Quality Area 3 - Physical environment

The aim of Quality Area 3 under the National Quality Standard is to ensure that the physical environment is safe, suitable and provides a rich and diverse range of experiences that promote children’s learning and development.

The way that the environment is designed, equipped and organised determines the way that the space and resources are used and has the potential to maximise children’s engagement and level of positive experience and inclusive relationships.

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

Physical environment

Standard 3.1The design and location of the premises is appropriate for the operation of a service.
Element 3.1.1Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, furniture, equipment, facilities and resources are suitable for their purpose.
Element 3.1.2Premises, furniture and equipment are safe, clean and well maintained.
Element 3.1.3Facilities are designed or adapted to ensure access and participation by every child in the service and to allow flexible use, and interaction between indoor and outdoor space.
Standard 3.2The environment is inclusive, promotes competence, independent exploration and learning through play.
Element 3.2.1Outdoor and indoor spaces are designed and organised to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments.
Element 3.2.2Resources, materials and equipment are sufficient in number, organised in ways that ensure appropriate and effective implementation of the program and allow for multiple uses.
Standard 3.3The service takes an active role in caring for its environment and contributes to a sustainable future.
Element 3.3.1Sustainable practices are embedded in service operations.
Element 3.3.2Children are supported to become environmentally responsible and show respect for the environment.


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.