More children’s education and care services than ever meet or exceed quality standards

The latest quarterly National Quality Framework Snapshot finds 82% of services are rated Meeting National Quality Standard (NQS) or above – the highest proportion since quality ratings began in 2012.

The report, released by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), is the 31st NQF Snapshot report which summarises quality rating results for education and care services operating under the National Quality Framework (NQF).

The proportion of services rated Meeting NQS or above has risen every year since NQS ratings were first published – from 57% in Q3 2013 to 82% in Q3 2020.

“This report is powerful evidence that service providers, teachers and educators are continuing to improve their programs and practices to deliver positive outcomes for children,” said ACECQA CEO Gabrielle Sinclair.

“The National Quality Standard sets a high bar for services and all quality elements must be met to be rated Meeting NQS or above. It is important to note that the quality assessment and rating system is not a pass-fail system but is designed to encourage continuous quality improvement in every service”.

In addition to detailed information about the quality of education and care services, the Snapshot and interactive Online Snapshot also include data about temporary service closures related to the impact of COVID-19 and other aspects of service regulation.

On 2 April 2020, in recognition of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Education Ministers announced four critical areas for time-limited regulatory action, including the temporary suspension of quality assessment and ratings.

The assessment and rating process typically takes around three months from initial notification to the approved provider to the publication of the final ratings. The temporary suspension of assessment and ratings due to COVID-19 has therefore had a significant impact on the volume of new quality assessment and rating results in this report. State and territory regulatory authorities have now recommenced the assessment and rating process.

While the ratio of assessment and rating visits to all other visits has fluctuated over time, state and territory regulatory authorities have undertaken more than three times as many other types of visit as assessment and rating visits since 2017. The large number of other visits (which include checking and monitoring compliance with the requirements of the NQF) emphasises the significant amount of regulatory work that occurs outside of quality assessment and rating.

Families are encouraged to visit for more information about their local education and care services.

Information, support and guidance about COVID-19, including temporary service closures, is available on the ACECQA website.