National Quality Framework
Explaining the National Quality Framework
The National Quality Framework (NQF) was the result of an agreement between all Australian governments to work together to provide better educational and developmental outcomes for children.
The NQF introduced a new quality standard in 2012 to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten, and outside school hours’ care. The NQF includes:
Benefits for Children and Families
Research shows quality education and care early in life leads to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life. The early years are critical for establishing selfesteem, resilience, healthy growth and capacity to learn. Quality education and care shapes every child’s future and lays the foundation for development and learning.
The major benefits for parents and children include:
- Improved educator to child ratios, ensuring children have greater individual care and attention for children
- Educators with increased skills and qualifications
- Better support for children’s learning and development through approved learning frameworks
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Information About Educator to Child Ratios
One of the ways the NQF improves quality in children’s education and care services is through educator to child ratios.
Improving educator to child ratios allows staff to give more individual care and attention and contributes to better social and learning outcomes for children. It enables educators to develop more effective and meaningful relationships, resulting in more engaged, happy and relaxed children.
Since the implementation of the NQF in 2012 ratios have been introduced transitionally, the below table summarises ratio requirements across all age ranges and jurisdictions.
Family day care services
Educator to child ratios – birth to 13 years
|Before 2016||From the 1st of January 2016|
|ACT, NSW, NT, SA,
TAS, VIC, WA
|1:7 with no more than four children preschool age or under, including educator’s own children younger than 13 years of age at the residence –||1:7 with no more than four children preschool age or under, including educator’s own children younger than 13 years of age at the residence –|
|QLD||1:7 with no more than four children under school age, excluding educator’s own school aged children –||1:7 with no more than four children preschool age or under, including educator’s own children younger than 13 years of age at the residence –|
Key Elements of the Early Years Learning framework (EYLF)
The Early Years Learning Framework has a strong emphasis on play-based learning. The framework also recognises the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development. In addition, the framework has a focus on successful transition to formal schooling.
My Time Our Place For Schoolies
The Educators’ Guide has been developed to support the professional practice of those who are responsible for the interactions, experiences, routines and events, planned and unplanned, that occur in a school age care environment designed to foster children’s well-being, development and learning. It focuses on aspects of pedagogy including building and nurturing relationships, program decision-making, teaching and learning.
How Our Educators Use My Time Our Place to Guide
My Time Our Place is designed to be used by individuals and teams in interactive ways to promote conversations and thinking about the concepts which underpin the Framework.
The following concepts of the Framework are explored in the Guide:
- Principles, practices and pedagogy, including learning through play, intentionality and collaboration with children to support learning and well-being
- Reflective practice
- Implementing the Framework to foster children’s well-being and learning through play in areas identified by five broad outcomes for children
- Facilitating children’s transitions between home, school age care setting and school
- Developing cultural competence
- Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competence
- Exploring your own personal beliefs and using theoretical perspectives.