National Quality Standard

The National Quality Standard (NQS) sets a high national benchmark for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care services in Australia.

The NQS includes 7 quality areas that are important outcomes for children.

Services are assessed and rated by their regulatory authority against the NQS, and given a rating for each of the 7 quality areas and an overall rating based on these results.

Acecqa – The Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority

Information and resources on the ACECQA website reflect the 2018 National Quality Standard (NQS). Find out more about recent changes to the National Quality Framework.

Quality area 1

Educational program and practice of educators are child-centred, stimulating and maximise opportunities for enhancing and extending each child’s learning and development.
Quality area 2

Children have the right to experience quality education and care in an environment that safeguards and promotes their health, safety and wellbeing.
Quality area 3

Physical environment is safe, suitable and provides a rich and diverse range of experiences that promote children’s learning and development.
Quality area 4

Qualified and experienced educators, who develop warm, respectful relationships with children, create predictable environments and encourage children’s active engagement in the learning program.
Quality area 5

Relationships with children are responsive, respectful and promote children’s sense of security and belonging.
Quality area 6

Collaborative relationships with families are fundamental to achieving quality outcomes for children, and community partnerships based on active communication, consultation and collaboration are essential.
Quality area 7

Effective leadership and governance of the service contributes to quality environments for children’s learning and development. Effective leaders establish shared values for the service and set clear direction for the service’s continuous improvement.

Components of the revised NQS from 1 February 2018