A key focus of the National Quality Framework (NQF) is to promote continuous quality improvement of early childhood education and care services through the national quality assessment and rating process.
This process has 4 steps:
- self-assessment and reflection
- improvement planning
- assessment rating visit
- publication of ratings.
Self-assessment and reflection
Services should conduct a self-assessment to determine the quality of current practices against the National Quality Standard (NQS) and the linked regulatory standards.
Services should identify their strengths and where quality improvements can be made and how they can be implemented. This should be informed by the self-assessment and documented in a
Quality Improvement Plan.
Assessment and rating visit
The approved provider will receive written notification from the department when the assessment and rating process has started for your service. The Quality Improvement Plan must be submitted within approximately 3 weeks of this notification.
The department will confirm in writing when the Quality Improvement Plan has been received and advise you of the date of the assessment and rating visit.
Feedback on draft report
Following the visit, the authorised officer will review what they have observed, discussed and sighted against each standard of the NQS and related regulatory requirements.
The authorised officer will then determine the rating for each of the 7 quality areas and the overall rating for the service and give the approved provider a draft assessment and rating report.
The approved provider can give feedback on any factual inaccuracies in the report and evidence to support feedback.
Notice of ratings
The authorised officer will consider the feedback provided and finalise the assessment and rating report and notice of ratings.
The service is required to display the notice of ratings, which they will receive from the department.
Ratings of assessed services are published on the ACECQA and MyChild websites.
The frequency of ongoing assessment visits is based on the principle of 'earned autonomy'. That is, the higher an overall rating of a service, the less frequently the service will be assessed.
The assessment visit is only one part of the process of assessing and monitoring services. It is important services continually reflect on the quality of education and care being provided to ensure high quality outcomes for children.
Templates, forms and resources
Access resources, fact sheets, brochures and posters to help families and services understanding the ratings process.