With the upcoming changes to the NFQ National Quality Framework, it is important to begin preparations – especially if you are interested in selling a childcare centre. While the deadlines are in October 2017 and February 2018, planning now for these changes could create a big selling point for your centre.
There are several changes coming to the National Quality Framework which aim to improve the childcare industry. Australian Childcare Alliance gives this overview of the important changes:
- A revised National Quality Standard (NQS) to strengthen quality through greater clarity, remove conceptual overlap between elements and standards, clarify language and reduce the number of standards and elements from 18 standards to 15, and 58 to 40 elements.
- A reduction in documentation requirements for children over preschool age attending early childhood education and care to reduce the administrative burden for these services (applies in Queensland, NSW and NT only).
- Introducing a national educator to child ratio of 1:15 for services providing education and care to school age children to align with Queensland’s current requirement for OSHC services.
- Removing supervisor certificate requirements so service providers have more autonomy in deciding who can be the responsible person in each service, and to reduce red tape.
- Improving oversight of the FDC sector with requirements that predominantly align with Queensland’s current regulatory practices with a focus on maintaining the safety and well-being of children.
- Requiring all early childhood education and care services to have sleep and rest policies and procedures for children and infants in response to a recommendation from a Queensland coronial inquest.
In addition to those listed above, there are other changes planned for the framework. Therefore, it is important to read through the complete list to understand what changes need to be implemented in the childcare centre to meet the new requirements.
As a seller, why should you begin to plan now?
Well, these changes are not just going to happen overnight – adjustments need to be made well in advance, as you may have to readjust practices, paperwork, policies and possibly staff. If you are planning on selling your childcare centre in the next few months it may be tempting to leave these changes to the new owner, but it could be a major selling point if you prepare the business beforehand.
Effects of Regulation Changes
With these changes to regulation, NQS (National Quality Standard) ratings could be affected. Purchasers are more interested in centres that meet or exceed NQS requirements than those that need work to bring them in line with the new framework. If your centre does not meet the new requirements, buyers may not want to expend the extra effort required to bring the centre up to a competitive standard. Having a plan already in place for how the centre aims to meet the new NQS requirements would be a major selling point, as this means less work for the eventual purchaser.
The NQS rating of childcare centres is displayed on the national registers along with the Starting Blocks and MyChild websites. This means that when parents are researching childcare centres, they can compare services easily. Not only that but if your centre has a good rating they can display the logo on their website – a clear comparison of centre quality for parents and purchasers alike. Being prepared early may give you a competitive advantage over other neighbouring centres as you can be ready to improve or uphold your rating from the day the new requirements begin.
If you are interested in buying or selling a childcare centre, it is important to consider these changes and how they could affect the sale. By preparing early and implementing changes well ahead of the deadlines your childcare centre should be more appealing to purchasers. If you need more information about NQS ratings, regulation changes, or buying or selling a childcare centre, visit the Australian Childcare Alliance
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