National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC)

National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC)

Established in 1993, the National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC) is a non-profit organisation based in Sydney, Australia, which is funded by and accountable to the Australian Government. It was responsible for administering Child Care Quality Assurance (CCQA) for the following children's services in Australia:

  • Family Day Care Quality Assurance (FDCQA) for family day care schemes
  • Outside School Hours Care Quality Assurance (OSHCQA) for outside school hours care services
  • Quality Improvement and Accreditation System (QIAS) for long day care centres

In December 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) announced a National Partnership Agreement to a New Quality Agenda which will replace the regulatory processes administered by state and territory governments and the Child Care Quality Assurance systems administered by NCAC from January 2012.[1]

Contents

Child Care Quality Assurance in Australia

Child care quality assurance in Australia was first raised as a political issue in the lead up to the 1990 Federal election.[2] The Crawford Committee was established in 1990 and recommended the then Minister for Aged, Family and Health Services establish a national body to represent all interest groups in children’s services to oversee the accreditation process.[3]

This recommendation resulted in the formation of the Interim National Accreditation Council (INAC) in 1991. INAC presented a report to the Minister recommending accreditation be linked with receipt of Childcare Assistance.[3]

NCAC was established in 1993 to develop an accreditation and quality assurance system for Austrlain child care services.[2] Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, AC Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia was the founding Chair and CEO of NCAC between 1993 and 1996.[4] Ms Denise Taylor was Chief Executive Officer of NCAC from 1997-2011.

Family day care schemes, outside school hours care services and long day care centres had to satisfactorily participate in the relevant CCQA system administered by NCAC in order to offer the Child Care Benefit as a fee reduction to parents and obtain funding support.[5]

The CCQA systems provided a framework for reviewing, measuring and improving the quality of work done by approved child care providers.[5] Services participating in CCQA progressed through a 5 step process including Registration, Self-study and Continuing Improvement, Validation, Moderation and Accreditation Decision.

While there are voluntary accreditation systems for children’s services in other countries, the Australian CCQA system was linked to child care funding through legislation and to be funded and supported by government.[3]

Family Day Care Quality Assurance (FDCQA)

The FDCQA system, administered in participating family day care schemes, outlined 30 principles of quality care which were incorporated into six quality areas:

  1. Interactions
  2. Physical environment
  3. Children’s experiences, learning and development
  4. Health, hygiene, nutrition, safety and wellbeing
  5. Carers and coordination unit staff
  6. Management and administration.[6]

Outside School Hours Care Quality Assurance (OSHCQA)

The OSHCQA system, administered in participating outside school hours care services, outlined 30 principles of quality care which are incorporated into eight quality areas:

  1. Respect for children
  2. Staff interactions and relationships with children
  3. Partnerships with families and community links
  4. Programming and evaluation
  5. Play and development
  6. Health, nutrition and wellbeing
  7. Protective care and safety
  8. Managing to support quality.[6]

Quality Improvement and Accreditation System (QIAS)

The QIAS, administered in participating long day care centres, outlined 33 principles of quality care which are incorporated into seven quality areas:

  1. Staff relationships with children and peers
  2. Partnerships with families
  3. Programming and evaluation
  4. Children’s experiences and learning
  5. Protective care and safety
  6. Health, nutrition and wellbeing
  7. Managing to support quality.[6]

Summary of the landmarks in the Australian child care quality assurance journey

1991 Interim National Accreditation Council (INAC), chaired by Jane Singleton, established.
1993 NCAC commences. Quentin Bryce is appointed as the inaugural Chair and CEO of NCAC.
1994 Quality Improvement and Accreditation System (QIAS) commences. API Little Cribb St Child Care Centre, Brisbane, is the first centre to be Reviewed.
1995 Launch of NCAC’s Choosing Child Care and AECA’s Accreditation and Beyond series of booklets for families.
1996 The 1000th long day care service, Mowbray House Child Care Centre, accredited.
1996 Quentin Bryce resigns from her position at NCAC. Ross McLean is appointed Chair of the NCAC Board.
1997 Denise Taylor is appointed General Manager NCAC.
1998 Launch of the NCAC website.
1999 The first Multi-functional Aboriginal Children’s Service (MACS), Ampe Kenhe Apmere Congress Child Care Centre achieves three-year Accreditation.
2000 John Tainton appointed as Chair of the NCAC Board. Accreditation Decisions become available on the Internet.
2001 The Family Day Care Quality Assurance (FDCQA) system is launched in Adelaide, South Australia.
2002 The revised QIAS is launched. The first issue of Putting Children First, NCAC’s newsletter, is published in March.
2003 The Outside School Hours Care Quality Assurance (OSHCQA) system is launched at Parliament House in Canberra.
2004 The revised second edition of the FDCQA Quality Practices Guide is launched.
2005 June McLoughlin is appointed Chair of the NCAC Board. The QIAS Quality Practices Guide is released, replacing the QIAS Source Book. NCAC’s Endorsed Quality Assurance Trainers program is introduced.
2006 Mal Brough, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, announces that one integrated quality assurance system would be created for all service types. He also advises that Spot Checks and Unannounced Visits will be introduced to the current Child Care Quality Assurance system.
2007 The Labor government led by Kevin Rudd, is elected to power. Maxine McKew becomes the Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and Care. Work ceases on the development of an integrated Quality Assurance system.
2008 The Accreditation Audit Committee (later named the Quality Advisory Committee) is established to provide the NCAC Board with independent advice about Accreditation Decisions.
2009 Belonging, Being and Becoming – the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia is launched. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) announces agreement to a New Quality Agenda which will replace the regulatory processes administered by state and territory governments and the Child Care Quality Assurance systems administered by NCAC. NCAC is to be replaced by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) from January 2012.
2010 Making a difference for children – The Australian journey in assuring quality child care, is launched at Parliament House in Canberra by the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Child Care and Youth.
2011 NCAC implements business wind-up plans in preparation for the organisation’s closure in December 2011.

See also

National Archives of Australia - Archived resources and reports produced by NCAC are available from the National Library of Australia’s Pandora website: http://pandora.nla.gov.au/tep/102525

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEEWR

Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Ellis

List of Australian Commonwealth Government Entities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_Commonwealth_Government_entities

External links

References

  1. ^ Council of Australian Governments (2009), National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education
  2. ^ a b Wangmann, J. (1995) Towards integration and Quality Assurance in Children’s Services. Australian Institute of Family Studies – Early Childhood Study Paper no.6: Melbourne
  3. ^ a b c Mellor, E.J. and Coombe, K.M. (eds) (1994) Issues in Early Childhood Services: Australian Perspectives. WCB Publishers Int: Melbourne.
  4. ^ http://www.gg.gov.au, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia (n.d) Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  5. ^ a b Report on Government Services 2010, Productivity Commission (2010). Report on Government Services 2010.
  6. ^ a b c Quality Child Care Handbook 2010-2011 (n.d)

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