Children’s Education and Care Assurance
Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) links providers, service leaders and educators with news, professional learning, resources, and information that supports quality outcomes for children in ACT education and care services (services). This includes the regular release of information regarding the National Quality Framework (NQF) through alerts, notifications, webpage updates, the CECA Update, Talking Quality publication, Sector Meetings and CECA’s Facebook page.
Provider and service contact details recorded in National Quality Assurance Information Technology System (NQAITS) are used to circulate information to the sector.
If you're not receiving these emails, make sure you:
- check your contact details in NQAITS are correct and make any updates if required
- check that your provider and service leader is passing on key information
- check your spam folder
- ensure your mailbox isn't full.
Additional email contacts can be added to CECA’s distribution list by request; please send a request in writing to CECA@act.gov.au to register.
Alerts include urgent information for providers and service leaders and may require immediate action to be taken.
- Alert - Extreme Heat 12 January 2021 (204kb)
- Alert - Supporting effective supervision and transitions 22 January 2021 (203kb)
- Alert - Updated COVID-19 Information 2 February 2021 (199kb)
- Alert - Processing Timeframes for Waivers 12 February 2021 (201kb)
- Alert - Work Health and Safety Resources 15 April 2021 (202kb)
- Alert - Active supervision in education and care services 14 February 2020 (224kb)
- Alert - Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment COVID-19 resources 13 March 2020 (199kb)
- Alert - Updated COVID-19 information for ACT providers and services 13 March 2020 (202kb)
- Alert - Out of School Hours Care in Term 2 17 April 2020 (199kb)
- Alert - Out of School Hours Care in Term 2 22 April 2020 (199kb)
- Alert - Maintaining contact details in the National Quality Agenda IT System 28 July 2020 (199kb)
- Alert - Child safety and Supervision 7 August 2020 (201kb)
- Alert - Potential thunderstorms for the ACT 21 September 2020 (199kb)
- Alert - Gastroenteritis in education and care services 30 October 2020 (199kb)
- Alert - Avoiding Heat Related Stress in Babies and Young Children 8 December 2020 (203kb)
- Alert - Update of approved learning frameworks 17 December 2020 (200kb)
- Alert - Thank you for your continued support 18 December 2020 (1.6Mb)
- Alert - Temporary Waivers 21 December 2020 (200kb)
Notifications include information that may not require a response; however, it is important for providers, service leaders and educators to understand.
- Notification - Important COVID-19 Information for ACT education and care services 4 January 2021 (180kb)
- Notification - Important COVID-19 Information - Greater Brisbane 8 January 2021 (183kb)
- Notification - Important COVID-19 Information - Greater Brisbane 11 January 2021 (182kb)
- Notification - Work Health and Safety 12 January 2021 (182kb)
- Notification - Important COVID-19 Information - NSW Travel restrictions 13 January 2021 (183kb)
- Notification - Important COVID-19 Information - NSW Travel restrictions 22 January 2021 (181kb)
- Notification - Information for families - Choosing the right care for your baby or toddler 5 February 2021 (178kb)
- Notification - Libraries ACT supporting Early Literary 5 February 2021 (414kb)
- Notification - Important COVID-19 Information for ACT education and care services 12 February 2021 (180kb)
- Notification - Libraries ACT International Mother Language Day 22 February 2021 (179kb)
- Notification - COVID-19 Vaccination Program update 9 March 2021 (183kb)
- Notification - National Quality Framework Review Online Information Session 22 March 2021 (124kb)
- Notification - Important COVID-19 Information - Greater Brisbane 31 March 2021 (181kb)
- Notification - Check In CBR app 6 April 2021 (236kb)
- Notification - Infection Control Training 6 April 2021 (180kb)
- Notification - Novel coronavirus information for ACT providers and services 30 January 2020 (177kb)
- Notification - Bushfire, extreme heat, and air quality information for ACT services 30 January 2020 (178kb)
- Notification - COVID-19 information for ACT education and care services 18 March 2020 (178kb)
- Notification - COVID-19 information and resources for ACT education and care services 20 March 2020 (179kb)
- Notification - COVID-19 information for ACT education and care services 25 March 2020 (177kb)
- Notification - COVID-19 information to support ACT education and care services 1 April 2020 (179kb)
- Notification - COVID-19 information to support ACT education and care providers 16 April 2020 (177kb)
- Notification - COVID-19 information for ACT education and care providers 7 May 2020 (181kb)
- Notification - Support, resources and professional learning opportunities for ACT education and care services 8 May 2020 (177kb)
- Notification - Expansion of COVID-19 testing, excursions and mental health and wellbeing resources 21 May 2020 (181kb)
- Notification - CECA’s functions in response to COVID-19 23 June 2020 (177kb)
- Notification - Changes to Working with Vulnerable People registrations during COVID-19 8 October 2020 (177kb)
- Notification - Emergency short message testing 7 October 2020 (367kb)
- Notification - Responding to a case of COVID-19 in ACT education and care services 23 October 2020 (177kb)
- Notification - Easing of COVID restrictions in the ACT 16 December 2020 (164kb)
- Notification - COVID-19 information for ACT education and care services 21 December 2020 (181kb)
CECA Updates link professionals, providers, service leaders and educators with professional learning opportunities, new resources, initiatives, and changes to relevant legislation.
