The National Quality Standard (NQS) is a key aspect of the National Quality Framework (NQF) and sets a high, national benchmark for early childhood education and care services in Australia.
Early childhood services are rated against 7 quality areas of the National Quality Standard:
- Educational program and practice
- Children’s health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Governance and leadership
Benefits for children and families
The early years are critical for establishing self-esteem, resilience, healthy growth and capacity to learn. Quality education and care shapes every child’s future and lays the foundation for development and learning.
The major benefits for parents and children include:
- improved educator to child ratios, ensuring children have greater individual care and attention for children
- educators with increased skills and qualifications
- better support for children’s learning and development through approved learning frameworks
- consistent, transparent information on educators, providers and services in the national registers.
Service promotes exceptional education and care. Services rated Exceeding NQS in all 7 Quality Areas may choose to apply for this rating. Rating awarded by ACECQA.
Service goes beyond the requirements in at least 4 of the 7 quality areas.
Service provides quality education and care in all 7 quality areas.
Service provides a safe education and care program, but there are 1 of more areas identified for improvement.
Significant Improvement Required – this is a service that does not meet 1 of the 7 quality areas or a section of the legislation and there is a significant risk to the safety, health and wellbeing of children. The regulatory authority will take immediate action.
The National Quality Standard FAQ
This ensures your child receives quality education programs in line with the National Quality Standard in their early childhood setting. This is a vital time for them to learn and develop.
Read more about The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia here
- National Law and National Regulations
- National Quality Standard
- Assessment and quality rating process
- National learning frameworks.