Mission Australia Early Learning (MAEL) is a not-for-profit provider of centre-based care, kindergarten, family day care and out of school hours care, operating throughout Australia.
The challenge was first identified when an FDC educator that started with the organisation a few years earlier, had children who turned 18. One of the requirements of FDC is to ensure not only the educator holds a valid working with children check (WWCC), but also any person over the age of 18 who lives in the house or regularly visits the house, has a valid WWCC.
The incumbent software could run reports for the FDC educators, but not the household and the tracking of this was a manual process. The MA board (as the Approved Provider) had concerns that the existing process was not strong enough to ensure appropriate due diligence was being undertaken within the service. This created a strong call to action to strengthen the compliance.
Visibility is key, particularly when contractors are remote. This is not available where their information is primarily collated, managed and held in filing cabinets with the addition of manual spreadsheets and poor reporting output from the software used.
With such small-scale administrative support, it was important for MAEL to find a way to be efficient with reporting and compliance, at the same time ensuring documentary evidence and probative assurance when required.
MAEL had developed a relationship with INX Sitepass and had a Learning Management System platform in use across MAEL to support accessible online learning opportunities for staff and develop internal MAEL specific courses. The LMS was also used to update staff profiles to track external training records that also covered WWCC for MAEL educators.
MAEL already had a bespoke relationship with Sitepass. MAEL’s challenge was brought to INX Sitepass’ contractor management system was the tool to help solve the problem.
The introduction of a contractor management system replaced tiresome manual processes, provided oversight into key issues and managed their FDC workforce rigorous certification and insurance requirement.
The national regulation is to ensure that all FDC educators contracted to MAEL, are meeting the National Quality Standards and have appropriate checks in place to ensure strong due diligence and compliance is met.
Increasing transparency, oversight of credentials licensing permits etc, real time reporting in one location. Ability to select and prequalify, engage and induct, monitor and authorise their contingent workforce.
MAEL were able to track other key household information that feeds into national legislation requirements such as pool fences, car registration, family members, regular visitor data. If the delegate of the Approved Provider for Mission Australia needed the WWCC for all people aged over 18 in an individual household, an authorised person at appropriate level of access, can log in and pass that information on.
This has also provided MAEL with the ability to support the Family Day Care educators with access to digital training developed by Early Childhood Australia and internal training developed by Mission Australia specifically to support the Family Day Care educators who are working with them. By acknowledging that people learn different ways MAEL can use the platform to connect and provide growth opportunities that in previous cases would have meant the educator had to search for training opportunities on their own.
Mission Australia has strong policies around access of personal information and the CMS meets those requirements regarding privacy concerns and permits for appropriate levels of approvals.
The dashboard provides a high-level overview of the status of the FDC educators and reporting output is generating more high- level insight.
MAEL can also store and access remotely to assist with compliance issues including any department investigations. Typically when department visits occur, copies of documents on file that meet legislative requirements are requested.
The CMS allows MAEL to be able to provide these documents quickly and efficiently and strengthens and demonstrates governance processes implemented within the service.
INX Sitepass provides MAEL with the flexibility to make ongoing adjustments to meet the needs of the business.
This tool replaced manual processes, provided management with the ability for greater oversight of the skilled FDC educators, managing qualifications in real time to not only meet the requirements from underpinned legislation in the early childhood industry, but also satisfy the board/approved provider.
Ultimate peace of mind
The partnership between MAEL and Sitepass ensures minimisation of risk and maintains the reputation of MAEL within the industry. By ensuring there is strong compliance structures and processes in place MAEL demonstrates legislative requirements around governance. If there is poor reporting and storage
of information or MAEL are unable to locate records, they could be in breach and this information can be shared on the department website, which could impact their reputation. It can also impact quality rating for the service.
This extends to the safety of children In MAEL’s care, legal implications relating to educators and providers, MAEL’s licence and other services under MAEL’s Provider Approvals.
“The platform has provided us with an opportunity to engage with our Family Day Care educators and presents us with the ability to measure and assess knowledge of our contractors.”