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.
Employee management and development kit – Early Learning Association Australia
Information sheet: Practical ideas to support continuous quality improvement – ACECQA
Leading learning circles for educators engaged in study – Jennifer Cartmel et al. 
NQS PLP e-Newsletter: Getting ready for the NQS – Commonwealth of Australia
NQS PLP e-Newsletter: Revising the service philosophy – Commonwealth of Australia
Self-assessment Tool – ACECQA


Disability Standards for Education for early childhood (prior to school) course – NCCD
How to develop and update policies successfully (without the stress) – Child Australia
How to generate family involvement in service management – Community Child Care
Information sheet: Quality Area 7 – Reviewing your service philosophy – ACECQA
Information sheet: Quality Area 7 – Using complaints to support continuous improvement – ACECQA
Policy tip sheet: Ensuring policies are consistently implemented – PSC Alliance
Professional learning seminars – VCAA
We hear you blog: Professional development planning – ACECQA
Who knows what about me? – Children’s Commissioner for England


Information sheet: Quality Area 7 – Supporting performance and the development of professionals – ACECQA
Assessing the quality of early childhood education and care – The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne
Being and becoming early childhood leaders – Journal of Early Childhood Education Research
Being and becoming leaders (pp.37–39) – Rattler, CELA
Enablers for effective professional conversations – AITSL
Information sheet: Quality Area 7 – Educational leadership and team building – ACECQA
Information sheet: Quality Area 7 – The role of the educational leader – ACECQA
Inspiring leadership in early childhood – Early Childhood Australia
Integrated early years provision in Australia – PSC Alliance / Charles Sturt University
Leading excellent pedagogy and practice in children’s services – Health and Community Services Workforce Council
Leadership in education and care – Laurie Kelly
New role, new conversations: A school leader’s guide – AITSL
Stories of assessment – PSC Alliance
The dark side of leadership: Troubling times at the top – Semann & Slattery
The role of the educational leader in Australia (pp.5–9) – InSights, Communities @ Work
Transformational leadership – Gowrie Professional Support Coordinator
We hear you blog: The role of educational leader blog series – ACECQA
What does it mean to be the Educational Leader in your service? – ELAA