On 1 January 2012, the ‘National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care’ begins. The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authroity is the national body that will oversee the changes to early childhood education and care. Click here for more information on the ACECQA website.
Children’s services span a variety of service provision and job roles and are generally distinguished as centre based care, out of school hours care, family day care and mobile children’s services. Job roles range from care assistant, to team leader, supervisor and manager/director.
Centre based care
The entry level qualification for an authorised supervisor in a centre based children’s service in NSW is CHC50908 Diploma of Children’s Services (Early childhood education and care). This requirement is regulated by NSW Human Services Community Services (formerly DOCS) under the NSW Children and Young People (Care and Protection) Act 1998 and Children’s Services Regulation 2004. To be an authorised supervisor also requires 12 months work experience post qualification.
NSW Child Protection legislation
Child care workers are among the group of people required by law to report to Community Services if they suspect (using their professional judgment and training), on reasonable grounds, that a child or young person is at risk of harm. All children's services staff, in every type of children's service, must be aware of their obligations as mandatory reporters and must have completed the required training. Training for mandatory reporting is aligned to CHCCHILD401A which is a compulsory unit or entry requirement in all children's services qualifications.
View the Child Protection section of this website for further information about new child protection legislation and training.
CHCChild401A Facilitator Training
In 2005, child protection industry representatives developed a program to train facilitators in delivering entry-level child protection training and a set of learning resources to support this training. Two training providers deliver the two day training course to train facilitators in using the industry Identifying and Responding to Children and Young People at Risk of Harm learning resources (see Resources):
The Working With Children Check applies to all people seeking to work in child-related employment. In the Working With Children Check, paid and unpaid employees have to complete a Prohibited Employment Declaration Form. A Background Check is mandatory for paid employees (including contracted trainees) in child-related employment that involves direct and unsupervised contact with children.
The Background Check involves:
Background Checks are conducted by the NSW Commission for Children and Young People and other Approved Screening Agencies. Employers can find the forms for registering with an Approved Screening Agency and getting a background check on a preferred applicant at http://www.kids.nsw.gov.au/kids/check.cfm
National Quality Agenda For Early Childhood Education And Care
The following qualifications will be required by The National Quality Agenda to work in children services:
CHC30712 Certificate III in Children’s Services
CHC50908 Diploma of Children’s Services (Early childhood education and care)
CHC60208 Advanced Diploma of Children’s Services
In NSW, the Diploma may be a pathway to a university early childhood qualification. Application to a university is through UAC and advanced standing arrangements vary across courses and universities.
The following units of competency require that assessment is conducted on the job under the normal workplace conditions for a range of age groups, a range of conditions, over a number of assessment situations:
In NSW, CHCCN305A Provide care for babies is a preferred elective for the completion of the CHC30712 Certificate III in Children's Services. This unit of competency is an entry requirement to the CHC50908 Diploma of Children’s Services (Early childhood education and care). This unit of competency is also a requirement of the NSW Department of Community Services, under the Children's Service Regulation 2004, for empoyment as primary contact staff for children under 2 years of age.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a significant pathway for candidates to attain a national training package qualification. There has been strong support from Commonwealth and NSW governments for RTOs to find innovative and accessible RPL strategies and approaches.
NSW Department of Education and Training is actively assisting this quest for improved RPL pathways and has worked in partnership across many industry sectors to pilot best practice models of recognition and develop supporting resources. Some of the innovation recognition pathways trialled included group, project and workplace based models.
Resources and further details are available at State Training Services
The Vocational Training Board establishes traineeships in NSW. Through a consultative process between peak industry groups, employers and unions, facilitated by the ITAB, qualifications are identified that meet industry requirements and have appropriate award arrangements. This information is submitted to the Board for the declaration of a vocational training order in accordance with NSW legislation.
