Early Childhood Education is one of the most important phases in a child’s development. For this reason, the Australian government in 2012 has put into effect the National Quality Framework (NQF) nation wide through the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).
National Regulations: Education and Care Services
The National Quality Framework standardises the quality of childcare with a range of benchmarks that childcare providers need to meet. These benchmarks are called the National Quality Standards (NQS). The standards are composed of several quality areas that the government deems essential to the development of children. These areas include:
- Educational Programs and Practice. The goal of this area is to ensure that each preschool and childcare centre has educational programs that nurture the development of life skills and social experiences that children need.
- Children’s Health and Safety. This area aims to minimise the risks and dangers to children’s health and simultaneously promote their physical and psychological well-being.
- Physical Environment. This area examines how the environment is designed and assess how it promotes a range of experiences that aid children’s development.
- Staffing Arrangements. The goal of this area is to ensure that only qualified educators teach and supervise children.
- Relationships with Children. This area aims to promote relationships with children with a focus on respect and sense of belongingness.
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities. This area ensures that communication with families and communities is essential to support the development of children.
- Governance and leadership. This area aims to provide a system that supports effective leadership that promotes a positive learning environment.
Service ratings under the National Quality Framework
There are six ratings that childcare providers can receive from the National Quality Standards. These are:
- Excellent – the highest possible rating that the ACECQA can award.
- Exceeding National Quality Standard – can be acquired by getting a rating of Exceeding in four out of seven quality areas.
- Meeting National Quality Standard – awarded to providers that meet the requirements of the NQS.
- Working Towards National Quality Standard – given to providers that may have some elements that do not meet the National Quality Standards.
- Significant Improvement Required – given to service providers that fail to meet the standards in a way that poses a risk to the safety of children.
- Provisional – given to services that are yet to be assessed by the National Quality Standard.
What the National Quality Standard Ratings Mean for Families
Using these seven quality areas of the National Quality Standards, your child’s daycare centre, preschool, and other childcare services are rated. These ratings are essential guidelines when choosing your childcare provider. When looking for a Brighton Le Sands preschool, you need to ensure that the childcare centre meets and even exceeds the National Quality Standards
The Berry Patch Preschool and Long Day Care Centre meets the benchmarks set by the National Quality Standards. To know more about the steps that we take to meet these standards, send us your questions using our contact page or visit a Berry Patch Preschool near you.