Quality Area 7: Governance and leadership


Quality Area 7 focuses on effective leadership and governance of the service to establish and maintain quality environments for children’s learning and development. Effective leaders establish shared values for the service that reflect the service context and professionalism and set clear direction for the service’s continuous improvement. Governance refers to the systems in place to support effective management and operation of the service, consistent with the service’s statement of philosophy.

To achieve the best outcomes for children and families, a service requires a skilled and engaged workforce, sound administrative and risk management systems, well-documented policies and procedures, and a safe and healthy learning environment for children.

Effective evaluation and self-review enables a service to continuously improve their practice, policies and procedures. An ongoing cycle of self-assessment, planning and review, together with engagement with all stakeholders including families, creates a culture of continuous improvement at the service.

Educational leaders support educators to develop the curriculum and reflect on their practice to identify opportunities for improvement. The educational leader also assists educators to identify areas for ongoing learning and professional development to enhance their practice.

Standards, elements and concepts

Quality Area 7 has two Standards that focus on governance and leadership at the service. These Standards are crucial to delivering quality outcomes for children under the National Quality Framework because:

  • effective governance requires a statement of philosophy, adequate management systems and clearly delineated roles and responsibilities to support the effective operation of a quality service
  • effective leadership establishes a culture of reflective practice to encourage continuous improvement across all aspects of the service, resulting in a higher quality service for children and their families.



Governance and Leadership



Governance supports the operation of a quality service.


Service philosophy and purpose

A statement of philosophy guides all aspects of the service’s operations.


Management systems

Systems are in place to manage risk and enable the effective management and operation of a quality service.


Roles and responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, and understood, and support effective decision-making and operation of the service.



Effective leadership builds and promotes a positive organisational culture and professional learning community.


Continuous improvement

There is an effective self-assessment and quality improvement process in place.


Educational leadership

The educational leader is supported and leads the development and implementation of the educational program and assessment and planning cycle.


Development of professionals

Educators, co-ordinators and staff members’ performance is regularly evaluated and individual plans are in place to support learning and development.




See the ACECQA Educational Leader Resource for information for educational leaders.