The Ombudsman and Commissioners
The Education and Care Services Ombudsman, the National Education and Care Services Freedom of Information Commissioner and the National Education and Care Services Privacy Commissioner are independent, statutory officers appointed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Education Council under national applied laws legislation – the Education and Care Services National Law.
The Ombudsman and Commissioner positions are established and operate independently of each other for the purposes of the National Law.
The roles were established in 2012 as part of reforms by the Council of Australian Governments to create a national uniform regulatory and quality assurance system for education and care services across Australia under the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care.
In order to implement the system the National Law established the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and early childhood education and care Regulatory Authorities in each of the 8 Australian states/territories.
ACECQA oversees the implementation of the National Quality Framework. State and Territory Regulatory Authorities are responsible for granting education and care service and provider approvals, carrying out the quality assessment and rating of services, and ensuring services meet the requirements of the National Law and National Regulations.
The role of this office is to provide ombudsman, privacy and freedom of information oversight of the education and care services regulation and quality assurance system.
Ombudsman services are provided with respect to administrative actions taken by ACECQA, and freedom of information and privacy complaint and review services are provided in relation to actions taken in these areas by each of the State and Territory Regulatory Authorities and ACECQA.
The Ombudsman and Commissioners also play an important role in promoting public and service provider confidence in the integrity of the public administration and regulation of early childhood education and care in Australia.
The current Ombudsman and Commissioners is Ms Lesley Foster.