The National Quality Framework (NQF) aims to improve the quality of education and care services nationally.

The NQF has a specific focus on children’s learning, development and wellbeing.

The NQF includes:

  • The Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law)
  • The Education and Care Services National Regulations (National Regulations) 
  • The approved learning frameworks that guide educators in developing quality programs that support children’s learning and development
  • The National Quality Standard (NQS) and prescribed rating system to promote quality, consistency and continuous improvement.

The NQF was reviewed in 2014 and the majority of the review’s recommendations have been implemented.

The National Quality Standard

The National Quality Standard (NQS) 2012 was revised in response to recommendations from the 2014 NQF Review and implemented in February 2018.

The NQS 2018 includes seven quality areas:

  1. Educational program and practice
  2. Children’s health and safety
  3. Physical environment
  4. Staffing arrangements
  5. Relationships with children
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  7. Governance and leadership

Each service is assessed and rated against these quality areas and is awarded an overall quality rating which must be displayed at the service.

Services Ratings are available on the ACECQA website.

Further information about relevant legislation is available.

The Approved Learning Frameworks

All services are required to base their educational program on an approved learning framework that promotes the following outcomes for each child:

  • a strong sense of identity
  • the ability to connect with and contribute to their world
  • a strong sense of wellbeing
  • confidence and the ability to be an involved learner
  • the ability to be an effective communicator

There are two learning frameworks approved and applied nationally:

Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (for children under school age)

My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Aged Care in Australia (for school aged children up to 12 years).


ACECQA is the national body established under the NQF. The role of ACECQA includes administering, monitoring and promoting the implementation of the NQF. ACECQA’s website is a primary source of current information and resources for educators, providers and families.

Visit the ACECQA website

Guide to the National Quality Framework is available on the The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority’s (ACECQA) website. Further information on the National Quality Frameworkcan be found on the ACECQA website.