- CECA Update February 2020 (687kb)
- CECA Update April 2020 (204kb)
- CECA Update May 2020 (242kb)
- CECA Update July 2020 (208kb)
- CECA Update September 2020 (231kb)
- CECA Update October 2020 (263kb)
- CECA Update November 2020 (211kb)
- CECA Update December 2020 (247kb)
Lifting Our Game - Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools through Early Childhood Interventions
This independent Review was commissioned by state and territory officials in Australia to complement the Commonwealth Government’s Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools .
The Review was led by Professor Deborah Brennan and Sue Pascoe AM. They were asked to consider and make recommendations on the most effective interventions in early childhood, with a focus on school readiness, improving achievement in schools and future success in employment or further education.
The Review report finds that quality early childhood education makes a significant contribution to achieving educational excellence in schools. There is growing evidence that participation in quality early childhood education improves school readiness and lifts NAPLAN results and PISA scores. Children who participate in high quality early childhood education are more likely to complete year 12 and are less likely to repeat grades or require additional support. High quality early childhood education also has broader impacts; it is linked with higher levels of employment, income and financial security, improved health outcomes and reduced crime. It helps build the skills children will need for the jobs of the future.
The views and opinions expressed in the Review belong to the Review and do not necessarily reflect the views of, or have the endorsement of, any state or territory government, or of any minister, department or official.
Early Childhood Education and Care: Non-Government Centre Based Services in the ACT
In 2016 the Education Directorate undertook a review of the ACT’s early childhood education and care sector. The review was initiated in response to the 2016 Report on Government Services data on affordability of ACT early childhood education and care services and the proportion of fully qualified workers in the sector.
This report incorporates the evidence of the 2016 review, and focuses on quality, accessibility, affordability and capacity of non-government centre based services within the sector.
The evidence in this report is consistent with other reports such as the Lifting our Game – Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools through Early Childhood Interventions.
Early Childhood Education and Care: Non-Government Centre Based Services in the ACT Report 2017 (682kb)
Early Childhood Education and Care: Non-Government Centre Based Services in the ACT Report 2017 (704kb)
Evaluation of Early Childhood Schools and the Koori Preschool Program
In mid-2015, the Directorate engaged a consortium of researchers from the Centre for Educational Research at Western Sydney University to undertake an evaluation of Early Childhood Schools and the Koori Preschool Program.
This followed the 2012 ACT Auditor General’s Performance Audit into Early Childhood Schooling and the Education Directorate’s subsequent implementation of the recommendations of the Auditor General’s Report throughout 2013-14.
The evaluation focuses on the recommendations of the Auditor-General’s Report and references the following key areas:
- integrated service delivery
- high quality programs and practice
- family support and participation
- access for vulnerable and disadvantaged students
- achievement of student outcomes
- sustainability of governance models, leadership structures and resourcing.
Early Childhood Strategy consultation report
The ACT Government consulted with the community between November 2018 and April 2019 to inform the development of Set up for Success: An Early Childhood Strategy for the ACT. The consultation process was focused and targeted to capture detailed qualitative feedback from key stakeholders to identify specific interests and needs within the community. Conversations were had with children, families, the early childhood education and care workforce and the sector.
The consultation process involved 78 sessions with 471 participants. This included:
- 7 sessions with 101 children, conducted through conversations, artwork and fun
- discussions with 138 families at 22 locations and groups
- 22 sessions with 105 staff from Out of School Hours Care, early childhood education and care services and executive roles across the sector
- 28 peak bodies and associations.
