The National Quality Standard

The National Quality Standard (NQS) is a key aspect of the NQF and sets a national benchmark for early childhood education and care, and outside school hours care services in Australia.

As the NQF progresses, every service in the country will be assessed to make sure it meets the new quality standard. In the meantime, as safety is paramount all day and every day, every service must comply with rigorous health and safety requirements.

To ensure children enjoy the best possible conditions in their early educational and developmental years, the NQS promotes continuous improvement in quality.

The major benefits for parents and children include:

  • improved educator to child ratios
  • greater individual care and attention for children
  • educators with increased skills and qualifications
  • better support for children’s learning and development
  • a national register to help parents assess the quality of education and care services in their area.

Informed by extensive research

The National Quality Standard is linked to national learning frameworks that recognise children learn from birth. It outlines practices that support and promote children’s learning. These are:

New and consistent ratings

The NQS introduces ratings for children's education and care services. The ratings cover Australian long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and some preschools/kindergartens.

Each service receives a rating for:

There are five rating levels within the national quality rating and assessment process:

  • Excellent rating – awarded by ACECQA
  • Exceeding National Quality Standard
  • Meeting National Quality Standard
  • Working Towards National Quality Standard
  • Significant Improvement Required
     

For more information on assessment and ratings click here.

For more information on the seven quality areas of the NQS click here.

Quality ratings of assessed services are published on the national register of services and on the MyChild website.