More than 17,000 approved children’s education and care services operating across Australia
The latest quarterly NQF Snapshot shows there are more than 17,000 services approved under the National Quality Framework (NQF) to provide children’s education and care services across Australia. Importantly, 88% of these services are meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard (NQS).
“The rise in the proportion of services rated Meeting NQS and above has been substantial – from 56% in 2013 to 88% today. This improvement in quality is remarkable given the significant growth in our sector during this period,” said ACECQA CEO Gabrielle Sinclair.
“The changes demonstrate the NQF is working as intended by encouraging teachers, educators and other service staff to improve their programs and practices to deliver better outcomes for children and families,” Ms Sinclair added.
Understandably, there was a sharp drop in the number of quality assessment and rating visits in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest figures show a return to pre-pandemic levels. Children's health safety and wellbeing remained paramount and other essential types of visits (including checking and monitoring compliance with the requirements of the NQF and responding to complaints) continued throughout the pandemic.
In addition to detailed information about the quality of education and care services, the Snapshot and interactive Online Snapshot include data about temporary service closures related to the impact of COVID-19 and other aspects of service regulation, such as staffing waivers.
Details of these and other achievements from the first decade of the NQF are highlighted in our recent occasional paper on this topic.
Approved education and care services include long day care, outside school hours care and family day care services, as well as most preschools and kindergartens.