TERM 1 | ISSUE 3
4 May 2020
Message from the CEO
At ACBC, we have been changing with the times to overcome the current challenges. Social distancing and movement restrictions have meant that ACBC has had to be innovative for our CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care students and our trainees. In April, we have transitioned to using Zoom to conduct workplace observations instead of visiting. Our regulator, ASQA, has been supportive of innovative ways to conduct assessment and workplace observations. The most important thing is that our students and trainees have continuity of training and assessment, and this new way of doing things via technology looks like it will be a part of the way all RTOs conduct their training into the future. Thanks to our employers and students for welcoming the changes and being supportive.
We are excited to announce that we are now offering our CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care as an online option for people living outside of New South Wales. Many course applicants from other states wanted to study with ACBC, but couldn’t. However, we have developed a delivery model that enables us to manage compulsory practicum arrangements in other states. This is great news for people wanting to gain their industry qualifications by studying online with us across Australia. Demand in the childcare sector continues to grow and the online option from ACBC is helping people to train or retrain for a career in this exciting and rewarding industry.
One of the challenges for studying online is planning study to make sure that assessments are submitted on time and in sequence within the course timeframe. After feedback from our online students and trainers, ACBC has now implemented a new system for our online students. We issue ‘assessment schedules’ with due dates for assessments. This way, our trainers can support and coach and better track progress. Of course, there is flexibility in the system, but experience tells us that a good study plan can help our students achieve outcomes in all delivery modes. The idea of studying at ‘your own pace’ sounds appealing, but for many students, who are returning to study or have busy lives, a plan is very helpful. Initial feedback from our students has been very positive.
During these recent challenging times, the Federal Government has been trying to support people across the community. One of the initiatives that we think is very important is the support for employers to encourage them not to let their trainees go during the downturn. The government is offering up to $21,000 in wage support for employers of trainees who were in traineeships at 1 March 2020. This is such a positive approach to making sure that training continues for trainees, as having well trained staff is one of the key tools for businesses to recover from the downturn.
The Federal Government recognises the importance of Vocational Education and Training in setting up the economy for long-term recovery. Several recent support initiatives have included updating the MySkills website to make it easier to find online training options to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other developments to support the VET sector include waiving of ASQA fees and charges, and the delay to ASQA’s move to full cost recovery, to help maintain the cash flow of VET providers and support education and training.
It’s not well known that to access benefits from Centrelink, students must study an approved course at an approved education provider to access Youth Allowance, Austudy, or Pensioner Education Supplement. ACBC is an approved education provider for this. Online students may also be eligible for support if they complete their Diploma courses within 12 months based on 75% of the full-time face-to-face study load.
To view the rest of the May 2020 Newsletter, click here