What are the National Quality Standards (NQS)? 

The Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) National Quality Standards sets a high national benchmark for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care centres in Australia.  

The NQS includes 7 quality areas that are important outcomes for children.  

Centres are assessed and rated by their regulatory authority against the NQS and given a rating for each of the 7 quality areas and an overall rating.  


A centre must achieve ‘Meeting’ in all Quality areas to receive an overall ‘Meeting’ rating. 

An overall rating of Exceeding NQS is applied to centres that go above and beyond the requirements of the NQS in terms of embedded practice, critical reflection and meaningful engagement with families and communities in at least four of the seven quality areas. 

Services are assessed and rated by ACECQA every couple of years against the NQS to promote ongoing quality and transparency for families.

Additionally, our centres are supported by a team of Quality Advisors who carry out Quality Assessments Bi-annually to ensure they are meeting or exceeding the national quality standards and support with the recording of the centres improvement journey in their Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).  

Families are encouraged to contribute to the improvement ideas through ongoing feedback. Our childcare centres do this in an incredibly creative and inspiring way, communicating current goals and improvement focus areas via informative displays and social media platforms. 

Our Lifelong Learning Curriculum is the most progressive approach to Early Childhood Education in Australia and was developed to support our passionate Educators to implement the NQF through each of the four intentions, Emotional Confidence, Social Connectivity, Foundational Learning and Physical Health and well-being. 

This means our families can be sure they are investing in high-quality early education, to help set their children up to reach their full potential. 

As of June 2023, more than 78% of all Affinity Education Group owned and operated centres are currently achieving a ‘Meeting’ or ‘Exceeding’ yearly ratings!  

The ‘Starting Blocks’ website was developed by ACECQA just for families and is a great source for further information. https://www.starting blocks.gov.au/other-resources/info graphics/national-quality-framework/what-are-the-7-quality-areas/