The National Quality Framework
In December 2009, all Australian governments, through the Council of Australian Governments, agreed to a partnership to establish a National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (‘National Quality Framework’). This Framework took effect from 1 January 2012.
The National Quality Framework aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement in education and care services through:
- a national quality standard system
- a national quality rating and assessment process
- streamlined regulatory arrangements
- a new national body jointly governed by the Australian Government and state and territory governments—the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)—to oversee the new system. acecqa.gov.au
National Quality Standards
The National Quality Standard sets a new national benchmark for the quality of education and care services. It will also give services and families a better understanding of a quality service. This will enable families to make informed decisions about the services providing education and care to their child. The National Quality Standard is a key aspect of the National Quality Framework. It brings together the seven key quality areas that are important to outcomes for children.
There are seven quality areas.
- QA1 Educational program and practice
- QA2 Children’s health and safety
- QA3 Physical environment
- QA4 Staffing arrangements
- QA5 Relationships with children
- QA6 Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- QA7 Leadership and service management Educational program and practice
Approved Learning Frameworks
For the first time Australia has National Learning Framework’s that recognise children learn from birth. These are:
Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (‘Early Years Learning Framework’)
My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia (‘Framework for School Age Care’).
These frameworks outline practices to support and promote children’s learning through quality programs. It describes the early childhood pedagogy (principles and practices) and the outcomes required to support and enhance young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, including their transition to school.
Research supports the belief that young children learn best through play and exploration so you will see our educators encouraging lots of play and exploration.
Quality Rating System
Every service is assessed using a national quality assessment and rating process that reflects a national approach to the assessment and reporting of the quality of services across the variety of service settings.
The five rating levels within the national quality assessment and rating process are;
- Significant Improvement Required
- Working Towards National Quality Standard
- Meeting National Quality Standard
- Exceeding National Quality Standard
These results are published on the My Child Website for families to view.
Services that are new or have not yet been assessed are labelled as being not yet assessed.
The National Quality Framework
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD)
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority is responsible for ensuring all children receive high quality care, including positive learning experiences, varied and interesting programs, a safe and secure environment alongside Victoria’s Regulatory Authority (DEECD).
These requirements are referred to as the National Quality Standards and all licensed children’s services must continue to work towards continuous improvement through an Assessment and Rating process. This process is managed by ACECQA. Individual service ratings are available to families on www.mychild.gov.au
Kool Kidz are licensed Service Providers and therefore families are eligible to receive Childcare Benefit (CCB) and Childcare Tax rebate (CCTR).
Best Industry Practices
Kool Kidz have been continuously growing and learning over many years. Our philosophy includes each service being a community of learners. This supports us in our journey as an Industry leader. The challenges we face every day are adapting to constant government changes, new studies and findings, industry trends and of course family expectations. Our policies and procedures are based upon the latest research, include family feedback, are user friendly and make the operation of our business a real pleasure for Approved Providers to operate and educators to work in.
There are many licensed services operating with the absence of the Approved Provider and normally under management in some form or another (with a director). Our Approved Providers are working every day in their business making the best decisions for the families, children and educators.
A Kool Kidz Central Support Team supports each service Approved Provider with the operations of their service, educators through comprehensive training and mentoring and families needing access to other Professional organisations. Kool Kiz Support Advisers work with the service to ensure continuous improvements
Why a Standards based Assessment System is important
The National Quality Standards support Early Childhood services and require them to continually reflect and improve the quality of outcomes for children including educational and health and safety outcomes.
National Standards are used equitably across all early childhood services include long day care services, Family day care, before and after school care, and Kindergartens. They ensure that families can make informed decisions when choosing which service is best for them and their child. These results can be viewed by families by accessing the My Child website –www.mychild.gov.au