Children’s Education and Care Assurance’s Talking Quality publication is distributed three times a year. The aim of this publication is to engage stakeholders with the guiding principles of the National Quality Framework and connect these with goals for continuous improvement. The expertise and knowledge from the Sector and CECA is used to highlight and share practice, resources and tips in relation to education and care.
Contributions to the Talking Quality publication are welcome. CECA would love to hear stories of successes, challenges and professional learning opportunities that support the guiding principles of the NQF. If you would like to contribute please contact CECA.EducateandInform@act.gov.au
Talking Quality Editions
ACT Education and Care Sector Meetings (Sector Meetings) are held three times a year, with the aim to engage stakeholders with the NQF, to expand best practice and continuous improvement.
Sector Meetings will be held in March, June, and September 2021 with final agendas and dates communicated to the sector in advance.
One ACT Education and Care Sector Symposium will be facilitated in early November 2021, bringing together action research, projects, and experiences that align with the guiding principles of the NQF.
These forums have traditionally been facilitated face to face, however due to COVID-19 CECA will facilitate these opportunities using digital platforms.
ACT Education and Care Sector Meeting 15 March 2021
Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) held its first Education and Care Sector Meeting for the year on 15 March 2021. We would like to thank all sector representatives and guest speakers for attending the event. We heard about recent sector trends, Early Childhood Degree Program, the uptake of the three-year-old initiative, national work happening for 2021, the Support at Preschool team and the next steps of the NQF Review. If you were not able to join us, please see PowerPoint slides (1.4Mb), Parent Information Flyer (Preschool - SAP) (209kb) and the podcast recording .
In response to emerging issues during COVID-19 the ACT Regulatory Authority commissioned Catharine Hydon and Early Childhood Australia to develop targeted Making difficult decisions – choosing the right thing to do to move forward professional learning video resource. This video assists providers, service leaders and educators to make decisions about competing and complex priorities during difficult times.
In collaboration with services, practitioners, Be You and CECA this online Sector Meeting recording will provide viewers with strategies, resources and stories that highlight the importance of mental health and wellbeing in services, reinforcing the critical role that services play in child, educator and community mental health and wellbeing.
Providers, service leaders and educators are encouraged to engaged in regular use of tools and resources to participate in self-assessment against the National Quality Standard (NQS) and the Education and Care Education and care services National Law and National Regulations (National Law and Regulations).
ACECQA’s Self-assessment Tool to support approved providers, service leaders and educators assess the quality of their service’s practices, policies and procedures, against the NQS and the National Law and National Regulations .
Self-assessment is an important part of the quality improvement planning process and can help services to develop, review and update their Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) .
Providers, service leaders and educators should have processes in place to monitor compliance within their setting. CECA’s Self-assessment of Compliance Tool (332kb) developed by CECA can assist providers, service leaders and educators to expand their knowledge of the National Regulations. Services that use this tool are confident in understanding the National Regulations, provide better outcomes for children, and demonstrate compliance during their assessment and rating and compliance visits.
The Education Directorate Out of School Hours Care in ACT Public Schools Information Handbook for Best Practice Relationships Between our Schools and School Aged Care Providers (472kb) (Handbook) can assist schools and OSHC services to apply best practice approaches to collaboration and education and care.
This Handbook provides guidance for schools and Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) providers on ensuring quality of program provision, establishing and maintaining effective governance frameworks, supporting best practice communication strategies and ensuring compliance with the NQF.
The Working with Vulnerable People (background Checking) Act 2011 requires all individuals working and volunteering in services to have a background check and to be registered. Access Canberra oversee the Working with Vulnerable People (WWVP) registrations for all individuals working in ACT services.
ACT Cancer Council
Cancer Council ACT offers a large range of free SunSmart resources for services, including posters, information and advice, sample sun protection policies, shade audit tools, newsletters, and apps.
ACT Community Services Directorate Child and Family Centres
The Community Services Directorate Child and Family Centres (the Centres) are a ‘one-stop-shop’ supporting families. Centres are staffed by a multi-disciplinary team and are designed to provide a range of free support programs to assist parents and children. services and support provided through these Centres focus on children pre-birth to 8 years; however, selected services can be offered to children up to 12 years of age. Child and Family Centres services are available Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. Please call:
- Gungahlin Child and Family Centre: (02) 6207 0120
- Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre: (02) 6207 8228
- West Belconnen Child and Family Centre: (02) 6205 2904
A full list of services and programs for families can be found in the Child and Family Services Brochure .
