The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has announced new requirements for early childhood care and education centres which will take effect in January.
The childcare authority said centres with between 25 and 59 pre-school aged children per day should have an approved early childhood teacher for a minimum of six hours a day if the service operates for 50 or more hours a week or for 60 per cent of the operating hours each day if the service operates for fewer than 50 hours a week.
To be able to comply with these two new standards, ACECQA advises hiring a full-time equivalent early childhood teacher or an employee that can work full-time for the role.
More than one early childhood teacher can qualify as a full-time equivalent early childhood teacher if the hours of each teacher is equivalent to the hours of a full-time early childhood teacher who is under a related industrial award. An example is a teacher who works under a job-share arrangement.
Meanwhile, centre-based services providing education and care for fewer than 25 children should provide access to an early childhood teacher for a minimum of 20 per cent of the time that the service operates.
Although requirements for an early childhood teacher can be met in a flexible manner, strict compliance is required for arrangements to meet the educational and developmental needs of each child who is attending the service.
ACECQA stressed that a different set of requirements apply for NSW.