Saturday, June 14, 2008

Australia: Brief on the childcare/children services accreditation process.

Recently when I was out at work, I found that at some centres, the staff spent more time on accreditation documentation. Saying that, I must say here that when I was out on one of my first few work assignments some months ago, a male staff (he was a Classroom Assistant) had remarked that as staff, they should be spending more time with the children, instead of writing up all the accreditation documentation that the centre expected them to.

At that point of time, it was something that I had yet to understand. I have now come to realise that there ARE centres that are particularly pedantic in observing the childcare centre accreditation process. Also too, some centres have staff & directors that are pedantic in observing ONLY the rules which are given in the legislation in handling the children, without leeway of anything less, which should not be the way when it comes to working with children.

I have been to many centres who DO understand that there is no fast & "one size fits all" when it comes to handling children, eventhough that may be the ruling in the books. In my time during my tenure as a relief staff, it has made me come to realise that there is much differences in the way that the childcare accreditation is translated, and every centre has its own way of translating it.

In Australia, every state is governed by their individual State and Territory Government and have different legislation under which child care services are licensed. The National Council Accreditation Council Inc. (NCAC) was appointed by the Australian Government to administer the following Child Care Quality Assurance (CCQA) systems in:
- Family Day Care Quality Assurance (FDCQA),
- Quality Improvement and Accreditation System for Long Day Care Centres (QIAS),
- Outside School Hours Care Quality Assurance (OSHCQA).

The NCAC sets standards to improve the quality of child care and accredit services that meets the standards. Factors in accreditation includes structural quality factors which are most readily measured, i.e space, range of equipment, number and ages of children, number of staff and the length of their training.

CCQA builds on licensing standards to look at factors that determine quality. NCAC's roles include administration of licensing or child protection issues in services that participate in CCQA.

A transcript: Child Care Profit (2004)

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