National Quality Framework

What is the National Quality Framework (NQF)?                

To ensure Australian children get the best possible start in life, all Australian governments have agreed toimplement the National Quality Framework (NQF) for Early Childhood Education and Care.

The NQF sets consistent, high quality standards for early childhood education and care, and outside school hours care services. It typically covers long day care, preschool, outside school hours and family day care services across Australia.

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) guides the implementation of the National Quality Framework across Australia.

For more information, see the National Quality Framework section of

What is the National Quality Standard (NQS)?

The National Quality Standard (NQS) is a key aspect of the NQF and sets a national benchmark for early childhood education and care, and outside school hours care services in Australia.

As the NQF progresses, every service in the country will be assessed to make sure it meets the new quality standard. In the meantime, as safety is paramount all day and every day, every service must comply with rigorous health and safety requirements.

To ensure children enjoy the best possible conditions in their early educational and developmental years, the NQS promotes continuous improvement in quality.

The major benefits for parents and children include:

  • Improved educator to child ratios.
  • Greater individual care and attention for children.
  • Educators with increased skills and qualifications.
  • Better support for children’s learning and development.
  • A national register to help parents assess the quality of education and care services in their area.

For more information, see the National Quality Standard section of