The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority have announced that services previously funded under the Budget Based Funded (BBF) Program will remain outside the scope of the National Quality Framework.
The BBF Program funded approximately 244 early education services, mostly in regional, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Funding for the Program was ceased as part of the Government’s Jobs for Families Package. BBF services were required to transition to the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS).
According to the Education Department, only 151 of those services have received funding under the new Community Child Care Fund that was designed to provide support to BBF services. Remaining services have received unspecified funding amounts from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
When the NQF was launched in 2012, BBF services were considered “out of scope”. The announcement from ACECQA confirms that despite moving into the CCS system, BBF services transitioning to the new system will not fall under the NQF.
This means that these services will not be assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard, or be required to meet the National Law and National Regulations.
The NQF was designed to provide stronger quality outcomes and learning experiences for children in services. It is not clear whether the Federal Government has any plans to eventually bring these services, primarily supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, within the scope of the NQF.