The Education and Care Unit (ECU) regulates each education and care service approved under the National Law. As part of this function, the ECU assesses and rates each approved service against the National Quality Standard 2018 (NQS 2018).
In accordance with the National Law and National Regulations, authorised officers from the ECU conduct assessment and rating visits to education and care services. During the visit, authorised officers gather information about the quality of the service’s practices, which is used to inform the service’s rating.
Assessment and rating process
Assessment and rating is designed to be a collaborative process between the service and the regulatory authority. Authorised officers conduct a service visit to observe practice, sight documentation and discuss how the service is meeting the NQS and enhancing outcomes for children.
Authorised officers gather evidence for each of the elements and standards of the National Quality Standard, under the following quality areas:
Quality Area 1 Educational program and practice
Quality Area 2: Children’s health and safety
Quality Area 3: Physical environment
Quality Area 4: Staffing arrangements
Quality Area 5: Relationships with children
Quality Area 6: Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
Quality Area 7: Governance and leadership
For further information about the assessment and rating process, please refer to ACECQA’s website www.acecqa.gov.au or to the assessment and rating information sheets published by the ECU:
- What happens during the Assessment and Rating process?
- Understanding the draft Assessment and Rating report
- Providing feedback on your draft Assessment and Rating Report
- Changes to Assessment and Rating report format
- Changes to Assessment and Rating in 2023
Once the evidence has been analysed, each service will receive an Assessment and Rating Report and a Notice of Ratings Certificate from the ECU. This report outlines the service’s rating and describes the evidence used to determine the rating.
Under the National Regulations, each service must display its current quality rating. Once a service’s rating has been finalised it is published on the national registers on ACECQA’s website. This information is also published on the Starting Blocks and MyChild websites.
A service may be given one of the following ratings:
- Exceeding National Quality Standard
- Meeting National Quality Standard
- Working Towards National Quality Standard
- Significant Improvement Required
Providers with a service rated Exceeding National Quality Standard can apply to ACECQA to be assessed for an Excellent rating.