Pre-Prep in State Schools in Identified Indigenous Communities

Version Number

3.1

Implementation Date

5/07/2016

Scope

State schools in identified indigenous communities

Purpose

​Outlines the provision of state school pre-Prep programs for Indigenous children aged 3½ to 4½ being delivered across 35 identified Indigenous communities.​​​​​​​

Overview

Pre-prep lays the foundations for successful learning. It provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in discrete communities with access to a quality early learning program that meets national quality requirements, and places a specific emphasis on play-based early learning. DET supports pre-prep programs delivered in different settings, including licensed child care centres, community kindergartens and state schools, across 35 identified Indigenous communities. Pre-prep is a voluntary program delivered to children 3½ to 4½ years of age for 15 hours per week.

While pre-prep children are not enrolled as students of the school, the school is still responsible for the children’s health, safety and wellbeing, and is therefore accountable for these children.

Responsibilities

Regional Directors:

  • ​provide leadership, monitor and resource support to ensure pre-prep programs meet the requirements of the Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) Act 2011, Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) Regulation 2011 and National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care
  • distribute and align targeted human and other resources to support regulatory staffing, program implementation and qualification ratio requirements
  • provide executive direction and support for Nominated Supervisors in charge of pre-prep programs, ensure the Regulatory Authority is informed of changes to the Nominated Supervisor at any pre-prep programs operating in the region, and assist new regional pre-prep programs with service approval processes.

Principals/Heads of Campus (nominated supervisors, certified supervisor roles):

  • ensure delivery of the pre-prep program in accordance with the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011, Pre-Prep in State Schools in Identified Indigenous Communities Operational Guidelines and the NQF
  • provide leadership for pre-prep staff in raising expectations for continuous quality improvement as part of the whole school community, support early childhood pedagogy in the school setting, and administer the pre-prep program
  • notify the Regulatory Authority of changes to the pre-prep program hours or changes to premises in which the pre-prep program operates
  • ensure staff are appropriately qualified under the National Law
  • ensure pre-prep staff use Foundations for Success: Guidelines for extending and enriching learning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Kindergarten Year 
  • ensure that serious incidents and complaints are recorded and submitted to the Regulatory Authority within 24 hours of occurrence
  • ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of children, staff and others through the provision of appropriate policies, procedures and programs
  • lead, monitor, promote and support continuous quality improvement, including participating in the development and maintenance of QIPs and reviewing and signing off on QIPs
  • ensure Management of Prescribed Contagious Conditions and associated Infection Control Guidelines are followed when a child may be suffering from a contagious condition
  • ensure appropriately qualified staff to the child ratio of 1:12 (Schedule 3 of the Education and Care Services Regulation 2013 (Qld)) are maintained at all times including during lunch breaks, and provide relief for an absent pre-prep teacher (Note: from 2016, the ratio will be 1:11)
  • ensure all volunteers who are not parents have a current Blue Card issued.

Teachers plan, develop, implement and evaluate the management and operations of the pre-prep educational program, and promote continuous quality improvement.

Volunteers hold a current Blue Card and follow the directions of the pre-prep teacher when working in pre-prep. 

Parents register their child by completing the Application to register a child in a pre-preparatory learning program in a Queensland state school form, and comply with the responsibilities of parents outlined in the Registration Information Sheet.

Process

Principals/Heads of Campus (nominated supervisors, certified supervisor roles):
  • ensure alignment of the pre-prep program with the National Quality Standard
  • ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of children, staff and others through the provision of appropriate policies, procedures and programs such as:
    • the arrival and departure of children at the pre-prep program 
    • school transportation
    • excursions 
    • bus and playground duty
    • playground activities
    • food handling
    • instigate an appropriate response in accordance with Student Protection procedure when a staff member reports a suspicion of harm or risk of harm to a pre-prep child 
    • incorporate a reference to pre-prep children in the school sun safety strategy
    • inform pre-prep staff of the requirements of the Smart Choices – Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy for Queensland Schools
    • support professional development and professional networking opportunities for pre-prep educators.
Teachers:
  • understand and use Foundations for Success: Guidelines for an early learning program in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Communities to plan, implement and evaluate a quality early learning program 
  • follow the Pre-Prep in State Schools in Identified Indigenous Communities Operational Guidelines to develop and implement the management and operations of the pre-prep program
  • ensure alignment of the pre-prep program with the Early Years Learning Framework and National Quality Standard​
  • ensure alignment of the pre-prep educational program with relevant components of the National Quality Standard
  • promote continuous quality improvement through the development and maintenance of a Quality Improvement Plan
  • arrange registration for pre-prep in Term 4 of the year prior to attendance, and provide an introductory visit to welcome children and discuss the program with families
  • provide a program that builds on children’s knowledge and cultural background
  • ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of all children
  • follow up absences of children of more than five sessions 
  • maintain individual portfolios of pre-prep children’s work and hold regular discussions with the child's parents about the child's progress 
  • implement a transition to school program no later than the beginning of Term 4 in a child’s final year of pre-prep.
Volunteers:
  • follow the directions of the pre-prep teachers
  • ensure attendance is noted in volunteer register for pre-prep 
  • do not divulge to a third party any information about a child 
  • understand the obligations outlined in the Student Protection procedure and report any suspicion to the principal or your closest regional office that a child is being harmed or at risk of harm.
Parents:

