Child care services funded under the Budget Based Funding (BBF) are being encouraged to self-evaluate against the National Quality Standards by the federal government.
BBF child care services receive their funding from the Child Care Services Support Program, which supports early education and child care services in communities that would where these services would otherwise not be able to opeate.
There are about 340 BBF services nationwide including playgroups, creches, mobile services and multifunctional Aboriginal children’s services.
With a $59.4 million funding allocation from the federal government over four years, the BBF aims to boost the quality of centre-based long day care services.
According to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), self-assessment will help streamline two areas. Firstly, it will help service providers improve their child care services funded under the BBF program and secondly, they will be able to work towards meeting the requirements of children and families relying on those services.
However, DEEWR stressed that child care services under the BFF can undertake the self-evaluation and Quality Improvement Plan process voluntarily, and is not a requirement of the National Quality Framework assessment and rating procedure.
The National Quality Standards (NQS) is conducted by regulatory boards in each state and territory. The objective of the ratings is to promote transparency and accountability of service providers so that parents can assess the quality of education and care services available in their area.
The NQS ratings are divided into five: excellent, exceeding National Quality Standard, meeting National Quality Standard, working towards National Quality Standard and Significant Improvement Required. The ratings of each service should be displayed at their facility as well as be published by ACECQA and at the MyChild websites.
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