NSW Quality Ratings initiative progresses with “family friendly” quality rating now live
The NSW Department of Education has developed a resource suite to help guide conversations with families about a service’s quality improvement journey, following the release, in 2019, of a Quality Ratings initiative which was designed to address research showing that awareness of both the National Quality Framework (NQF) and the quality ratings system amongst families is low, and that service ratings do not form part of the decision-making process for many families when choosing an education and care service.
The Quality Ratings initiative was announced as part of a wider strategy by the Department to drive quality improvement and promote the value of early childhood education and school-aged care, and is designed to “help bridge this gap in family awareness of service quality”.
Under the initiative, early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in NSW will transition from the existing quality ratings certificates to “a new family-friendly format” which uses coloured stars to deliver information about the quality rating of a service.
The Departmental view is that the certificates provide “clear at-a-glance information about the quality rating of each service that is easy for families to understand”, with positive feedback about the changes beginning to flow through from families.
In order to support services with the transition to the new format, the NSW Department of Education has developed a resource suite to help guide conversations with families about a service’s quality improvement journey, with the Department reminding providers that “your advocacy and conversations with families contributes to increasing community awareness of quality and the value of early childhood education and school-aged care”.
Over 2,000 services have already joined the initiative ahead of its compulsory roll out, and it is expected that remaining services will join by the end of the year.
Copies of “family friendly” certificates and other resources now available on the Department website, here.