National Quality Framework
Renown Kindergarten works under the guidelines of the National Quality Framework. The National Quality Framework aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement and consistency in education and care services through:
• a national legislative framework
• a National Quality Standard
• a national quality rating and assessment process
• a new national body called the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.
The National Quality Framework took effect on 1 January 2012 with key requirements being phased in overtime. Requirements such as qualification, educator-to-child ratios and other key staffing arrangements will be phased in between 2012 and 2020.
National legislative framework
The national legislative framework is established through an applied laws system and consists of:
• The Education and Care Services National Law
• The Education and Care Services National Regulations.
It creates a jointly governed uniform national approach to the regulation and quality assessment of education and care services and replaces existing separate licensing and quality assurance processes. For many services this integrated approach means less red tape.
A Regulatory Authority in each state and territory is primarily responsible for administering the National Quality Framework, including approving, monitoring and quality assessing services.
A national body—the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) —l oversees the National Quality Framework and ensures the consistent and effective implementation of the new system.
National Quality Standard
The National Quality Standard sets a new national benchmark for the quality of education and care services. The National Quality Standard is divided into seven Quality Areas:
1. Educational program and practice
2. Children’s health and safety
3. Physical environment
4. Staffing arrangements
5. Relationships with children
6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
7. Leadership and service management.
The National Quality Standard aims to promote:
• the safety, health and wellbeing of children
• a focus on achieving outcomes for children through high-quality educational programs
• families’ understanding of what distinguishes a quality service.
National quality rating and assessment process
Approved Services will be assessed and rated against each of the seven Quality Areas of the National Quality Standard and the National Regulations. They will also be given an overall rating. The rating and assessment process aims to drive continuous quality improvement at services and provide families with better information for making choices about their children’s education and care.
Renown Kindergarten’s Educators in collaboration with Renown’s Quality Assurance Subcommittee will continue to evaluate Renown’s practice to meet the National Quality Standards.
The NQF Process
Step One: Approval to operate
Step Two: Quality Improvement plan submitted detailing how the service is meeting the National Quality Standard. The Improvement plan must be kept on site and updated annually.
Step Three: Assessment. This will be done by an appropriately qualified assessor on site.
Post assessment written advice will be provided by service providers. All services will begin with a working towards National Quality Standard status until they have been assessed. Services must apply for an assessment to determine if they achieve the excellent rating.
The rating system is as follows:
1. Significant improvement required
2. Working towards National Quality Standard
3. Meeting National Quality Standard
4. Exceeding National Quality Standard
5. Excellent rating
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations