and creative development of children in their care.
They maintain records on each child's development and communicate regularly with parents and families.
Centres strive hard to provide safe, secure and nurturing environments for children. To provide environments that cater to each child's individual needs, builds their self-esteem, fosters social interactions and supports the child and family to feel respected and involved in their child's care.