The National Quality Standard (NQS) sets a national benchmark for the quality of children’s education and care services across Australia. Services are then assessed against the NQS by the State or Territory regulatory authority and receive a rating for each of the seven quality areas of the NQS, as well as an overall rating.
An overall rating of Exceeding NQS is given to services that go above and beyond the requirements of the NQS in at least four of the seven quality areas. We achieved this in all seven areas.
The Rating System
The National Regulations prescribe the rating levels within the assessment and rating process (regulation 57). The rating levels are: Exceeding, Meeting, Working Towards, and Significant Improvement Required.
Summary of Findings
The service has rated well in all quality areas as a result of effective leadership and a positive organisational culture creating a service environment which consistently promoted and encouraged educators and staff members to critically reflect upon their professional practice and generate new ideas. Supportive leadership and service management processes and effectively documented policies contributed to the self-improvement process and promoted ongoing service improvement.
Well-established governance arrangements were regularly reviewed and contributed to the effective management of the service. There were appropriate systems in place to manage risk which enabled the effective operation of the service. To honour the services philosophy, additional committee roles were created, such as a social and community connections representative, and a sustainability and Indigenous perspectives representative.
The positive and respectful relationships between educators, children and families and the collaborative relationships between educators significantly contributed to children's sense of confidence and security. Educators created an inviting, warm and safe environment for the children that attended the service.
The program provided was inclusive and deliberately planned to promote children's curiosity and sense of inquiry to create an atmosphere of learning through exploration and play. Educators respectfully acknowledged and considered the developmental needs, cultural backgrounds and progress of each child in planning and delivering the curriculum.
The professional knowledge of educators and their intent behind curriculum decision making was underpinned by approved learning frameworks and the service philosophy. The educational program was enriched by educators’ close relationships with children and families, which enabled them to consistently integrate children’s needs and interests into the program and everyday practice.
Educators continued to seek opportunities to improve, always striving to provide unique learning opportunities within the high-quality educational program.
Management, educators and families at the service critically reflected on embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture into the educational program, this resulted in the creation of the service’s Reconciliation Action Plan. Educators and program experiences demonstrated an ongoing commitment to supporting children's awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture. This was evident through the service’s acknowledgment of country created by educators and children, storytelling, singing, art experiences, and resources embedded throughout the service, as well as integrating the six layers of Wurundjeri perspectives into all aspects of the educational program.
Collaboration with a local environmental group and connections with a Koorie Engagement Support Officer, enhanced community relationships and strengthened the services knowledge and opportunities to include Indigenous perspectives into the program and practice.
The service consistently established and maintained links with their local and broader community. They recognised their strengths as leaders in collaborating with families and communities, shared their learnings and provided leadership for early childhood professionals and families to enhance the learning and wellbeing for children in their local community.
Read our report below.