Traineeship pathways currently available in NSW for Children's Services qualification are:
CHC30712 Certificate III in Children’s Services
(including school based traineeship, see Commissioners Information Bulletin 561 for requirement details)
CHC50908 Diploma of Children’s Services (Early childhood education and care)
The NSW Children’s Services Regulation 2004 states that:
A licensee of a centre based or mobile children’s service must not employ a person as a member of the primary contact staff of the service unless the person is at least 18 years of age.
Children’s Services trainees must be 18 years of age prior to commencing work as a primary contact staff. It is not sufficient or appropriate to be employed in other positions in the service, such as cook or cleaner, as a trainee. Without employment as a primary contact staff, a trainee may not be able to gain the necessary knowledge and skills required in the competency standards for this qualification.
Note to employers: Clause 53 (4) of the Children's Services Regulation 2004 also states that: "in the counting of primary contact staff ........... a majority of the staff counted (and at least 2) are primary contact staff who are not trainees."
Advice from NSW Human Services Community Services- Children's Services Traineeship: Eligilibity for persons aged less than 18 years to be employed as trainees
The Regulation recognises the value of formal and informal qualifications and experience in setting standards for the staffing practices of licensees. The Regulation requires licensees to ensure that all people employed as primary contact staff are at least 18 years of age, possess basic knowledge of child development and have, ‘except in the case of a trainee, experience in caring for children’. It does not exclude staff who are under the age of 18 years from being employed in children’s services or contributing to the care of children but precludes staff who are under 18 years of age from being counted as primary contact staff and therefore being included in staff to child ratios.
The Regulation recognises that trainees are engaged in the provision of children’s services. It defines a trainee as someone who is ‘enrolled at a Registered Training Organisation in a duly accredited child care course under the Vocational and Educational Training Act 2005’.
Consequently a person under 18 years of age can be employed under traineeship arrangements to work directly with children but cannot be counted as primary contact staff toward the staff to child ratios specified by the Regulation for a centre or mobile children’s service.
Advice from NSW Human Services Community Services- Children's Services Regulations 2004, Service Providers and Existing Worker Trainees
NSW Human Services Community Services has provided the following clarification for existing workers in regard to Clause 53(4) which prevents a trainee who is at a service as a formal part of studies at an RTO from being counted as a primary contact staff member for staff:child ratio puposes.
A person who is employed as a primary contact staff member in an NSW children's service and who then goes on to train for the Certificate III or Diploma is not defined as a person who is a trainee at the service as a part of their studies. This is because the person is at the service because he or she was employed as a primary contact staff member, having met all the requirements of Clause 51(2) (including having experience in caring for children).
Therefore, a primary contact staff member who has gone on to undertake a Certificate III or Diploma traineeship is not classed as a trainee for the purposes of Clause 53(4).
CHC30712 Certificate III in Children's Services has been identified as suitable for VET in Schools pathways.
For more information about VET in Schools in NSW visit: https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/vetinschools/
The NSW Board of Studies is responsible for the inclusion of training package qualifications in the HSC studies. Further information is available at www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au .
Child Care NSW
Child Care NSW is the peak that represents 650 Private Child Care Centres.
They work with all people involved in Child Care including the Government both State and Federal Community Child Care and multiple Centre Owners.
Community Childcare Cooperative
Community Child Care Co-operative is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1978 to promote, support and advocate for quality children’s services, meeting the needs of children, their families and the community.
Contact Inc is the program for isolated children, families and communities. Contact Inc serves the community by working directly with parents, carers and agencies, which work in, or are related to, children’s services and programs.
Community Connections Solutions Australia (CCSA) Inc
(formerly Country Children's Services Assoc of NSW)
Community Connections Solutions Australia Inc (CCSA) is a not-for-profit, non-government, membership-based organisation that supports the management of high-quality early childhood services in NSW. They provide information, training and advocacy for the children’s services sector.
Early Childhood Australia
The peak national, non-profit, non-government organisation that acts in the interests of young children aged from birth to eight years of age. They are a knowledge broker linking quality assured early childhood knowledge and information to those who need it.
