New data highlights continued quality improvement in children's education and care services

The children’s education and care sector in Australia continues to show growth and quality improvement under the National Quality Framework (NQF), according to new data released by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).

Over 80 per cent of education and care services have received a quality rating, with close to two-thirds of the 1332 reassessed services receiving a higher overall quality rating.

ACECQA General Manager, Strategy, Communications and Consistency Michael Petrie said the figures indicated the national assessment and rating system set a high benchmark for services, driving quality and continuous improvement.

“The National Quality Standard (NQS) continues to raise the bar on quality and continuous improvement in children’s education and care, with 71 per cent of services now rated Meeting or Exceeding the NQS compared with 66 per cent 12 months ago,” Mr Petrie said.

“This means families with children entering education and care can make informed decisions and know they are entering a sector that encourages services to improve their programs and practices, providing children with quality experiences that can lead to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life.”

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

  • 15,429 children’s education and care services operating across Australia
  • 83% of these have received a quality rating
  • 49 services have been rated Excellent by ACECQA
  • 1332 services have been reassessed, with 63% resulting in an improved overall quality rating.

“With 83% of services assessed and rated, we have a clearer understanding of which areas of the NQS services find more challenging, as well as improvements in performance against elements of the NQS. This latest Snapshot also features graphs that provide additional detail about services rated Working Towards NQS, which allows us to get a much better idea of how close services are to meeting the high standard set by the NQS,” Mr Petrie said.

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.

“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 this data,” Mr Petrie said.

Families with children entering early education and care are encouraged to visit ACECQA’s family focused website, Starting Blocks