Quality Area 7 – Governance and leadership

The aim of Quality Area 7 under the National Quality Standard is to support effective leadership and management of the service that contributes to quality environments for children’s learning and development. Well-documented policies and procedures, well-maintained records, shared values, clear direction and reflective practices enable the service to function as a learning community.

An ongoing cycle of planning and review, including engagement with families, creates a setting for continuous improvement.

Governance and Leadership

Standard 7.1 Governance Governance supports the operation of a quality service.
Element 7.1.1 Service philosophy and purpose A statement of philosophy guides all aspects of the service’s operations.
Element 7.1.2 Management Systems Systems are in place to manage risk and enable the effective management and operation of a quality service.
Element 7.1.3 Roles and responsibilities Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, and understood, and support effective decision making and operation of the service.
Standard 7.2 Leadership  Effective leadership builds and promotes a positive organisational culture and professional learning community.
Element 7.2.1 Continuous improvement There is an effective self-assessment and quality improvement process in place.
Element 7.2.2 Educational leadership The educational leader is supported and leads the development and implementation of the educational program and assessment and planning cycle.
Element 7.2.3 Development of professionals  Educators, co-ordinators and staff members’ performance is regularly evaluated and individual plans are in place to support learning and development.

Quality Area 7 resources:

Employee management and development kit (Early Learning Association Australia)

Leading learning circles for educators engaged in study 

Employee performance audits

Conducting staff meetings: agenda and outcomes (OSHC)

Educator/staff appraisal training and development

Self-assessment tool: Professional Learning Plan – PSCA


Creating an organisational culture of your dreams

Learning and growing through professional development

ACECQA We Hear You blog: Professional development planning

Professional learning seminars

Supporting continuous performance improvement through the use of peer appraisals

Talking about practice: the quality improvement process

Pursuing best practice: What does it take to drive continuous improvement?

Using complaints to support continuous improvement


ACECQA Information sheet: Quality Area 7 - The role of the educational leader

ACECQA We Hear You blog: Educational Leader role: 3 part blog series   

What does it mean to be the Educational Leader in your service?  

The role of the educational leader - pages 5-9

ACECQA Information sheet: Quality Area 7 - Educational leadership and team building

NQS PLP - The educational leader

Talking about practice: The role of the educational leader

Developing a learning community for educational leaders - pages 6-7

Sharing educational leadership - pages 16-17

Being and becoming leaders - pages 37-39

The dark side of leadership: troubling times at the top

Leading excellent pedagogy and practice in children’s services

Enablers for effective professional conversations

Leadership in education and care - Laurie Kelly

What does leadership look like in early childhood settings?

The voice of the educator: Leadership

Assessing the quality of early childhood education and care

How to develop and update policies successfully

Change management in early childhood education and care