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National Quality Framework

Information on the NQF guiding principles

On 7 December 2009, the Australian Government, in partnership with state and territory governments, agreed to a number of improvements to the early childhood education and care sector through the introduction of a National Quality Framework. The new framework covers long day care, family day care, outside school hours care, preschools and kindergarten services across Australia.

The framework includes:

  • The National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care and School Age Care
  • Improved staff-to-child ratios
  • New qualifications requirements for early childhood educators
  • A new quality rating system
  • A new national body to guide the implementation and management of the overall framework.

The framework has been progressively implemented from 1 July 2010, with the new regulations, legislation, standards and rating system being implemented from 1 January 2012.

During a transition period (1 July 2010 to 1 January 2012), assessments and ratings will be undertaken jointly by the National Childcare and Accreditation Council (NCAC) and state and territory regulatory agencies. Existing child care regulations will continue to apply during this time.

Kitiwah was accredited in February 2010 with NCAC and received the highest possible rating of care.

National Quality Standard Quality Areas and Guiding Principles

Quality Areas:

  1. Educational program and practice
  2. Children’s health and safety
  3. Physical environment
  4. Staffing arrangements, including staff to child ratios and qualifications
  5. Relationships with children
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  7. Leadership and service management

Guiding Principles:

  • The rights of the child are paramount
  • Children are successful, competent and capable learners
  • Equity, inclusion and diversity
  • Valuing Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
  • The role of parents and families is respected and supported
  • Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  • High expectations for children, educators and service providers

The quality areas and guiding principles of the National Quality Standard reflect many Kitiwah policies and the shared understandings of the Early Years Learning Framework curriculum.

For further information visit the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website:

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