Assessment and rating data show continued quality improvement in children's education and care sector

As at 31 December 2016, more than 70 per cent of children’s education and care services have been rated at Meeting National Quality Standard (NQS) or above, according to new data released by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).

ACECQA Chief Executive Officer Gabrielle Sinclair said the figures indicated the national assessment and rating system is driving quality improvement, with the latest results up from 68 per cent at the end of 2015, 65 per cent at the end of 2014 and 59 per cent at the end of 2013.

“I am very pleased to see the continued trend of year on year improvement in performance because the NQS is a very high benchmark. Children’s education and care services are assessed against 58 different elements of quality. If any of these elements are not met, services receive an overall rating of Working Towards NQS,” Ms Sinclair said.

“The national rating of education and care services is not designed as a pass-fail system. It examines a broad range of quality measures and encourages continuous improvement. With over 1700 reassessments undertaken, more than 60 per cent have resulted in a service receiving a higher overall quality rating. More than 900 services have improved their overall rating from Working Towards NQS to Meeting NQS or Exceeding NQS at reassessment.”

Highlights from the latest NQF Snapshot include:

  • 15,434 approved children’s education and care services in Australia
  • 86 per cent of these have a quality rating
  • 53 services have been rated as Excellent by ACECQA
  • 1705 services have been reassessed, with 62 per cent resulting in the service receiving a higher overall quality rating.

“With 86 per cent of services approved to operate under the National Quality Framework (NQF) having a quality rating, families with children entering education and care can increasingly make informed decisions and know they are entering a sector that encourages quality programs, practices and experiences that support their child’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive development,” Ms Sinclair said.

Families with young children entering children’s education and care are encouraged to visit ACECQA’s family focused website, Starting Blocks for information about the rating of services and to locate education and care services in their local area.

An interactive online version of the NQF Snapshot is available for users to sort and search for information. ACECQA has also published on its website an Excel workbook with additional assessment and rating data for research purposes. All data are at 31 December 2016.

“This is part of ACECQA’s commitment to sharing more information about the NQF. I encourage people working in, and with, our sector to explore these data,” Ms Sinclair said.

This Snapshot is the 16th report on the NQF, and both the PDF and online versions are available here.

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