Review of childcare training makes 10 recommendations

Almost 90 per cent of training providers offering qualifications in early childhood education and care were able to demonstrate compliance with the required national Standards, a review by the national training regulator has found.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has today published the findings of its national strategic review of early childhood care and education training.

ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said a sample group of 77 registered training organisations (RTOs) had been audited as part of the review – representing around one-third of the RTOs delivering early childhood and child care programs.

Mr Robinson said all but two of the RTOs that remained non-compliant following ASQA’s regulatory action had now either stopped offering training in early childhood education and care or left the training sector all-together.

“Those people working in the early childhood education and care sector play a critically important role in our community helping our youngest Australians to learn and develop new skills. That’s why it’s so important that those working in the industry have the right skills and training,” Mr Robinson said.

“This strategic review was initiated by ASQA in response to concerns raised by the Productivity Commission in its 2011 research report Early Childhood Development Workforce about the quality of vocational education and training (VET) and assessment being provided.”

Mr Robinson said the review found that while three-quarters of RTOs had some problems with their assessment of students, most of them were able to address these concerns and fully meet the required Standards by the completion of the regulatory process.

“The extent of problems experienced in doing assessment properly is hardly surprising given that some 20 per cent of RTOs offer the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in 25 weeks or less, which is only half the minimum length of time recommended in the Australian Qualifications Framework for such programs.”

Mr Robinson said the authority had made 10 recommendations to address the issues identified in the sector, including the inclusion of minimum training requirements for each unit of competency and qualification across the whole vocational education and training sector.

“New national Standards implemented in April 2015 considerably strengthened the assessment requirements on RTOs,” he said.

“ASQA will continue to make the regulation of RTOs offering early childhood education and care training a high priority and will work with other stakeholders to implement the recommendations made.”

ASQA’s strategic review was guided by a management committee comprising ASQA’s Chief Commissioner and representatives from the Australian Government Departments of Industry and Education, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council, Early Childhood Australia, Australian Children Services, Family Day Care Australia, United Voice, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority and the Western Australian Department of Education Services.

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