National Quality Framework
The National Quality Framework (NQF) is the result of an agreement between all Australian governments to work together to provide better educational and developmental outcomes for children using education and care services.
It aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement and consistency in education and care services through:
- a National Legislative Framework;
- a National Quality Standard;
- a National quality rating and assessment process; and
- a national body called "The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
National Legislative Framework
The national legislative framework is established through an applied laws system and consists of:
- the Education and Care Services National Law; and
- the Education and Care Services National Regulations.
In NSW, our Regulatory Authority is Department of Education (Early Childhood Education Directorate) which is primarily responsible for administering the National Quality Framework, including approving, monitoring, and quality assessing services.
A national body - the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) - oversees the National Quality Framework and ensure the consistent and effective implementation of the system.
National Quality Standard
The National Quality Standard (NQS) sets a national benchmark for the quality of education and care services.
It helps our educators provide the best possible level of early childhood education and care by being clear about the factors that best support a child's development. It also gives educators and families confidence in understanding what distinguishes high quality or excellent services.
To ensure children enjoy the best possible conditions in their early educational and developmental years, the NQS promotes continuous improvement in quality.
The National Quality Standard is divided into seven Quality Areas:-
QA1 - Education program and practice
QA2 - Children's health and safety
QA3 - Physical environment
QA4 - Staffing arrangements
QA5 - Relationships with children
QA6 - Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
QA7 - Governance and Leadership
National Quality Rating and Assessment Process
Approved Services are assessed and rated against each of the seven Quality Areas of the National Quality Standard and National Regulations. The rating and assessment process aims to drive continuous quality improvement at services and provide families with better information for making choices about their children's education and care.