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National Quality Standards


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

These standards include seven Quality Areas against which centres are assessed

  1. Educational 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


What is the National Quality Standard Assessment process?

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 their results. For more information please visit

Why is the assessment process important?

The assessment process provides valuable external feedback to early childhood services, including areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. 

How do I know what a centre's rating is?

Ratings for the entire sector are available at

Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs)

What are Quality Improvement Plans?

An important part of the standards is the requirement for services to develop ongoing Quality Improvement Plans (QIP).

The aim of a QIP is to help providers self-assess their performance in delivering quality education and care and to plan future improvements. The QIP also helps the regulatory authorities with their assessment of the service. A QIP helps providers to document the strengths of their services and to recognise areas for improvement.

The Quality Improvement Plan must:
  • include an assessment of the quality of practices of the service against the National Regulations and National Quality Standard

  • identify areas the provider considers may require improvement

  • contain a statement about the philosophy of the service

Each centre should develop their QIP in consultation with families and children. Children are consulted for development of curriculum, activities and playground changes and parents are consulted in relation to events at the centre, feedback towards curriculum, playground/environment changes.

Where can I get a copy of my centre's QIP?

If you are interested in finding out more about the Quality Improvement Plan in place please contact us on (02) 4455 2894.

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