Child Care Industry News March 18th 2014 -®
Child Care Industry News
March 18, 2014
Welcome, this week the results of our Mini Poll on unpaid fees, a look at research which shows that obesity levels in children can be improved by offering family style meals also check out ACECQA's new qualifications tool.
Mini poll results: unpaid fees
Our recent article and Mini Poll on unpaid fees prompted a huge response, with close to 700 responses, and we thought we’d report back to inform you that this problem is affecting a significant number of early childhood education and care services and that in your opinion the solutions are simple.

More than 84 per cent of respondents said they had been affected by parents who 'centre hop' to avoid paying fees, yet continue to claim the child care rebate.

A shocking 67 per cent of services which replied to the survey said they have had no choice but to employ expensive debt collection agencies to help them collect unpaid fees.

An overwhelming number of you identified two quick and easy solutions which would directly improve the situation of unpaid fees:
  1. Paying the child care rebate directly to services
  2. A register of families which have left a service with unpaid fees »
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Tips to use new online qualifications tool
ACECQA’s new online tool to help educators, providers and educational institutions search for approved qualifications is now up and running. Available on the ACECQA website, the searchable qualification list incorporates all of ACECQA’s approved (and former approved) educator qualification lists into one.

We have put together a quick guide to help you use the new online tool:
  1. QUALIFICATIONS PAGE – go to the Qualifications Page on the ACECQA website which is under the green Educators and Providers tab on the home page.
  2. QUALIFICATIONS LIST BUTTON – takes users to the online list.
  3. SEARCH LIST - the searchable list allows users to search by qualification list (i.e. regulation) or by qualification level (e.g. diploma) as well as having a general word search.
  4. EXPORT TO CSV OPTION - the list also features an 'Export to CSV' option that allows data to be imported into Excel. NB – please note the qualifications list is updated on a regular basis.
The list contains all approved and former approved Certificate III, Diploma, Early Childhood teaching, First Aid, Emergency asthma and anaphylaxis qualifications for educators working in the Australian Education and care sector.

There is a separate list of qualifications for educators working with children over preschool age (e.g. OSHC) and this is also available on the website.

ACECQA has introduced a new online application form for educators seeking to have their qualifications assessed to allow them to work as qualified educators in Australia, which can be found here.
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Family style meals may help in obesity battle
Passing bowls around and allowing children to serve themselves may help prevent childhood obesity according to new research from the University of Illinois.

The researchers showed that when children and early childhood education and care providers sit around a table together at mealtime, passing bowls and serving themselves, children learn to recognise when they are full better than they do when food is pre-plated for them.

The University of Illinois study looked at the feeding practices of two- to five-year-old children in 118 child-care centers.

"Family-style meals give kids a chance to learn about things like portion size and food preferences. When foods are pre-plated, children never develop the ability to read their body's hunger cues. They don't learn to say, okay, this is an appropriate portion size for me," said lead author and director of the University of Illinois Child Development Laboratory Brent McBride.

According to Mr McBride one in four preschool children is overweight or obese, and more than 12 million preschoolers consume up to five meals or snacks daily in American child care centers.
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