Page 1710 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 May 2017
MS BERRY: As Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development I am pleased to table the Education and Care Services National Law Amendment Act, along with this statement and an explanatory statement. The national quality framework for early childhood education and care was implemented in 2012. The framework included the creation of the Education and Care Services National Law. Victoria is the host jurisdiction for the national law, which is adopted by jurisdictions. The ACT adopted the law in 2011.
The national quality framework has improved educational and developmental outcomes for children attending services approved under the national law. The national law empowers the Education Council to review the national quality framework and to propose changes to the framework, which includes the national law. In 2014 the Education Council agreed to the terms of reference for a review of the national quality framework. Following extensive consultation, in 2016 the Education Council considered the final report of the review and recommended policy changes.
In January 2017 the ACT government endorsed the policy reforms and the amending bill proposed to be introduced to the Victorian parliament. The amending bill was passed by the Victorian parliament and enacted on 27 March 2017. Under the ACT’s enabling act, any Victorian act amending the national law must be presented to the Legislative Assembly within six sitting days after the day it is passed. This statement, along with a copy of the amending bill passed by the Victorian parliament and an explanatory statement, meets that obligation.
The 52 areas of reform recommended by the review can be broadly categorised into three themes: a simplified and more transparent assessment and rating process under the national quality framework; improved guidance for all services providing care to children over preschool age and for authorised officers in relation to documenting child assessments for educational programs; and measures to improve oversight of and support within family day-care services to increase the integrity and transparency of delivery and to improve outcomes for children.
A substantial amount of analysis, consultation and negotiation went into developing the amending law. Thanks go to our Victorian colleagues for consulting closely with jurisdictions on the development of the amending bill. Along with this statement, I submit an explanatory statement and the amending bill that formed the amending law in Victoria. The explanatory statement outlines the amending bill, discusses human rights considerations and provides a detailed explanation of the clauses of the amendment bill.
Ms Berry presented the following paper:
Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act, pursuant to section 13—Annual Report 2014-2015—Land Development Agency—Corrigendum.