26 March 2020
- The ECU are considering how we can support and provide information to providers and services at this time of uncertainty. We are working in a dynamic environment where things are changing quickly and we will keep in contact with the sector as and when new information becomes available. The ECU will continue to consider and review how we can support providers and services to ensure children’s safety and wellbeing are a priority. We do not want to increase regulatory burden on providers and services that may be managing challenging issues and risks due to COVID-19.
- We are taking proactive measures and will be flexible in how we interact with providers and services. This includes temporarily suspending Assessment and Rating and monitoring visits to services. We will only visit services in person in situations where there is an urgent need for us to do so based on risk. At this stage, the suspension of visits will remain in place until 30th April 2020. Where we can do our work by calling or emailing providers and services we will, and our staff will be available if you have any questions.
Ratio and Qualification Requirements
- As advised in the email sent to the sector by the ECU on 12 March, if educators are unable to attend work due to COVID-19 and their absence from work will impact on the approved provider’s ability to meet regulatory requirements such as ratio or qualification requirements, approved providers can apply for a temporary waiver of the regulation/s that they won’t be able to meet by submitting an application to the ECU using the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS).
- The ECU will consider waiver applications on a case-by-case basis including any measures the approved provider is taking or intends to take to protect the wellbeing of children if the waiver is approved. The ECU will waive fees for waiver applications that are related to COVID-19.
Keeping in contact with the ECU
- We will continue to keep you updated, but please be in touch with any concerns and we will try to help you resolve issues arising from this pandemic. We are all in this together and hope that by proactive action we can help to minimise the spread through the community with minimum disruption to children.
- We will also be sharing with services the general communications on COVID19 as it is sent to Department of Education schools for your information.
- If you have any questions, please contact the ECU on 616 55 425 or 1800 816 057 or via firstname.lastname@example.org or call your point of contact authorised officer directly.