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Information for Voluntary Management Committees

Last updated: 24/12/2015 5:11 PM
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​This information is for Centre-based Education and Care and Family Day Care Services. It provides a simple interpretation of current legislation, covered by the Education and Care Services National Law (Western Australia) and the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2012, and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

This information sheet covers:

  • The role of the Management Committee
  • Obligations and responsibilities of the Management Committee
  • The role of the regulatory authority – the Education and Care Regulatory Unit
  • What compliance with the Law means.

Introduction

All management committees of education and care services play a vital role in the delivery of high quality education and care. To be effective, management committee members need to have an understanding of the Legislation that regulates education and care services:

  • The Schedule to the Education and Care Services National Law (WA) Act 2012 (National Law)
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2012 (National Regulations)

The National Law has a set of objectives that underpin how education and care services are required to operate. The National Law also sets out how the regulatory authority, the Education and Care Regulatory Unit, regulates education and care services. The objectives of the Education and Care Services National Law 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 education and care services 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.

The National Law and National Regulations include the National Quality Standard, which comprises seven Quality Areas:

  1. Educational program and practice
  2. Children's health and safety
  3. Physical environment
  4. Staffing arrangements
  5. Relationships with children
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  7. Leadership and service management.

The National Law and Regulations require management committees to demonstrate their understanding and commitment to delivering quality services by:

  • having and promoting effective administrative processes
  • showing leadership in guiding educators
  • providing opportunities and resources to assist educators in their learning and development.

The role of the Management Committee

Management Committees have a variety of positions with different roles, including people with 'management and control' of the education and care service. The National Law defines a person with management and control as:

  • an officer of the body corporate within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 (Go to section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) of the Commonwealth who is responsible for managing the delivery of the education and care service, where the provider or intended provider of the service is a body corporate
  • each member of the executive committee of the association who has the responsibility, alone or with others, for managing the delivery of the education and care service, where the provider of the service is an eligible association (it is more than likely that your association is a body corporate; please seek legal advice if you have any doubt)
  • each partner who has the responsibility, alone or with others, for managing the delivery of the education and care service, where the provider of the service is a partnership
  • the manager of the delivery of the education and care service in any other case.

Note: while other members of the committee may not have management and control, they do have important supporting roles.

Obligations and responsibilities of the Management Committee

The obligations and responsibilities of a voluntary management committee are outlined in the National Law and National Regulations. For example:

  • National Law - sections 12, 13, 21, 109,
  • National Regulations – regulations 158-164, 167-184

These obligations and responsibilities are explained in the Guide to the National Law and National Regulations. This Guide is a plain English explanation of what is in the National Law and National Regulations.

Quality Area 7 of the National Quality Standard is particularly relevant to the role of management committees. Quality Area 7 focuses on effective leadership and management of the service that contributes to quality environments for children's learning and development.

Well-documented policies and procedures, well-maintained records, shared values, clear direction and reflective practices are all part of enabling the service to function as a learning community for staff and for children attending the service. In addition, an ongoing cycle of planning and review, including engagement with families, creates the climate for continuous improvement.

Quality Area 7 comprises the following standards:

  • Standard 7.1 Effective leadership promotes a positive organisational culture and builds a professional learning community.
  • Standard 7.2 There is a commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Standard 7.3 Administrative systems enable the effective management of a quality service.

Each of these Standards is discussed below.

Standard 7.1 Effective leadership promotes a positive organisational culture and builds a professional learning community

Effective leaders of education and care services are able to set direction and establish values for the service that reflect its context and professionalism. This includes:

  • contributing to a positive organisational culture
  • fully understanding the education and care context
  • empowering others
  • adapting to change and driving continuous improvement
  • establishing skilled workforces.

Standard 7.2 There is a commitment to continuous improvement

Establishing and maintaining a culture of ongoing reflection and self-review provides motivation and supports positive levels of educator, coordinator and staff member satisfaction. Effective evaluation and self-review enables a service to continuously improve their policies, procedures and practices. This approach enables the nominated supervisor, educators and coordinators to improve their practice, which contributes directly to improved learning outcomes for children.

Standard 7.3 Administrative systems enable the effective management of a quality service

Effective administration and records management systems and documented policies and procedures contribute to a service environment where the primary focus can be on delivering quality education and care for children and establishing productive partnerships with families.
The goal is that the policies and processes necessary for the effective administration and management of the service exist, including compliance with legal requirements. The efficiency and effectiveness of these internal administrative systems have a direct impact on the amount of time that educators, coordinators and staff members can spend in planning, delivery and evaluation of the program for children and families.

The role of the Regulatory Authority – the Education and Care Regulatory Unit

All education and care services must operate in accordance with the National Law and National Regulations and any conditions imposed on the service by the Regulatory Authority. Services must be provided in a way that:

  • safeguards and promotes children's wellbeing
  • respects children's dignity and privacy
  • protects children from harm
  • provides positive experiences and stimulates and develops children's creative, emotional, intellectual, physical, recreational and social potential.

The objective of the National Quality Framework is for education and care services not just to meet the Quality Standards, but to plan and achieve continuous quality improvement across all Quality Areas. The Regulatory Unit is committed to assisting services in understanding the requirements of the National Law and Regulations and to meeting their quality improvement goals, to ensure the best outcomes for children. In administering the National Law and National Regulations, the Regulatory Unit seeks to:

  • provide information and respond to queries on the National Law, National Regulations, National Quality Standard and the Assessment and Rating process
  • assess and rate services against the seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard, the National Law and Regulations
  • provide guidance on areas to be addressed in continuous quality improvement
  • ensure compliance with the law (including the publication of enforcement outcomes and the use of other compliance tools)
  • raise awareness of legislative requirements through publication of resources and the provision of advice.

What compliance with the Law means

The National Law and National Regulations outline the areas of responsibility placed upon management of education and care services, and the offences that relate to non-compliance with each of these responsibilities. Decisions are made by the Regulatory Unit, taking into account all relevant information, the particular circumstances of the issue under consideration, and the principles of natural justice.

Where there has been non-compliance with the National Law and Regulations, the Regulatory Authority may do one of the following:

  • Give the service a direction to change, or a notice to comply, cease operating, or take emergency action (National Law - Part 7: Division 1; Services Guide pg. 123)
  • Accept an undertaking from the service that they will make required changes - these undertakings are enforceable by the Regulatory Authority (National Law - Part 7: Division 2; Services Guide pg. 123)
  • Issue a prohibition notice to an individual where there may be an unacceptable risk of harm to a child or children from this person (National Law - Part 7: Division 3; Services Guide pg. 124)
  • Carry out a disciplinary action against an individual who has contravened the Law (National Law - Part 7: Division 3A)
  • In serious cases, a breach of the National Law might be dealt with by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT). SAT is an independent body that deals with a broad range of administrative, commercial and personal matters.

Information about SAT can be found on the SAT website

In certain circumstances members of management committees who are persons with management and control may be personally liable for the provider's contraventions of the National Law (Go to sections 188B(1)(b) and 285 of the National Law).

For more information on compliance, see the Compliance and Enforcement Framework.

Further information

For broader management support, there are many resources and support organisations in the Western Australian Government and in the wider community that offer advice and support to management committees. These include the

Contact details

The Education and Care Regulatory Unit
Phone: 08 6551 8333 or 1800 199 383
Email: ecru@dlgc.wa.gov.au