NQF continues to set a higher benchmark for children's education and care

NQF Snapshot Q4 2015

Nearly 75% of children’s education and care services have received a quality rating under the National Quality Framework (NQF) according to the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority’s (ACECQA) latest Snapshot report.

Of the services rated, 68% are Meeting or Exceeding the National Quality Standard (NQS).

ACECQA Chief Executive Officer Karen Curtis said since assessment and rating began in 2012, the NQF has set a higher benchmark for children’s education and care services.

“The national assessment and rating system raises the bar on quality and continuous improvement, and services are making good progress in meeting standards that are more rigorous,” Ms Curtis said.

“In this edition of the Snapshot, ACECQA is able to provide more transparency around the performance of service types and by the classification of providers that manage these services. This level of detail will help drive improvement in our sector as the NQF continues to be implemented across the country.

“When we look at quality ratings by service sub-type, 85% of preschool/kindergartens have been rated as Meeting or Exceeding, compared with 65% of long day care and 61% of outside school hours care services.

“And when we look at quality ratings by provider management type, 85% of ‘State/Territory and Local Government managed’ services have been rated as Meeting or Exceeding, compared with 60% of ‘Private for profit’ managed services.”

These differences are not unexpected as they reflect a range of contextual factors, such as the service profile of these provider types, including the historical levels of government investment, staffing qualifications and regulatory oversight of different types of service.

For example, half of all ‘State/Territory and Local Government managed’ services are preschools/kindergartens, which have a long history of government investment and the provision of degree qualified educators, whereas preschools and kindergartens comprise only 1% of ‘Private for profit’ managed services who predominantly operate long day care services.

“All Australian governments have agreed on the importance of families being able to make informed decisions about education and care,” Ms Curtis said. “Families looking for more information can use ACECQA’s Starting Blocks website to help with finding and choosing a quality service.”

Other highlights from the Snapshot include:

·       15 166 children’s education and care services operating across Australia

·       74% of these (11 261) have received a quality rating, an increase of 47% over the past 12 months

·       44 services have been rated as Excellent by ACECQA.

“The availability of data helps us to evaluate how the NQF is working to improve outcomes for children and families and we will continue to investigate how we can extend the information,” Ms Curtis said.

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