New study links Exceeding services with learning and development
The Sector > Provider > General News > New study links Exceeding rating to better learning and development outcomes

New study links Exceeding rating to better learning and development outcomes

by Freya Lucas

June 20, 2024

A new study from the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) and researchers from the Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland has shown clear links between the National Quality Standard rating of a service and children’s developmental outcomes. 


The world-first study linked data from the Early Education and Care National Quality Standards, Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) and E4Kids longitudinal research to understand the impact of ECEC service quality on child development.  


Children who attend an early childhood education and care (ECEC) service rated as Exceeding or above are less likely to be developmentally vulnerable than those in services with lower ratings, the study showed, providing the first empirical evidence in Australia linking quality ratings with child development. 


The findings confirm what many in the ECEC sector have long suspected, AERO CEO Dr Jenny Donovan said – that investing in high-quality ECEC services leads to better learning outcomes.  


Researchers were able to identify the three specific aspects of quality which are most central to children’s learning and development; 


  • Quality Area 1 – Educational program and practice
  • Quality Area 3 – Physical environment
  • Quality Area 5 – Relationships with children


Dr Donovan said that while the news will be welcome for those services already rated as Exceeding or above, it will also serve as useful guidance for those services who are striving to Exceed the National Quality Standard as to which areas of quality “really make a difference to children’s outcomes.”   


“This study has important implications for educational equity. To shift the dial on educational achievement we need exceeding services in the most disadvantaged communities, ensuring all Australian children thrive across their educational journey,” ARC Laureate Professor Karen Thorpe at the Queensland Brain Institute said, welcoming the findings. 


View the findings and associated resources here

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