ACT Community Services Directorate Mandatory Reporting
Keeping Children and Young People Safe is a guide to assist members of the public in making decisions about reporting concerns of child abuse or neglect in the ACT. All staff working in services are encouraged to complete the Community Services Directorate’s free Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online training.
ACT Health Directorate Health Protection Service
Health Protection Service grants food business registrations and provides information on immunisation, communicable diseases and infection control.
ACT Ombudsman Reportable Conduct Scheme
The Reportable Conduct Scheme aims to improve child protection within organisations in the ACT. Reportable conduct covers allegations or convictions of child abuse or misconduct towards children. The ACT Ombudsman provides support and practice guidelines to help organisations meet their reportable conduct obligations. If organisations suspect criminal conduct, they must also report the conduct to ACT Policing .
Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority
ACECQA is an independent statutory authority providing national leadership in promoting the National Law and NQS across all states and territories. You can access copies of the relevant legislation, application forms, information sheets, resources and national registers of services.
Australian Department of Education and Training
The Department of Education and Training is responsible for approving services for the purposes of administering Commonwealth government subsidies under the Family Assistance Law, such as the Child Care Subsidy.
Australian Department of Health
The Get Up & Grow: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Early Childhood resources promote the key messages included in the healthy eating and physical activity guidelines.
Australian Human Rights Commission
In partnership with Early Childhood Australia, the Commission has developed Supporting young children’s rights: Statement of intent (2015-2018) which provides high-level principles and areas for collective work, advocacy and action by Early Childhood Australia, its members and the National Children’s Commissioner in relation to the rights of young children from birth to primary school age. The Australian Human Rights Commission have produced a comprehensive resource suit Building Belonging to support respect for cultural diversity and tackling racial prejudice in services.
Be You is a national mental health initiative which aims to grow a mentally healthy generation of Australians. This whole-learning-community approach to mental health and wellbeing, introduce the range of Be You professional learning tools and resources, and Consultant support.
Early Childhood Australia
Early Childhood Australia is the peak early childhood advocacy organisation, acting in the interests of young children, their families and those in the education and care sector. Early Childhood Australia provide a comprehensive suite of resources that They provide a range of resources to support educators in their role.
Family Foundations (Belconnen Community Services)
Family Foundations is an early intervention program that offers parenting advice and strategies to families with children from birth to 5 years. The program supports families and early childhood educators in the ACT through case work and training opportunities.
Feed Australia is an online menu planning tool that has been developed to sit within existing education and care service management systems. This tool is a nutritional database of more than 200 healthy recipes and snack suggestions with established energy, macronutrient profiles and food group breakdowns. The recipes are easy to prepare and make use of easily available and seasonal ingredients.
Kidsafe ACT and NSW
Kidsafe ACT and Kidsafe NSW are dedicated to prevention of unintentional injuries to children. They provide useful information for education and care services about safety in the playground, homes, on the road and in and around water.
Narragunnawali supports services in Australia to develop environments that foster a high level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and contributions. A variety of resources, Reconciliation Action Plans and training opportunities are available to support services to take the next steps towards driving reconciliation in their community.
NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency
Each state and territory have an Inclusion Agency contracted to assist eligible services to build their capacity and capability to provide and embed inclusive practice in their delivery of early learning programs. KU Children's Services manages the NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency in partnership with Include Me and Gowrie NSW. The Inclusion Agency oversee the Inclusion Development Fund that provides funding to assist eligible services to address a barrier to inclusion that cannot be addressed by the support of the Inclusion Agency.
Office of the Senior Practitioner ACT Community Services Directorate
The Senior Practitioner works with the regulated communities to drive cultural change across all sectors where restrictive practices may be an issue. The legislation Senior Practitioner Act 2018 protects the rights of individuals in settings including children in services. More information about the Senior Practitioner and restrictive practices can be found in ACT Senior Practitioner Fact Sheet and on the Community Services Directorate’s website .
Preschool Matters acknowledges and recognises the expertise of families in their child’s education and the importance of parental involvement and engagement in the preschool program. It provides online resources to provide support for families about local ACT preschool programs and outlines ways in which families can engage in early education.
Red Nose is recognised by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) as a national authority on safe sleeping practices for infants and young children. Red Nose provides information, resources, and training to support safe sleeping practices in services.
Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care
Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) is the national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. SNAICC support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families through advocacy, developing practical tools, resources and information that promote innovation, good practice, critical support and strong connections to culture.
Developed by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Assurance (ACECQA) , Starting Blocks is a website for parents on all things early childhood education and care, children’s development and what can be done at home to encourage their learning and development.