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, and outside school hours care services in Australia.
It gives services and families a better understanding of a quality service, helping families to make informed decisions about the services providing education and care to their child. The NQS brings together the 7 key quality areas that are important to outcomes for children.
- Educational program and practice
- Children’s health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Leadership and service management
Assessment and rating of services
Services are assessed and rated by ACECQA, their regulatory authority against the NQS, and given a rating for each of the 7 quality areas and an overall rating based on these results.