Indigenous Professional Support Unit
Indigenous Professional Support Unit provides high quality, flexible and innovative professional support, advice and training to staff in eligible Indigenous-run child care services to ensure quality care that is culturally safe, appropriate and meets the needs of Indigenous children, staff and families in NSW and the ACT. The Indigenous Professional Support Unit is an initiative of the Inclusion and Professional Support Program, funded by the Australia Government and managed by Lady Gowrie Child Care Centre, Sydney.
Network of Community Activities
Network was founded in 1974 and acts as a link up for community activities and for Out of School Hours Care Services run by autonomous community groups and local councils. Network is committed to helping promote quality community based services for school aged children, including children with disabilities
Children’s Services Directorate (DOCS)
In NSW, DOCS licenses, monitors compliance with the legislation and funds services for children from birth until start of formal schooling.
NSW Commission for Children and Young People
The Commission is an independent organisation that works with others to make NSW a better place for children and young people. The Commission reports directly to the NSW Parliament, and the Committee on Children and Young People oversees their work.
The Commission administers the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998.
NSW/ACT Independent Education Union
The Independent Education Union represents teachers and support staff in non-government schools, early childhood centres and other non-government educational institutions in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
NSW Local Government Shires Assn
The Local Government Association of NSW and the Shires Association of NSW are the peak industry bodies for Local Government in NSW.
United Services Union
The United Services Union (USU) has approximately 40,000 members and represents local government, energy, airline and clerical and administrative employees throughout NSW.
NSW Community Services and Health ITAB and NSW DET resources include:
All In A Day's Work- Pairing your skills to a qualification
The NSW Community Services and Health ITAB together with the Department of Education and Communities, State Training Services have created a strategy to support the sector transition to the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care. This strategy addresses one aspect of the Framework in particular: addressing the need for all staff to be qualified or working towards a qualification by 2014. In NSW we estimate this will affect roughly 5,800 current workers in Family Day Care and Centre-based services.
Working in partnership with industry representative the CSHITAB has developed a free, e-learning resource for existing workers to enable them to pair the knowledge and skills developed over their years of working in the sector to the Certificate III in Children's Services and/or the Diploma of Children's Services (Early education and care). The Certificate III has two pathways for self-assessment and evidence gathering for family day care and centre based educators.
Our aim with All In a Day's Work, was to develop a straightforward, clean and accessible resource specifically to support existing educators to engage in recognition through understanding its relevancy to their daily job. It also provides information and advice to employers and RTOs to enable them to support the educator through the process.
All in a Day’s Work is found at www.workplaceskills.com.au
This free online short course is for those who need to develop or review policy. It will provide learning to develop the necessary skills to research and consult policy needs, draft policy content, test the draft policy, implement policy and review policy for quality assurance.
This learning is designed to assist in the development of policies for NGO workplaces. While it focuses on child protection policy development and incorporates objectives and requirements detailed in the NSW Keep Them Safe initiative the learning may be applied to any area of policy development in community services work.
There is no time limit to this resource so you are able to work through the learning at your own pace and select topics as many times as you like. The resource contains activities that you may complete as an e-portfolio for assessment by a registered training organisation to achieve the national unit of competency CHCPOL504B Develop and implement a policy.
Available now at www.workplaceskills.com.au
Recognition Model and Resources
For Certificate III and Diploma Children's Services available from Skills On Line
NSW Community Services and Health ITAB resources include:
Child Protection Vignettes
This DVD contains various scenarios that are used as triggers in the training to assist participants to identify the short and long term impact of child abuse and neglect.
Details and order form available at: www.csh-itab.com.au
The Keep Them Safe website provides information for mandatory reporters in government agencies and non-government organisations about the new child protection system, including resources, training materials, and an email newsletter.
Please contact NSW Community Services and Health ITAB regarding training and assessment resource needs for the qualifications or skills sets in this industry sector.
Other resources may be available from industry peaks, Registered Training Organisations and Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council.