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The assessment and rating process

Last updated: February 6, 2024

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All approved early childhood education and care services across Australia are assessed and receive a quality rating. This article is a brief guide to the assessment and rating process.

Why do services receive quality ratings?

Early childhood education and care services (long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten, outside school hours care) are assessed and rated against the 7 quality areas of the National Quality Standard (NQS) to:

  • promote continuous improvement in the provision of quality education and care
  • improve knowledge and access to information about the quality of services to help families make informed decisions about their child’s education and care.

Who rates services?

Services are assessed and rated by their state or territory regulatory authority and given a rating for each of the quality areas.

They are assessed on their program and practice, health and safety, physical environment, staffing, relationships with children, governance and leadership. They are also assessed on their collaborative relationships with families and their local communities.

They are given overall rating based on these results, which you should see:

  • Displayed at the service
  • Published on the national registers on the ACECQA website
  • Published on the service’s Find Child Care listing.

What are the 7 quality areas of the National Quality Standard?

The National Quality Standard includes 7 quality areas that are important to children’s learning and developmental outcomes.

Learn more about the 7 quality areas of the National Quality Standard

What are the quality ratings?

There are five quality ratings that a service can be awarded:

  • Excellent
  • Exceeding National Quality Standard
  • Meeting National Quality Standard
  • Working Towards National Quality Standard
  • Significant Improvement Required

Learn more about the service quality ratings

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