National Quality Framework

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 most long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten and outside schools hours care services.

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All Australian Governments have agreed on the National Quality Framework (NQF) for Early Childhood Education and Care.

To ensure Australian children get the best possible start in life, the NQF sets a consistent, high quality standard for early childhood education and care, and outside school hours care services.

This section explains how the NQF came about, its structure and objectives. You will also find many detailed guides and information sheets on the NQF and how to contact your regulatory authority should you have any questions or concerns.

National Law

The National Quality Framework (NQF) operates under an applied law system, comprising the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations. The NQF applies to most long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and preschools/kindergartens in Australia.

National Regulations

The NQF and associated regulatory system is enacted through legislation establishing the national system. The Education and Care Services National Regulations support the legislation and provide detail on a range of operational requirements for an education and care service 

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To improve education and care outcomes for all children, the NQF specifies higher standards for both educator qualifications and educator to child ratios. These new requirements are being phased in to allow the sector time to adjust.

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