Exceeding remains hard to retain at A&R but ACT bucking the trend, Q3 ACECQA snapshot shows
The percentage of all services retaining their exceeding the National Quality Standard rating at reassessment has fallen again, according to the Australian Children’s Education and Care Authority’s (ACECQA) latest NQF Snapshot, marking the continuation of a trend that started in earnest in the first quarter of 2018 after the introduction of revised “assessing exceeding centre” guidance.
By the end of the three months ended September 2019, 50 per cent of all services rated exceeding prior to reassessment had managed to retain their rating post reassessment with the vast majority of centres being re-rated as meeting the NQS.
Although it is unclear how this trend is playing out across setting types, it is clear that maintaining exceeding at reassessment continues to pose challenges for significant numbers of reassessed services.
ACT and to a lesser extent SA bucking the trend, NSW and WA amplifying
When viewing the states separately however, there is a differentiation in performance, with the ACT showing gradual increases in exceeding services over time, and South Australian centres remaining steady.
The challenges of retaining exceeding ratings appears to be most keenly felt in WA, although all of the other three larger states by population are also seeing their percentages trend lower,which when combined more than outweigh the positive performances in ACT and SA.
Little change in ratings across governance types and settings in Q3
There was little change in the overall ratings across governance types and settings in Q3 with for profit operators recording a total of 27 per cent working towards which was the same as the last quarter, a slight increase in services rated as meeting to 54 per cent and the same level of exceeding centres at 19 per cent.
The ‘private not for profit’ and ‘not for profit other’ categories both saw a slight fall in exceeding rated centres to 42 per cent and 31 per cent respectively, whilst the private not for profits saw a small rise in working towards to 16 per cent.
With respect to settings the performances were broadly similar to Q2 2019 with the exception of the percentage exceeding centres which fell 1 per cent in the long day care (LDC), outside school hours care (OSHC) and family day care (FDC) settings, and rose 1 per cent in the Preschool / Kindergarten setting.
The Preschool / Kindergarten setting still has the highest percentage of centres rated meeting or exceeding at 92 per cent, followed by LDC at 79 per cent, OSHC at 72 per cent and FDC at 47 per cent.
Working towards centres totals constant for a 5th consecutive quarter
The percentage of all services rated working towards was 21 per cent for the fifth consecutive quarter in a row, and appears to imply that there is a cohort of services within the ECEC community that are finding improvement difficult when it comes to the National Quality Standard.
When it comes to the individual states and territories there has been reductions over time in all states, with the exception of NSW which has 26 per cent of services rated working towards, a level that is 2 percent higher than the same period last year.
That being said, it is not possible to determine where this underperformance is centred, as the data is not provided on a statewide basis for governance types and settings, so is only useful as a general measure of performance.
To read the Q3 ACECQA snapshot please click here.