80 per cent of ECEC centres meet or exceed NQS: ACECQA
Almost 8 in 10 education and care services assessed under the National Quality Framework (NQF) have achieved a rating of Meeting National Quality Standards (NQS) or above, according to the latest Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) quarterly snapshot.
As at 30 June 2018, a total of 6,638 services were rated ‘Meeting NQS’, with a further 4,834 rated ‘Exceeding NQS’ and 52 awarded the ‘Excellent’ rating – the highest rating an education and care service can achieve under the National Quality Framework (NQF).
To be rated ‘Meeting NQS’ or above, all seven quality elements of the NQS must be met. Many services rated ‘Working Towards NQS’ are close to ‘Meeting NQS’, and require only minor changes in program or practice to attain a rank of ‘Meeting NQS’ or above.
In the recent snapshot, more than 500 services are rated ‘Working Towards NQS’ due to not meeting only one or two quality elements. It is also important to note that the quality assessment and rating system is not designed as a pass-fail system, and that opportunity is given for services to provide feedback into the ranking they have received.
ACECQA CEO Gabrielle Sinclair said that the results achieved demonstrate the integral role the National Quality Standards have played in raising quality in the sector, and driving a culture of continuous improvement in education and care services.
Ms Sinclair commended the work undertaken in this area. “Providers, educators and all staff should be congratulated for their ongoing commitment to quality outcomes for children,” she said.
ACECQA’s NQF Snapshot provides analysis and information on the profile of the education and care sector, the progress of quality assessment and rating, and the quality ratings awarded to services, including examining the distribution of ratings by service type, provider management type and geographically.
Education and care services approved under the NQF include long day care, outside school hours care and family day care services, as well as most preschools/kindergartens.
Information about the rating of a service can be accessed by providers, parents and the general community, through the national registers on ACECQA’s website.