Achieving an NQS Rating of ‘Exceeding’ is the goal for most childcare centres when undergoing their assessment under the National Quality Framework. Your NQS Rating helps your centre to recognise that you are delivering a high standard of education and care. In addition, your NQS Rating can have an impact on your service’s occupancy, with parents looking to the National Quality Standard for guidance on choosing the best early learning centre for their children.
With preparation and some practical strategies, your service can take action to ensure that you have the best chance of achieving a satisfactory NQS Rating. Through our experience working with early learning centres, trainers and sector professionals we have gathered some useful strategies that will help you review where your service is at, plan for what needs to be done and improve your team’s performance.
NQS Strategies for the best rating at assessment time
Review your programs regularly
Don’t wait until it’s time for an NQS assessment — reviewing your programs, systems and procedures regularly will help you stay organised and optimise the way your centre runs.
Have an in-depth understanding of the NQF
The National Quality Framework tells you what you need to do for the best outcomes. Take an analytical approach to the NQF and work with your team as you reflect on your practices and how they apply to each area.
Don’t wing it — make a plan
Don’t just keep doing what you’re doing and hoping for the best. Go through each of the seven quality areas for the NQS and make a practical plan that covers each requirement.
Understand where you’re at
The self-assessment tool on the ACECQA website gives you information and support to enable you to create your own Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) and be ready.
Involve the whole team
Work together through planning, reflection, self-assessment, understanding the NQS and do this with a regular and ongoing approach. Your centre and your team will be better for it.
Even putting these strategies in place will contribute to an improved NQS Rating. There’s no doubt that an exceeding NQS Rating is achievable for your centre and using these practical tips and working together with your team will help you get there sooner.