Assessment of services
The National Quality Framework assesses and rates all Education and Care Services against the National Regulations and each of the seven National Quality Standards. The assessment is undertaken by the Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate in NSW. Once complete each service is then given an overall rating.
Old MacDonald’s Child Care went through our first assessment and rating visit in June 2017. In consultation with management, staff, educators and families our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) has been developed. Our QIP is constantly reflected on and used to drive quality practices within the organisation. All results for the assessment and ratings visits are placed on the ACECQA website. In February 2018 the Assessment and Ratings system has been updated and we are currently working towards unpacking the updates.
The National Quality Standards comprises of seven quality areas, 18 standards and 58 elements. The seven quality areas are:
|Educational Program and Practices||Educational program and practice requires education and care services to have an educational program that meets children’s individual learning and development needs. The knowledge, ideas, culture, abilities and interests of your child should be incorporated into the program, with continuous assessment of your child’s learning and development.|
|Children’s Health and Safety||Children’s health and safety focuses on supporting and promoting children’s health and safety while attending education and care services. You should expect your child’s service to have policies and procedures in place on healthy eating, children’s safety, dealing with any injury or illness, and preventing harm to children.|
|Physical Environment||Physical environment focuses on the physical environment at an education and care service. The environment must be safe, suitable and provide a rich and diverse range of experiences promoting children’s learning and development.|
|Staffing Arrangements||Staffing arrangements requires services to ensure they are meeting adequate staffing arrangements as required under the National Quality Framework. This means the provision of qualified and experienced staff who are able to develop warm, respectful relationships with children, create safe and predictable environments and encourage children’s active engagement in the learning program|
|Relationships with Children||Relationships with children is about building relationships with children at education and care services that are responsive and respectful and promote children’s sense of security and belonging. These relationships allow children to freely explore their environment and engage in play and learning.|
|Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities||A collaborative partnership with families and communities encourages the development of collaborative partnerships with families and communities. These relationships are fundamental to achieving quality outcomes for children and require active communication, consultation and collaboration.|
|Leadership and Service Management||Leadership and service management focuses on effective leadership and service management. It is important to ensure quality environments for children’s learning and development are a priority. Good service leadership and management should have well-documented policies, procedures and records, shared values, clear direction, and reflective practices to enable the service to function as a learning community. An ongoing cycle of planning and review, including engagement with families, creates the climate for continuous quality improvement.|
The National Quality Standard
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
There are five rating levels within the quality standard and assessment rating process.
- Excellent rating, awarded by ACECQA
- Exceeding National Quality Standard
- Meeting National Quality Standard
- Working Towards National Quality Standard
- Significant Improvement Required