Saturday, June 14, 2008

New South Wales, Australia: Qualifications for childcare centre staff

Recently I had my qualifications sent for assessment to the Department of Community Services in New South Wales and this is the information I have found relevant to the assessment of qualifications as required in this state.

The requirements are as per the Children's Services Regulations 2004, which falls under the Children & Young Persons (Care & Protection Act) 1998 No.157 and is relevant ONLY to the state of New South Wales.

In every centre, there has to be one, or more Authorised Supervisor. This normally includes the Child Care Director, and includes another staff who has the 'power' to supervise the centre when the Director is away & sign documentations. Of course, there won't be many Authorised Supervisors, as the centre needs to be cost effective and has a budget to maintain.

The positions of Authorised Supervisor , has the responsibility for overall supervision of a childcare centre, needs to have one or more of these qualifications being:
1) degree/diploma in early childhood education from a university of not less than 3 years (on a full time basis), or
2) a Childcare Certificate, Certificate of Child Care Studies, Associate Diploma of Social Science (Child Studies) from an (RTO) Registered Training Organisation, or
3) another approved qualification by the DOCS, AND

- has 12 months full time or equivalent in part-time experience gained after the qualifications referred to above as a member of the primary contact staff, (most centres looking to hire an authorised supervisor would prefer to employ one who has had more than one year's past experience) AND

- has successfully completed a course in child protection approved by the Director General.

Centres have to nominate the Authorised Supervisor by filling in the Authorised Supervisor nomination form & attaching the required documentation to the Department of Community Services (DOCS).

On top of this, most centres in NSW when employing for the position of a Child Care Director require:
- Sound understanding of the NSW State Regulation Centre Based Care 2004.
- Extensive experience in planning and programming with the Emergent Curriculum or NSW Curriculum - Framework.

- Demonstrated financial management experience.

If the centre has more than 39 children, there has to be a staff who is an Early Childhood Teacher, and if more than 59 children, then two ECTs.
For the positions of Teaching Staff Member who:
a) has a degree/diploma in early childhood education from a university of not less than 3 years (on a full time basis),
b) has some other approved qualifications by DOCS, or
c) has other approved training and experience.

In the nursery, the positions of Primary Contact Staff Member for a child under 2 years of age is a person who:
a) is an enrolled nurse (mothercraft) within the meaning of the Nurses Act 1991 who has obtained:
1) a Cert IV from TAFE in Parenthood, or
2) a Cert III from an RTO in Children's Services, or

b) is a registered nurse in Australia, or

c) has obtained:
1) a Child Care Cert, Cert in Child Care Studies, Associate Diploma of Social Science (Child Care Studies) from TAFE, or
2) Diploma of Community Services from an RTO, or

d) has some other approved qualification.

Other necessary requirements for the employment of permanent staff include:
1) three forms of ID for the 100 Point Identity Check,
2) To be over the age of 18, as required by the Children's Services Regulation 2004.
3) Senior First Aid certification compulsory for TRAINED childcare staff.
4) Working With Children Check, as required by the Child Protection Act 1998 (Prohibitive Employment) and Reference Checked.

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