National Quality Standards

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National Quality Standard        1 September 2011

The National Quality Standard sets a new national benchmark for the quality of education and care services. It will also give services and families a better understanding of a quality service. This will enable families to make informed decisions about the services providing education and care to their child. The National Quality Standard is a key aspect of the National Quality Framework. It brings together the seven key quality areas that are important to outcomes for children.

The National Quality Standard is accompanied by a national quality rating and assessment process that reflects a national approach to the assessment and reporting of the quality of education and care services across the variety of service settings. The availability of this information promotes transparency and accountability and will help parents make informed choices regarding the quality of education and care at a service. Each service will receive a rating for each quality area and an overall rating.

To download a pdf version of the National Quality Standards please  click here

7 Quality Areas         18 Standards        58 elements


1.1 An Approved Learning Framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child’s learning and development.

1.1.1 Curriculum decision making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators.

1.1.2 Each child’s current knowledge, ideas, culture, abilities and interests are the foundation of the program.

1.1.3 The program, including routines, is organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning.

1.1.4 The documentation about each child’s program and progress is available to families.

1.1.5 Every child is supported to participate in the program.

1.1.6 Each child’s agency is promoted, enabling them to make choices and decisions and influence events and their world.

1.2 Educators and co-ordinators are focused, active and reflective in designing and delivering the program for each child.

1.2.1 Each child’s learning and development is assessed as part of an ongoing cycle of planning, documenting and evaluation.

1.2.2 Educators respond to children’s ideas and play and use intentional teaching to scaffold and extend each child’s learning.

1.2.3 Critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, is regularly used to implement the program.



2.1 Each child’s health is promoted.

2.1.1 Each child’s health needs are supported.

2.1.2 Each child’s comfort is provided for and there are appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation.

2.1.3 Effective hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.

2.1.4 Steps are taken to control the spread of infectious diseases and to manage injuries and illness, in accordance with recognised guidelines.

2.2 Healthy eating and physical activity are embedded in the program for children.

2.2.1 Healthy eating is promoted and food and drinks provided by the service are nutritious and appropriate for each child.

2.2.2 Physical activity is promoted through planned and spontaneous experiences and is appropriate for each child.

2.3 Each child is protected.

2.3.1 Children are adequately supervised at all times.

2.3.2 Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury.

2.3.3 Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practised and implemented.

2.3.4 Educators, co-ordinators and staff members are aware of their roles and responsibilities to respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect.



3.1 The design and location of the premises is appropriate for the operation of a service.

3.1.1 Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, furniture, equipment, facilities and resources are suitable for their purpose.

3.1.2 Premises, furniture and equipment are safe, clean and well maintained.

3.1.3 Facilities are designed or adapted to ensure access and participation by every child in the service and to allow flexible use, and interaction between indoor and outdoor space.

3.2 The environment is inclusive, promotes competence, independent exploration and learning through play.

3.2.1 Outdoor and indoor spaces are designed and organised to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments.

3.2.2 Resources, materials and equipment are sufficient in number, organised in ways that ensure appropriate and effective implementation of the program and allow for multiple uses.

3.3 The service takes an active role in caring for its environment and contributes to a sustainable future.

3.3.1 Sustainable practices are embedded in service operations.

3.3.2 Children are supported to become environmentally responsible and show respect for the environment.



4.1 Staffing arrangements enhance children’s learning and development and ensure their safety and wellbeing.

4.1.1 Educator-to-child ratios and qualification requirements are maintained at all times.

4.2 Educators, co-ordinators and staff members are respectful and ethical.

4.2.1 Professional standards guide practice, interactions and relationships.

4.2.2 Educators, co-ordinators and staff members work collaboratively and affirm, challenge, support and learn from each other to further develop their skills, to improve practice and relationships.

4.2.3 Interactions convey mutual respect, equity and recognition of each other’s strengths and skills.



5.1 Respectful and equitable relationships are developed and maintained with each child.

5.1.1 Interactions with each child are warm, responsive and build trusting relationships.

5.1.2 Every child is able to engage with educators in meaningful, open interactions that support the acquisition of skills for life and learning.

5.1.3 Each child is supported to feel secure, confident and included.

5.2 Each child is supported to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships with other children and adults.

5.2.1 Each child is supported to work with, learn from and help others through collaborative learning opportunities.

5.2.2 Each child is supported to manage their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflicts.

5.2.3 The dignity and rights of every child are maintained at all times.



6.1 Respectful supportive relationships with families are developed and maintained.

6.1.1 There is an effective enrolment and orientation process for families.

6.1.2 Families have opportunities to be involved in the service and contribute to service decisions.

6.1.3 Current information about the service is available to families.

6.2 Families are supported in their parenting role and their values and beliefs about child rearing are respected.

6.2.1 The expertise of families is recognised and they share in decision making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.

6.2.2 Current information is available to families about community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.

6.3 The service collaborates with other organisations and service providers to enhance children’s learning and wellbeing.

6.3.1 Links with relevant community and support agencies are established and maintained.

6.3.2 Continuity of learning and transitions for each child are supported by sharing relevant information and clarifying responsibilities.

6.3.3 Access to inclusion and support assistance is facilitated.

6.3.4 The service builds relationships and engages with their local community.



7.1 Effective leadership promotes a positive organisational culture and builds a professional learning community.

7.1.1 Appropriate governance arrangements are in place to manage the service.

7.1.2 The induction of educators, co-ordinators and staff members is comprehensive.

7.1.3 Every effort is made to promote continuity of educators and co-ordinators at the service.

7.1.4 Provision is made to ensure a suitably qualified and experienced educator or co-ordinator leads the development of the curriculum and ensures the establishment of clear goals and expectations for teaching and learning.

7.1.5 Adults working with children and those engaged in management of the service or residing on the premises are fit and proper.

7.2 There is a commitment to continuous improvement.

7.2.1 A statement of philosophy is developed and guides all aspects of the service’s operations.

7.2.2 The performance of educators, co-ordinators and staff members is evaluated and individual development plans are in place to support performance improvement.

7.2.3 An effective self-assessment and quality improvement process is in place.

7.3 Administrative systems enable the effective management of a quality service.

7.3.1 Records and information are stored appropriately to ensure confidentiality, are available from the service and are maintained in accordance with legislative requirements.

7.3.2 Administrative systems are established and maintained to ensure the effective operation of the service.

7.3.3 The Regulatory Authority is notified of any relevant changes to the operation of the service, of serious incidents and any complaints which allege a breach of legislation.

7.3.4 Processes are in place to ensure that all grievances and complaints are addressed, investigated fairly and documented in a timely manner.

7.3.5 Service practices are based on effectively documented policies and procedures that are available at the service and reviewed regularly.



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