Submission: Regulation Impact Statement 2015 Name of Service: Blue River Family Day Care Location: Regional Area Mackay Number of Educators: 35 Number of Staff: 2 part-time co-ordinators and one manager Number of Families: 307 Our service operates in a regional area and we have many educators working throughout Mackay and surrounding areas. 3.1 Refining the National Quality Standard and assessment and rating process Proposal 1.4 - Significant Improvement Required at this point If a service is requiring significant action for improvement then no rating should be given at all as it states there is significant improvement required and it holds a high level of risk to families and children and is not supporting the best outcomes for children. If a rating was to be given, these services should publicise the actions, and strategies that have been put into place; with a tight timeframe working in collaboration with the regulatory authority. The regulatory authority should seriously look into this as the service holds a significant impact into the health and well-being of children in care and then closure actions should be immediate. Proposal 1.5 – Exceeding the National Quality Standard rating All services should be aiming towards, reaching or setting goals to obtain the exceeding rating. Proposal 1.7 - Ensuring ratings accurately reflect service quality This should remain. Being a sector leader with the excellent rating is what a service should be proud of and other services to strive for. It would be a great resource for other services to utilise and approach excellent rated services for support in their own growth. The cost should be removed as the service has met all areas and no financial costing should be applied to receive this rating. Proposal 1.8 - Length of time until services are re-assessed 5 years is too long between assessment and ratings. Reduce to 3 years or put plans into place for regular contact with regulatory authority and services submit some type of self-assessment. 3.7 IMPROVED OVERSIGHT OF AND SUPPORT WITHIN FDC SERVICES Proposal 7.1 – Approval of FDC services across jurisdictions In response to the mobility of educators moving across states: it would be beneficial for all services to be a part of a non-compliant register for educators. This would help monitor educators moving jurisdictions. This register could be formed from the regulatory authority to allow more highly monitored applications of prospective educators. This could be provided through a link in the CCMS system when ending engagement with the educator. With having an office in each jurisdiction does not mean it will be better quality. The providers of the service should be able to monitor, support, and train all stakeholders to a quality level. Proposal 7.3 – Mandating a ratio of FDC co-ordinators to educators Within our service we have two part time coordinators (whom have high experience in the early childhood and educational sector) and one manager and we are able to maintain and deliver high quality contact with all of our educators. We are able to maintain face to face visits, weekly phone contact, monthly training opportunities and research professional development training also. Putting a ratio of educators and coordinators will increase the financial burden on our service and would limit the educators, thus the idea of capping. It would severely impact the financial burden on families and educators as we would have to increase levies to help cover the cost of wages to compensate another coordinator. Quality is able to be delivered from services without pertaining hours worked/rostered. It is within our service planning and deliverance to educators of what quality is, that can support both parties to have a collaborative and thriving relationship without the capping or ratio. Upon induction, our educators undergo in-depth training from our coordinators and manager to help support the service’s expectations and what is required within their role as an educator. It builds their knowledge of what they will be doing; and what we can do to support their guidance through the NQF, regulations and frameworks. Proposal 7.4 – Mandating a minimum Certificate III for FDC educators Although this can be a great skill to ascertain upon becoming an educator in a service, it does not mean quality. All staff in a service should be able to support and train a new educator coming into the profession. That is why we have highly qualified staff with sector knowledge to support our educators. There are many prospective educators whom have the passion and skill to be able to operate a small business and to study to obtain the required qualification. They are able to deliver high quality care and best outcomes for children throughout their period of study. On another note, it is advantageous for educators to have prior industry knowledge as it helps to support the challenging motions (and many other needs) that working in your own environment can bring. All services should have a thorough induction of educators prior to commencing; to support service decision if the educator is able to deliver high quality care to the children whether they hold a qualification or not.