Welcome to the National Quality Framework (NQF)

The NQF establishes higher standards for all education and care services in Australia so children to age 13 years get the best possible start in life. The program sets levels of safety and quality to benefit all children and their families who use approved education and care services. 
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Delivering better outcomes

Research shows that quality education and care early in life leads to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life. Every child’s early years are critical for establishing self-esteem, resilience, healthy growth and capacity to learn. 

A new, national approach

Australia has chosen to have a shared vision and countrywide program to make the most of children’s ability to learn from the earliest stages of development. For the first time, the NQF provides national reforms and introduces a consistent standard to make sure children are safe, happy and learning under the guidance of qualified educators.

Why it is called a framework

The NQF brings together many important components. These individual parts form the solid structural basis for education and care. 
  • New Quality Standards
  • New Assessment & Rating system
  • Streamlined regulatory arrangement
  • New national body
  • National curriculum – learning frameworks
  • Creation of National Law
  • Higher educator to child ratios
  • Better qualified educators
This resilient framework helps ensure the NQF is implemented consistently across the country.  

Implementing the NQF

Regulatory authorities in each state and territory manage the NQF locally. These authorities are also responsible for assessing and rating education and care services in each area. 
To make certain the NQF is delivered consistently and reliably, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority or ACECQA (pronounced Ah-see-qua) works with regulatory authorities and state and territory governments as they implement the new regulations. 

Promoting continuous improvement

The National Quality Standard encourages continuous improvement in children’s education and care services quality across the country. ACECQA supports the regulatory authorities that implement and administer the NQF. This process includes consulting with jurisdictions, the wider community and the sector to ensure the services ACECQA provides meet the needs and expectations of all stakeholders. ACECQA also works with many professional bodies to support quality reforms.