The ACT’s Early Childhood Education and Care Sector
National Quality Framework
In 2012, all states and territories and the Commonwealth implemented the National Quality Framework for the early childhood education and care sector. The NQF covers long day care, family day care, preschools and out of school hours care. Its primary function is to create a framework of education and care for children from 0–5 years who are not enrolled in school, and primary school aged children who attend out of school hours care.
In the ACT, government and non-government providers deliver a variety of ECEC services for children from birth to 12 years of age. These services include those approved under the NQF, those licensed under the Children and Young People Act 2008 programs delivered by the ACT Education Directorate, and additional informal programs delivered by community organisations, such as ACT Playgroups and playschools.
ACT Regulatory Authority
The Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011 places obligations upon the ACT Regulatory Authority, Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA), to undertake investigation, compliance, enforcement and assessment and rating functions against the National Quality Standard.
Contact CECA via CECA@act.gov.au.
Early Childhood Policy
CECA is a part of the Early Childhood Policy and Regulation branch, of the ACT Education Directorate. The branch also includes the Early Childhood Policy team, which oversees policy development for early childhood education and care in the ACT. Currently the team is working on the development of an Early Childhood Strategy for the ACT and providing secretariat support for the Early Childhood Advisory Council. Contact the Early Childhood Policy team via ECPolicy@act.gov.au.