A clearer and simpler rating system for early childhood services has been announced, making it easier for parents to understand how their service rates under the National Quality Framework (NQF).
All providers will be required to display their National Quality Standard (NQS) rating in the format of four stars that correlate to their rating.
Services will display the stars where parents can see them clearly, and will be requested to provide more detailed rating information to parents and families at enrolment from July 1, 2020.
A fifth star can be obtained through an additional application to Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority. The NSW Government has worked with the sector and families to find a better way of promoting and understanding the quality ratings, and have set aside a further $8 million to support providers to improve the quality of their services, building on the $5 million already invested.
Ensuring parents and carers understand the rating of their early childhood service is essential for families, and also for maintaining and improving quality. The new four star format will display a service's NQF rating as:
Exceeding NQS = 4 stars. Meeting NQS = 3 stars. Working towards NQS = 2 stars. Significant Improvement required = 1 star For more information on the new Stars system visit the website: www.education.nsw.gov.au/early-childhood-quality.
Free legal diary for seniors
I'd like to encourage seniors across the Electorate to pick up a copy of the free 2020 Legal Topics for Older Persons Diary to help them understand their legal rights and to help navigate the justice system.
The 2020 Diary is a great resource for seniors in our local community and is full of helpful tips and advice, including how to access the NSW Government's cost saving initiatives. Having the diary at your fingertips will make it easier for seniors to keep on top of legal issues such as scams, insurance claims and elder abuse.
It doesn't matter how savvy you are, dodgy operators are always looking for ways to take advantage of older people so it is vital they know what to look out for and how to protect themselves. Seniors will find information on investment, dating and romance scams in the diary.
Scams use a variety of methods to con victims, including phishing emails and fake phone calls to steal identities or access bank accounts.
Another major issue that is addressed in the Legal Aid diary is elder abuse which can take many different forms including physical, emotional, financial and neglect. To order the diary online please visit: www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/publications/order-apublication.
Walking and cycling projects will prosper
I'm excited to announce that the NSW Government has committed $197 million into walking and cycling infrastructure projects over the next four years through our Walking and Cycling Program.
The 2020/21 Walking and Cycling Program has been updated to better reflect the NSW Government's long-term strategy outlined in Future Transport 2056.
Walking or cycling in our communities can be a positive way to commute and leads to mental, social and physical wellbeing.
I look forward to advancing shovel-ready projects that will benefit people in our community from building this kind of infrastructure.
The 2020/21 Walking and Cycling Program Guidelines and a link to the submission portal can be found at: www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/programs/walkingand-cycling.