Quality Area 1 – Educational program and practice

The aim of Quality Area 1 of the National Quality Standard is to ensure that the educational program and practice is stimulating and engaging, and enhances children’s learning and development. In school age care services, the program nurtures the development of life skills and complements children’s experiences, opportunities and relationships at school, at home and in the community.

Educational program and practice

Standard 1.1 Program The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.
Element 1.1.1 Approved learning framework  Curriculum decision making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators.
Element 1.1.2 Child-centred Each child’s current knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests are the foundation of the program.
Element 1.1.3 Program learning opportunities All aspects of the program, including routines, are organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning.
Standard 1.2 Practice Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development.
Element 1.2.1 Intentional teaching  Educators are deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful in their decisions and actions.
Element 1.2.2 Responsive teaching and scaffolding  Educators respond to children’s ideas and play and extend children’s learning through open-ended questions, interactions and feedback.
Element 1.2.3 Child directed learning  Each child's agency is promoted, enabling them to make choices and decisions that influence events and their world.
Standard 1.3 Assessment and planning

Educators and co-ordinators take a planned and reflective approach to implementing the program for each child.

Element 1.3.1 Assessment and planning cycle Each child’s learning and development is assessed or evaluated as part of an ongoing cycle of observation, analysing learning, documentation, planning, implementation and reflection.
Element 1.3.2 Critical reflection Critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, drives program planning and implementation.
Element 1.3.3 Information for families Families are informed about the program and their child's progress.


Quality Area 1 resources:


Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia
My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia

Remote Indigenous Professional Development Package for the EYLF
Educators Guide Belonging, Being, Becoming
Educators Guide My Time, Our Place 
Developmental milestones and the EYLF
EYLF Practice Based Resources - Post cards
Playgrounds of learning: Valuing competence and agency in birth to three year olds 
What's pedagogy anyway - handbook 
Agency in practice
Foundations for success: Learning, Teaching, Leading


ACECQA Information sheet: Quality Area 1 -Developing a culture of learning through reflective practice
ACECQA Information sheet: Quality Area 1 - Supporting agency: Involving children in decision making
ACECQA Information sheet: Quality Area 1 - Be part of reconciliation
Early Years Learning Framework in Action
Respect, reflect, relate
Case studies: Quality Area 1: Educational Program and Practice
ACECQA We Hear You Blog The journey towards critical reflection
Critical reflection

Assessment and Planning

ACECQA We Hear You Blog: Unpacking the Planning Cycle: A Three Part Series
Effective curriculum planning and documentation methods in education and care services
Summative assessments
Reviewing practice reflection tool