The National Quality Standard
The National Quality Framework raises quality and drives continuous improvement and consistency in Australian education and care services. Established in 2012, the NQF applies to long day care, family day care, preschool, prep, kindergarten and outside schools hours care services. The National Quality Standard (NQS) is a key aspect of the NQF and sets a national benchmark for early childhood education and care, and outside school hours care services in Australia.
The major benefits for parents and children include:
- improved educator to child ratios
- greater individual care and attention for children
- educators with increased skills and qualifications
- better support for children’s learning and development
- a national register to help parents assess the quality of education and care services in their area
Informed by extensive research
The National Quality Standard is linked to national learning frameworks that recognise children learn from birth. It outlines practices that support and promote children’s learning. These are:
- Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (‘Early Years Learning Framework’)
- The National Quality Framework:
The National Quality Framework and associated regulatory system is enacted through the legislation establishing the national system. The Education and Care Services National Regulations (National Regulations) support the legislation and provide detail on a range of operational requirements for an education and care service including:
- application processes for provider approval, service approval and supervisor certificates
- setting out the rating scale
- the process for the rating and assessment of services against the National Quality Standard
- minimum requirements relating to the operation of education and care services organised around each of the seven Quality Areas
- arrangements to move existing services into the new system
The National Regulations also set out the range of transaction fees applicable to an education and care service.
The National Quality Standard is located at schedule 1 of the National Regulations.
On 9 December 2011 the former Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) made the Education and Care Services National Regulations under sections 301 and 324 of the Education and Care Services National Law as applied by the law of the states and territories. The Regulations are published on the NSW Legislation website.
Information Sourced: http://www.acecqa.gov.au/