What to look for in a quality service

There are many early childhood education and care services available in Queensland offering different services, hours, and facilities. Most services come under the National Quality Framework, and must meet the minimum legislative requirements to ensure children’s safety, health and wellbeing.

To help you know what to look for when finding a quality early childhood education service that’s right for your family, services are rated under the National Quality Standards (NQS).

Raising quality and care

All Australian services are assessed and rated against the following seven key quality areas:

  • educational program and practice
  • children’s health and safety
  • physical environment
  • staffing arrangements
  • relationships with children
  • collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  • governance and leadership.

When looking at a service, you should consider the service’s rating for each area as well as its overall rating.

You can read more about the overall ratings on the Starting Blocks’ website.

Services must display their rating, and you can ask your local service to discuss their ratings with you. You can also view ratings for various services at the Child Care Finder website.

Does it have the ‘Kindy Tick’?

When you’re enrolling your child in kindy in the year before school, look for kindergarten services and kindy programs that display the ‘kindy tick,’ as well as its overall rating. These services offer a program delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher, typically 15 hours per week, 40 weeks a year for children the year before school. Programs are aligned with the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline or other Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority accredited learning program.

The Kindy Tick

Education and Care Services Act

The Queensland Education and Care Services Act (2013) supports quality outcomes for children in services, regulating educator-to-child ratios, educator qualification requirements, learning frameworks, building codes and compliance, monitoring and enforcement.

Finding a service for you

Starting Blocks is another helpful tool, providing parents with information about early childhood education and care to help you choose a service that’s right for your family.

Look here to find some questions you can ask when considering a service for your child.

Image Young children learn through playing together at a quality service

Published — 22 September 2016 Last updated — 18 March 2019

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