Glossary

  • Agencies

    For the purposes of this Office the term Agencies refers to the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority and the State/Territory Education and Care Services Regulatory Authorities.

  • Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)

    ACECQA oversees the implementation of the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (NQF) and works with the state and territory Regulatory Authorities to implement and administer the NQF. ACECQA is established under the Education and Care Services National Law.

  • Australian Privacy Principles (APPs)

    The Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), which are contained in schedule 1 of the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 outline how most Australian and Norfolk Island Government agencies, all private sector and not-for-profit organisations with an annual turnover of more than $3 million, all private health service providers and some small businesses (collectively called ‘APP entities’) must handle, use and manage personal information. They apply to ACECQA and the State/Territory Education and Care Services Regulatory Authorities through the Education and Care Services National Law

    The principles cover:

    • the open and transparent management of personal information including having a privacy policy
    • an individual having the option of transacting anonymously or using a pseudonym where practicable
    • the collection of solicited personal information and receipt of unsolicited personal information including giving notice about collection
    • how personal information can be used and disclosed (including overseas)
    • maintaining the quality of personal information
    • keeping personal information secure
    • rights for individuals to access and correct their personal information
  • Education and Care Service

    Education and care service means any service providing or intended to provide education

    and care on a regular basis to children under 13 years of age. Education and care services include long day care services, family day care services, outside school hours services and kindergartens and preschool programs. There are some exclusions from the definition including schools, services provided to patients in hospital, and services principally providing instruction in a particular activity eg music, sport.

  • Education and Care Services Ombudsman (ECSO)

    Refers to the statutory officer appointed under Section 282 of the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 as modified by Regulations 218-225 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011. The ECSO investigates complaints about administrative actions of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and its contractors.

  • Education and Care Services National Law (National Law)

    A national applied laws system, adopted in each state and territory, that establishes a jointly governed, uniform and integrated regulatory and quality assurance system for children’s education and care services across Australia. The system is referred to as the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (NQF). The NQF applies to most long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and preschools/kindergartens in Australia. The applicable legislation in each jurisdiction is:

    • ACT          Education & Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011
    • NSW       Children (Education and Care Services National Law Application) Act 2010
    • NT            Education and Care Services (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011
    • QLD         Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) Act 2011
    • SA             Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011
    • TAS          Education and Care Services National Law (Application) Act 2011
    • VIC           Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
    • WA          Education and Care Services National Law (WA) Act 2012

    Of particular relevance to this Office the National Law establishes the functions and powers of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and the functions and powers of State and Territory Regulatory Authorities; creates a nationally consistent freedom of information and privacy framework to apply to ACECQA and the State/Territory Regulatory Authorities; applies the Commonwealth Ombudsman Act 1976 to ACECQA and establishes the positions of Education and Care Services Ombudsman, National Education and Care Services Freedom of Information Commissioner and National Education and Care Services Privacy Commissioner.

  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011

    The Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 support the Education and Care Services National Law by providing detailed operational requirements for the implementation and interpretation of the Law. Of particular relevance to this Office the National Regulations modify the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Act 1976 in its application to ACECQA and to the work of the Education and Care Services Ombudsman; and modify the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 in their application to ACECQA and the State/Territory Regulatory Authorities, and to the work of the National Education and Care Services Freedom of Information Commissioner and the National Education and Care Services Privacy Commissioner.

  • Education Council

    The Ministerial Council established by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to provide a forum through which strategic policy on school education, early childhood education and care, and higher education can be coordinated at the national level and through which information can be shared, and resources used collaboratively, to address issues of national significance. The Education Council comprises relevant Ministers from the Australian Government and each State and Territory government. New Zealand is also represented as a non-decision-making member.

  • Freedom of Information (FOI)

    For the purposes of this Office the right to access information held by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and/or State or Territory Regulatory Authorities under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982.

  • Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act)

    The Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982 as in force from time to time.

  • National Education and Care Services Freedom of Information Commissioner (NECS FOIC)

    Refers to the statutory officer appointed under Section 264 of the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 as modified by regulations 204-211 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011. The NECS FOIC conducts reviews of Freedom of Information decisions made by, and investigates FOI related complaints about, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and State and Territory Regulatory Authorities.

  • National Education and Care Services Privacy Commissioner (NECS PC)

    Refers to the statutory officer appointed under Section 264 of the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 as modified by Regulations 195 to 203 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011. The NECS PC investigates complaints about breaches of individual privacy by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and State and Territory Regulatory Authorities.

  • National Law

    See Education and Care Services National Law (National Law)

  • National Quality Framework (NQF)

    Refers to the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care. The National Quality Framework (NQF) resulted from an agreement between all Australian governments to work together to provide better educational and developmental outcomes for children. The NQF introduced a new quality standard in 2012 to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten, and outside school hours care.

    The NQF includes:

    • the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Law and National Regulations
    • the National Quality Standard
    • an assessment and quality rating process and
    • national learning frameworks.

    The objectives of the NQF are to:

    • ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children attending education and care services
    • improve the educational and developmental outcomes for children attending education and care services
    • promote continuous improvement in the provision of quality education and care services
    • establish a system of national integration and shared responsibility between participating jurisdictions and the Commonwealth in the administration of the National Quality Framework
    • improve public knowledge, and access to information, about the quality of education and care services and
    • reduce the regulatory and administrative burden for education and care services by enabling information to be shared between participating jurisdictions and the Commonwealth.
  • National Regulations

    See Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011

  • Ombudsman Act

    The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Act 1976 as in force from time to time.

  • Personal Information

    Refers to information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.

  • Privacy Act

    The Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 as in force from time to time.

  • State/Territory Regulatory Authority

    Education and Care Services Regulatory Authorities administer the implementation and operation of the National Quality Framework (NQF) in each state and territory. Their responsibilities include:

    • granting approvals, including provider approval and service approval
    • assessing and rating education and care services against the National Quality Standard
    • promoting continuous quality improvement and educating the sector and community about the NQF.

    Regulatory authorities also have a range of powers and tools to facilitate continuous improvement and ensure compliance with the NQF, including the ability to issue compliance notices. Detail of State/territory Regulatory Authorities can be found in Useful Links.

The NECSOPIC office is continuing to operate during the COVID-19 crisis.

Please contact us by email (preferable) at enquiry@necsopic.edu.au or by phone on (03) 9654 1077 and leave a message and we will return your call.