The National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC) today released its latest report into the quality of child care services in Australia.
Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care Kate Ellis said that although data showed many child care centres were doing well, far too many are failing to meet basic standards of hygiene, safety and education.
“The more than 800,000 Australian parents who place their children in care each week deserve to know that they are safe and well looked after.
“Many parents would be horrified by these statistics. They show just how critical the Government’s commitment to lift the quality of Australian child care centres really is,” Ms Ellis said.
The data released today reports on the 1102 Australian long day care centres, which received an accreditation decision between 1 July and 31 December 2010. The report reveals that:
- 25 per cent failed to ensure that potentially dangerous products, plants and objects are inaccessible to children
- 29 per cent failed to implement effective and current food, safety and hygiene practices
- 28 per cent failed to ensure toileting and nappy changing procedures were positive experiences; and
- 22 per cent failed to document children’s learning and use a planning program
- 20 per cent did not act to control the spread of infectious diseases and maintain records of immunisations.
The Australian Government is working with State and Territory governments to introduce a National Quality Framework for child care, which will lift the standard of care across the country.
These reforms will see a boost of staff-to-child ratios, so that each child gets more individual care and attention. It will also improve the training and qualifications of staff, so that they are properly equipped to lead activities that help children learn and develop.
Ms Ellis said that the Australian Government was also committed to increasing transparency in the child care sector.
“Under the National Quality Framework, child care services will receive a rating from high quality, through to unsatisfactory and this rating will be made public on the My Child website.
“We want to give parents the information they need to make the best decisions for their family,” Ms Ellis said.
For more information about the National Quality Framework visit www.mychild.gov.au