As you are probably aware, the National Quality Standard (NQS) changed on February 1, 2018. These changes are Australia-wide, and every approved childcare service will be rated based on this updated NQS.
To help educators, directors and owners, we’ve put together a Q and A to answer some of the common queries people may have at this time.
Parents may also be interested to learn of the changes to understand what areas a centre is rated for and what is expected of childcare services.
Getting to know the new NQS
What has changed?
According to ACECQA the changes are summarised as:
- The number of standards of the NQS has been reduced from 18 to 15, and the elements from 58 to 40.
- The language is clearer, and each standard and element now describes a single unique concept.
- The new guidance will clarify the difference between the Meeting NQS and Exceeding NQS rating levels for each standard.
- The application fee for the Excellent rating will be removed. Services must be rated Exceeding in all quality areas to be eligible.
- The definition of the Significant Improvement Required rating will change from ‘unacceptable risk’ to ‘significant risk’ to increase clarity for families. Regulatory authorities will continue to work with these services to improve quality and impose sanctions where needed.
The hard work you have put in to achieve your NQS rating will not go to waste with these changes, that’s for sure.
We are excited to see the specific addition of wellbeing in Quality Area 2!
Why were NQS changes made?
Australian education ministers agreed to make changes to the NQF and NQS with the aim of continuing to strengthen and improve the standard of early childhood education across the country. The changes should make sure centres can deliver childcare and education to the youngest members of our communities more effectively and efficiently.
Will my current rating remain?
Yes, the rating you have that is based on the old NQS will remain until you are reassessed. Of course, your next assessment will be based on the new NQS.
Where can I learn more about the changes?
To see a side by side comparison of the old NQS and the updated version, head here.
You can also visit this page to see a summary of the changes to each area.
How do I keep up to date with the National Quality Framework on which the NQS is based?
The best thing to do is save this link to the online version of the Guide to the National Quality Framework. You can order a print version, however, the online version will always be the most up to date.
These changes should make getting your centre in shape for a top NQS Rating easier to understand. And at Bonkers Beat, we can’t wait to help you kick all your NQS goals in 2018 and beyond!