Research and reports

Children learn more during the first five years than at any other time in life. The National Quality Framework (NQF) aims to improve the educational and developmental outcomes for children attending education and care services, and promote continuous improvement in service quality. On this page you will find research and reports relevant to the NQF.

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

On this page

Framework Logic Model

NQF Evaluation Framework

The NQF Evaluation Framework was developed so that governments and their regulatory agencies have an agreed way of understanding whether and how the NQF is meeting its objectives.

NQF Evaluation Framework - Program Logic model

Key NQF evaluation questions and sub questions

ACECQA research and evaluation strategy

ACECQA's research and evaluation strategy is a five year strategy and implementation plan which sets out our approach to research and evaluation under the NQF.

NPAP report

NQF Annual Performance Report

ACECQA’s third annual performance report analyses a number of the objectives of the NQF.

See all Annual Performance Reports.






NQF SnapshotsNQF SnapShot Q3

View current and previous NQF Snapshots, which provide an overview of the Australian children’s education and care sector, including the progress and results of quality assessment and rating against the National Quality Standard (NQS).




Occasional Papers

    ACECQA publishes a series of occasional papers on different aspects of the NQF.

    Quality Support Program (NSW Department of Education/ACECQA)

    Supporting Quality Improvement in Education and Care (2019) Early findings from the Quality Support Program

    Education and care sector research

    Regulatory Burden Reports

    To monitor changes in perceptions and experiences of regulatory burden between 2013 and 2015, ACECQA undertook a three stage longitudinal study. ACECQA conducted a fourth regulatory burden study in 2017.

    Results from the 2017 and 2018 surveys are available in the National Partnership Annual Performance Reports.

    National Partnership Agreements

    Operational Activity Report

    As part of our ongoing commitment to openness and transparency, we make information publicly available about our operational functions including the number of Excellent rating applications received and awarded, and how many second tier review and qualification assessment applications we have received.

    View the most recent ACECQA operational activity data including applications by month, location and outcome. The information is updated quarterly.

    NQF foundation and review documents

    Explanatory materials for NQF legislation

    Early Childhood and Child Care in Summary

    Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)


    Early Childhood Resource Hub

    Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Data

     AITSL Spotlights 

    Evidence summaries from Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) relating to topics important to education professionals, including online initial teacher education (ITE) courses, early career teacher attrition rates, and induction of beginning teachers.

    AITSL initial teacher education data reports

    Summary of data on initial teacher education (ITE) providing insights into the future early childhood teaching workforce.


    Starting Strong reports (OECD)

    Providing Quality Early Childhood Education and Care (2019) Results from the Starting Strong Survey 2018
    Engaging Young Children (2018) – Lessons from Research about Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care
    Starting Strong 2017 (2017) – Key OECD Indicators on Early Childhood Education and Care
    Starting Strong V (2017) – Transitions from Early Childhood Education and Care to Primary Education
    Starting Strong IV (2015) – Monitoring quality in early childhood education and care
    Starting Strong III (2011) – A quality toolbox for early childhood education and care
    Starting Strong II (2006) – Early Childhood Education and Care
    Starting Strong I (2001)

    Report on Government Services

    ACECQA collaborates with state and territory governments and other agencies on the early childhood education and care chapter of the annual Report on Government Services (RoGS) produced by the Productivity Commission.
    RoGS 2019
    RoGS 2018
    RoGS 2017
    RoGS 2016
    RoGS 2015
    RoGS 2014
    RoGS 2013
    RoGS 2012

    ACECQA submissions

    Australian Qualifications Framework Review (2019) Australian Government

    Review of the Melbourne Declaration (2019) Council of Australian Governments Education Council

    Vocational Education and Training Review (2019) Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

    Inquiry on status of the teaching profession (2018) The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training

    National Review of Teacher Registration (2018) Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

    Consultation on unduly short courses and training product reform (2018) Australian Government

    Review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (2018) Australian Government

    The effect of red tape on childcare (2018) Australian Senate

    Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education (2018) Australian Government

    Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Jobs for Families Child Care Package) Bill 2015 (2016) Australian Senate

    Education Evidence Base Inquiry (2016) Productivity Commission

    Childcare and Early Childhood Learning (2014) Productivity Commission

    The immediate future of the childcare sector in Australia (2014) Australian Senate

    The delivery of quality and affordable early childhood education and care services (2014) Australian Senate

      Families Research

      Cover Families Qualitative Report

      Results of qualitative research, undertaken in the first half of 2018, exploring themes including influences on parents and carers’ decision‑making processes for selecting a service and feedback on Starting Blocks.

      Families Research Project Pilot Study 2014 (Hall & Partners Research) 

      Results from ACECQA’s families research (2017, 2018 and 2019) are available in the NQF Annual Performance Reports.

      Guidelines for seeking ACECQA’s support with research and evaluation activities

      ACECQA welcomes and encourages high quality research that contributes to the NQF evidence base. Please read these guidelines and complete the application form if you are seeking our support for, or participation in, research and evaluation activities.