Continuous quality improvement is a strong focus of the National Quality Framework.
The National Quality Framework has established a national approach to quality improvement in early childhood and school-age education and care services.
The National Quality Standard sets a national benchmark for the quality of education and care services. Services are expected to know and understand the National Quality Standard and continuously work to meet or exceed that standard of education and care.
Three important aspects that promote quality improvement are:
Diagram showing assessment and rating process
Self-assessment highlights a service's strengths and areas that can be improved, and is the starting point for planning to improve quality.
Continuous self-assessment means continually looking at policies, procedures and practice within the service to make sure that it:
Carefully reflecting on practice enables educators to identify areas that may need to be improved.
The QIP is a document that identifies the service's goals for quality improvement and notes strategies for achieving those goals. It provides a focus for quality improvement and helps everyone at the service to stay focused on implementing the strategies needed to achieve the goals.
The QIP needs to be reviewed and updated before being submitted to the Regulatory Authority prior to the assessment and rating visit. This is so both the service's approach to self-assessment and the service's ability to identify areas of quality improvement can be reviewed.
Services covered under the National Law are assessed and rated by the relevant Regulatory Authority in each state and territory.
The purpose of the assessment and rating process is to determine whether and at what rating level services meet the National Quality Standard and the requirements of the National Regulations (Section 133(1)).
Assessment and rating gives your service and its families a better understanding of the quality of your service. It affirms aspects of the service's practice that are meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard, as well as identifying further improvements that might be needed.
'Best possible start to 2012 for Australian children', Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority, 2012
'Guide 3: Guide to the National Quality Standard', National Quality Framework Resource Kit, Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority, 2013
National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care and School Age Care, Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority, 2014
'Operational policy manual for Regulatory Authorities', Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority, 2015
The National Quality Framework aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement and consistency in education and care services and school age care.