Online Resources

Review Date

21/11/2016
Attribution CC BY

Pre-prep is the equivalent of kindergarten. In Queensland, the kindergarten year is the year before the preparatory year of schooling. Under the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care the pre-prep year is referred to as preschool/kindergarten.

Application to register a child in a pre-preparatory learning program in a Queensland state school form is the approved form to register a child in a pre-preparatory learning program in a Queensland state school.

Approved Provider is a person who holds a provider approval. A provider approval authorises a person to apply for one or more service approvals and is valid in all jurisdictions. The State of Queensland, through the Department of Education and Training (DET), is the approved provider for state school pre-prep services.

Assessment and Ratings are used by authorised officers during a service visit to assess and rate the service against the National Quality Standards.

Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Assurance (ACECQA) oversees the regulation system and guides its implementation in a nationally consistent way. DET's Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) (Regulatory Authority) is responsible for monitoring early childhood education and care services in Queensland and ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, the National Law and Regulations.

Certified Supervisor (legal responsibility)
The Regulatory Authority may grant a Supervisor Certificate. The purpose of a supervisor certificate is to identify those persons who can be put in day-to-day charge of an approved education and care service.

Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) is a learning framework for nationally consistent and quality early childhood education across all settings throughout Australia.

Foundations for Success​: Guideline for extending and enriching learning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in their Kindergarten Year provides educators with a framework for planning, implementing and reflecting on a quality early learning program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (3½-4½ years) in the year before prep in Queensland. ​Foundation for Success meets the requirements of the national EYLF and provides the curriculum guidelines for the pre-prep programs, which have been specifically tailored to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families in a program that incorporates home language and culture to strengthen early literacy, numeracy and social and emotional development.

National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (NQF) consists of the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations. NQF is a partnership between all Australian governments through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), which took effect on 1 January 2012 to raise quality, and drive continuous improvement and consistency for most long day care, preschool/kindergarten, family day care and outside school hours care services in Australia.

National Quality Standard (NQS) is used to assess education and care services to determine rating levels under Part 5 of the National Law. The NQS is located at Schedule 1 of the National Regulations.

Nominated Supervisor (legal responsibility)
Under National legislation, all services must have a
nominated supervisor in pre-prep services in state schools. The nominated supervisor is the principal or head of campus.

Parents​ are defined by section 10 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld).

  1. (a) the child's mother
    (b) the child's father
    (c) a person who exercises parental responsibility for the child
  2. however, a person standing in the place of a parent of a child on a temporary basis is not a parent of the child
  3. a person who, under Aboriginal tradition, is regarded as a parent of the child
  4. a person who, under Island custom, is regarded as a parent of the child
  5. Despite subsections 1, 3 and 4, if
    (a) a person is granted guardianship of a child under the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld); or
    (b) a person otherwise exercises parental responsibility for a child under a decision or order of a federal court or a court of a State;
    then a reference in this Act to a parent of a child is a reference only to a person mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).
Play-based learning is a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds as they actively engage with people, objects and representations.

Pre-Prep in State Schools in Identified Indigenous Communities Operational Guidelines supports state schools in the day-to-day management and operations of a pre-prep program.

Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA) administers the Blue Card system, and promotes and protects the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people in Queensland.

Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) ​assists providers to self-assess their performance in delivering education and care, and to plan for future improvements. The QIP also helps the regulatory authorities with their assessment of the service.

Registration Information Sheet for pre-prep in state schools is discussed with parents to ensure they understand how the pre-prep program operates in the school, what children will be doing in pre-prep, and how the program builds partnerships between family/community, pre-prep and school.

Each state and territory government is responsible for legislation under which child care services are licensed. In Queensland, this is administered by ECEC.

Smart Choices—Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy for Queensland Schools offers healthy food and drink choices to students in Queensland schools

ACECQA glossary of terms provides further definitions.