Children's education and care service standards on the rise

As at 31 March 2017, 73% of children’s education and care services are rated at Meeting National Quality Standard (NQS) or above, up from 69% a year ago.

ACECQA Chief Executive Gabrielle Sinclair said the figures indicated the national assessment and rating system is driving quality improvement.

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

“The national assessment and rating system provides families and the community with valuable information about the quality of education and care services. I would strongly encourage parents and carers to refer to the quality ratings when making decisions about their choice of service. In addition to the overall quality rating, ratings are also available that cover areas such as the educational program and practice, children’s health and safety, staffing, and leadership and service management. These allow users and potential users of education and care services to look in more detail at the level of quality being provided”.

Highlights from the latest National Quality Framework (NQF) Snapshot include:

  • 88% (13,663 of the 15,593) of children’s education and care services approved to operate under the NQF have a quality rating
  • 73% (9,934) of rated services have an overall quality rating of Meeting NQS or above
  • 49% (1,799) of services rated at Working Towards NQS do not meet six or fewer of the 58 elements of quality
  • 1,959 quality rating reassessments have been completed, with 61% (1,189) resulting in the service receiving a higher overall quality rating
  • 53 services are rated as Excellent by ACECQA and 39 services are rated as Significant Improvement Required.

An interactive online version of the NQF Snapshot is available for users to sort and search for information. ACECQA also publishes an Excel workbook with additional assessment and rating data for research purposes. All data is as at 1 April 2017.

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

The NQF Snapshot Q1 2017 is available here