The National Quality Framework (NQF). 18 standards and 58 elements that make up the National Quality Standard.

Authorised officers from state and territory regulatory authorities assess and rate services using the seven quality areas. Services are then given a rating for each of the seven quality areas and an overall rating. As at 31 March 2015, there were 14,827 children’s education and care services across Australia approved under the NQF. Since the accreditation process began in June 2012, approximately 56% of the total number of services had been assessed and received a quality rating against the NQS.

Assessed Areas

As mentioned, the areas below are the basis on which your centre will be rated. Here at First Years we aim to help you achieve the highest possible rating for your centres success with regards to your educational standards.

1. Educational program and practice

2. Children’s health and safety

3. Physical environment

4. Staffing arrangements

5. Relationships with children

6. Partnerships with families and communities

7. Leadership and service management

Centre Ratings

Services are given a rating for each of the 7 quality areas and an overall rating based on these results.

The ratings are:

Significant Improvement Required

Service does not meet one of the seven quality areas or a section of the legislation and there is an unacceptable risk to the safety, health and wellbeing of children. Immediate action will be taken to address issues.

Significant Improvement Required

Service may be meeting the National Quality Standard in a range of areas, but there are one or more areas identified for improvement.

Meeting National Quality Standard

Service meets the National Quality Standard. Service provides quality education and care in all seven quality areas.

Exceeding National Quality Standard

Service goes beyond the requirements of the National Quality Standard in at least four of the seven quality areas.


Service promotes exceptional education and care, demonstrates sector leadership, and is committed to continually improving. This rating can only be awarded by ACECQA. Services rated Exceeding National Quality Standard overall may choose to apply for this rating.

We understand and respect that each service is unique, with different factors affecting each service. Our goal is to embrace this uniqueness and provide strategies to accommodate the range of unique challenges and opportunities you face.