Quality in Education and Care

Why Quality Matters

A large amount of national and international research evidence shows:

  • Children are born ready to learn and the best learning happens in nurturing relationships
  • Educator to child ratios play a key role in ensuring quality for improved child development – more educators for each child increases the potential for frequent and meaningful interactions
  • Smaller group sizes enable more individualised attention and frequent interactions, as well as facilitating secure relationships between children and with educators
  • Improved training and higher qualifications raise the quality of educators’ interactions with children, their educational practice and the learning environments.

All early childhood education and care services are assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard. An overall rating is given dependent on evidence collected across seven quality areas:

  1. education program and practice
  2. children’s health and safety
  3. physical environment
  4. staffing arrangements
  5. relationships with children
  6. collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  7. leadership and service management.

Services are rated overall against five rating levels:

  1. Excellent rating – awarded by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority
  2. Exceeding National Quality Standard
  3. Meeting National Quality Standard
  4. Working Towards National Quality Standard
  5. Significant Improvement Required.

Families can contribute to the quality of the service by providing feedback on their Quality Improvement Plan. Collaboration with families is an important part of the National Quality Framework. Services will welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with you.

Early Years Learning Framework

All education and care services under the National Quality Framework are required to use an approved learning framework.

For children preschool age and under (birth to five years) this is Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.

The Early Years Learning Framework has been developed to ensure children receive quality play-based learning that is engaging and builds success for life.

Educators use the Early Years Learning Framework in partnership with families to develop learning programs responsive to children's ideas, interests, strengths and abilities, and recognise that children learn through their play.

It is not a prescriptive curriculum and it will look different in each setting, reflecting the philosophy of the early childhood education and care service and the local community.

Families can talk to the person in charge of the service about how they use the framework to guide children's learning and development.

Talking Quality Publication

Children’s Education and Care Assurances, develops a quarterly publication ‘Talking Quality: Reflecting on Practice in Education and Care’ with stories from the sector.

The aim of the publication is to engage educators with information that promotes professional enquiry and critical reflection on quality practices.

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