Quality Area 7 - Leadership and service management

The aim of Quality Area 7 under the National Quality Standard is to support effective leadership and management of the service that contributes to quality environments for children’s learning and development. Well-documented policies and procedures, well-maintained records, shared values, clear direction and reflective practices enable the service to function as a learning community.

An ongoing cycle of planning and review, including engagement with families, creates a setting for continuous improvement.

Educational program and practiceChildren's health and safetyPhysical environmentStaffing arrangementsRelationships with childrenBuilding partnerships with familiesEducational leadership and team building

Leadership and service management

Standard 7.1Effective leadership promotes a positive organisational culture and builds a professional learning community.
Element 7.1.1Appropriate governance arrangements are in place to manage the service.
Element 7.1.2The induction of educators, co-ordinators and staff members, including relief educators, is comprehensive.
Element 7.1.3Every effort is made to promote continuity of educators and co-ordinators at the service.
Element 7.1.4Provision is made to ensure a suitably qualified and experienced educator or co-ordinator leads the development of the curriculum and ensures the establishment of clear goals and expectations for teaching and learning.
Element 7.1.5Adults working with children and those engaged in management of the service or residing on the premises are fit and proper.
Standard 7.2There is a commitment to continuous improvement.
Element 7.2.1A statement of philosophy is developed and guides all aspects of the service’s operations.
Element 7.2.2The performance of educators, co-ordinators and staff members is evaluated and individual development plans are in place to support performance improvement.
Element 7.2.3An effective self-assessment and quality improvement process is in place.
Standard 7.3Administrative systems enable the effective management of a quality service.
Element 7.3.1Records and information are stored appropriately to ensure confidentiality, are available from the service and are maintained in accordance with legislative requirements.
Element 7.3.2Administrative systems are established and maintained to ensure the effective operation of the service.
Element 7.3.3The Regulatory Authority is notified of any relevant changes to the operation of the service, of serious incidents and of any complaints which allege a breach of legislation.
Element 7.3.4Processes are in place to ensure that all grievances and complaints are addressed, investigated fairly and documented in a timely manner.
Element 7.3.5Service practices are based on effectively documented policies and procedures that are available at the service and reviewed regularly.

Read about the other quality areas here.

Additional information about the quality area, standards and elements can be found in the Guide to the National Quality Standard.


Quality Area 7 resources:

Developing effective performance review processes

Employee management and development kit (Early Learning Association Australia)

Guide to developing a Quality Improvement Plan

Leading learning circles for educators engaged in study

Employee performance audits

Conducting staff meetings: agenda and outcomes (OSHC)

Educator/staff appraisal training and development

Managing for good performance 

Mentoring: a literature review

SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL: Professional Learning Plan – PSCA

Educational Leader

Educational leader 3 part blog series

What does it mean to be the Educational Leader in your service?  

The role of the educational leader - pages 5-9

Quality Area 7-Educational leadership and team building

The educational leader

ACECQA information sheet - the role of the educational leader

Talking about practice: The role of the educational leader

Developing a learning community for educational leaders - pages 6-7

Sharing educational leadership - pages 16-17

Being and becoming leaders - pages 37-39

The dark side of leadership: troubling times at the top

Leading excellent pedagogy and practice in children’s services:

Exploring the role of educational leader


Creating an organisational culture of your dreams

Learning and growing through professional development

Professional learning plan self-assessment tool

Professional development planning

Professional learning seminars

Talking about practice: self-assessment, reflective practice and quality improvement processes

Supporting continuous performance improvement through the use of peer appraisals

Reviewing your Quality Improvement Plan

Talking about practice: the quality improvement process

Pursuing best practice: What does it take to drive continuous improvement?


Enablers for effective professional conversations

Leadership in education and care - Laurie Kelly

Pedagogical Leadership - a distributed model

Leadership in education and care –

What does leadership look like in early childhood settings?

The voice of the educator: Leadership

Managing change in a complex environment (VEYLDF)

Assessing the quality of early childhood education and care

How to develop and update policies successfully

Change management in early childhood education and care