The National Quality Standards set seven Quality Areas, which guide early childhood education and care providers.
Assessments against the NQS occurs for all centres. This process encourages continuous improvement by centres and provides members of the public information about the quality of different centres.
Each centre is given a rating for each of the seven quality areas. The available ratings are:
- Excellent rating (specially awarded by ACECQA)
- Exceeding National Quality Standard
- Meeting National Quality Standard
- Working Towards National Quality Standard
- Significant Improvement Required
While higher ratings are fantastic, an average rating doesn’t necessarily mean a bad centre. You can have a team of wonderful staff who are working really hard to improve a centre which has had some difficulties, for example.
The National Registers are available to the general public and searchable by location or keyword. By clicking the ‘More details’ link for each centre, you can view that centre’s NQS Rating for each Quality Area.
So how can this information be useful?
If you’re newly qualified, or looking for a change, the National Register can help you locate the type of centre you want to work for. It can also be a good source of information when researching for a job interview.
If you decide to enrol your children into care, the National Register is a great starting point. Having additional information about a centre can also help you ask targeted questions and really get a sense of the centre’s culture. Likewise, if you move house and need a new centre the National Register can help.