The new National Quality Framework (NQF) came into effect on the 1 January 2012. This has involved the introduction and implementation of the Education and Care Services National Regulations (2011), the Education and Care Services National Law Act (2010) and the National Quality Standard (NQS) (2011). Children’s education and care services covered under the Education and Care Services National Law are assessed and rated against the NQS. This important reform will deliver a higher standard of care for children in the critical areas of education, health and safety and will provide clear and comprehensive information for families so they can choose the best services for their child.
The National Quality Standards (NQS) are linked to the National Early Years Learning Framework (2009) which recognises that children learn from birth. The process reflects a uniform approach to assessment and reporting across the range of service settings. Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority undertakes the assessment and rating process. It is also the point of contact for any questions services may have about the assessment and rating process.
On November 2014, the service was assessed under the National Quality Standards, and received Exceeding in all seven quality areas of the NQS with an overall rating of Exceeding National Quality Standards. The services’ strengths, as noted by assessors, included:
‘The practices, principles and learning outcomes of the Learning and Development Frameworks were consistently embedded in pedagogy at the service. In particular, the holistic approach to teaching and learning, supported by achievements in establishing and maintaining relationships with children and the willingness to collaborate with families to enhance children’s learning and wellbeing. There was evident and demonstrated strong leadership from the service managers and a commitment to quality teaching principles and practices by educators at the service.’
For more information on the new National Quality Standard, see: www.acecqa.gov.au.