The National Quality Standard provides an Australia wide rating system to give services and families a better understanding of quality service. Based on research that has shown how high quality education and care contributes to positive outcomes for children, the National Quality Standard was developed to achieve best practice. With connection to national learning frameworks ‘Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (Early Years Learning Framework)’ and ‘My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia (Framework for School Aged Care)’, the National Quality Standard recognises children learn from birth and outline practices to support and promote children’s learning. How does the National Quality Standard rating system work?
Services are rated across seven quality areas. These are:


  • QA1 - Educational programme 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

Services are assessed on a number of standards and associated elements under each quality area. Scores from each quality area are combined to give the service a rating in one of the following categories:

  • Exceeding National Quality Standard - Indicates that a service is exceeding the National Quality Standard
  • Meeting National Quality Standard - Indicates that a service is meeting the National Quality Standard
  • Working Towards National Quality Standard - Indicates that a service is working towards meeting the National Quality Standard
  • Significant Improvement Required - Indicates that a service is not meeting the National Quality Standard and the regulator is working closely with the service to immediately improve its quality (otherwise the service’s approval to operate will be withdrawn)

The Excellent rating is awarded through a separate process.
Parents and services should not be worried if a service has been assessed as ‘Working Towards National Quality Standard’. The rating of ‘Working Towards’ is an important part of the successful transition to new and higher standards, and does not mean children’s health and safety is compromised.
Further information on the assessment and rating process, including information on how the ratings are determined, can be found on the ACECQA website Assessment and Rating Resources page.
When did the assessment and rating of services commence?
The assessment and rating of services commenced on 1 January 2012 with services being required to develop a Quality Improvement Plan. Assessment and rating visits to services commenced in mid-2012.

Services are re-assessed according to their rating; high achieving services are rated less frequently than services requiring improvement. Services can continually improve their practices, which may increase their overall rating outside of a rating cycle.

The Child Care Quality Assurance Systems, for Long Day Care Services, Family Day Care Schemes and Outside School Hours Care Services, that were administered by the National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC) ceased to operate on 31 December 2011. The CCQA systems were replaced with the National Quality Framework which commenced on 1 January 2012.
NCAC rating history will only be displayed on MyChild for those services that have held an accreditation rating in the past but not been issued a rating through the NQF assessment and rating process. More detail on the NCAC rating process and descriptions can be found at the following MyChild page: Child Care Quality Assurance Accreditation Status.

On being granted a service approval, new or transitioning services will be rated as ‘Provisional – Not Yet Assessed Under the National Quality Framework’. This rating will remain in place until their first assessment is completed and a rating awarded.

Please contact the Regulatory Authority in your state or territory. Contact details can be found on the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority Regulatory Authorities page.

Information about the National Quality Framework and National Quality Standard is available on the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority website.

If your service’s ratings are not displayed please email MyChild (link sends e-mail) detailing: Service Name, Service Address, CCB ID, NQA Approval Number and date of issue.
The rating for my service is not correct on MyChild?
Please email MyChild (link sends e-mail) detailing: Service Name, Service Address, CCB ID, NQA Approval Number and date of issue.