The National Quality Standard (NQS) sets a high national benchmark for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care services in Australia.
The NQS includes 7 quality areas that are important outcomes for children.
Services are assessed and rated by their regulatory authority against the NQS, and given a rating for each of the 7 quality areas and an overall rating based on these results.
QUALITY AREA 1
Quality Area 1 – Educational program and practice
Educational program and practice of educators are child-centred, stimulating and maximise opportunities for enhancing and extending each child’s learning and development.
QUALITY AREA 2
Quality Area 2 – Children’s health and safety
Children have the right to experience quality education and care in an environment that safeguards and promotes their health, safety and wellbeing.
QUALITY AREA 3
Quality Area 3 – Physical environment
Physical environment is safe, suitable and provides a rich and diverse range of experiences that promote children’s learning and development.
QUALITY AREA 4
Quality Area 4 – Staffing arrangements
Qualified and experienced educators, who develop warm, respectful relationships with children, create predictable environments and encourage children’s active engagement in the learning program.
QUALITY AREA 5
Quality Area 5 – Relationships with children
Relationships with children are responsive, respectful and promote children’s sense of security and belonging.
QUALITY AREA 6
Quality Area 6 – Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
Collaborative relationships with families are fundamental to achieving quality outcomes for children, and community partnerships based on active communication, consultation and collaboration are essential.
QUALITY AREA 7
Quality Area 7 – Governance and leadership
Effective leadership and governance of the service contributes to quality environments for children’s learning and development. Effective leaders establish shared values for the service and set clear direction for the service’s continuous improvement.