Updated: Jul 9, 2021
What does it mean for early childhood care and services to be given a nod of approval?
An example of this would be to achieve the ranking of Exceeding NQS.
Exceeding NQS is going above and beyond what is expected at the Meeting NQS level. (Source: acecqa.gov.au)
What is NQS and what does exceeding that entail?
Australia's National Quality Standard (NQS) sets a high national benchmark for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care services.
To be rated Exceeding NQS overall, all Quality Areas must be at least Meeting NQS, and four or more Quality Areas must be Exceeding NQS, with at least two being Quality Areas 1, 5, 6 or 7.
The NQS comprises of 7 quality areas that are important outcomes for children.
What are the 7 quality areas?
The NQS assesses and rates early childhood education and child care services to promote continuous improvement in the quality of the education and care provided. This also includes improving knowledge and access for families to make informed decisions about their children's education and care.
As part of the National Regulations, the NQS includes 7 quality areas essential to a child's learning and developmental outcomes.
Educational program and practice - children are supported to participate in play and learning
Children's health and safety - children are protected from illness and hazards
Physical environment - children play in a safe and well-maintained environment
Staffing arrangements - there are enough qualified staff to give children the attention they need
Relationships with children - children are made to feel supported and welcomed
Collaborative partnerships with families and communities - local community involvement and respect for the beliefs and values of families
Governance and leadership - children are cared for in a positive and well-managed environment
Exceeding at TG's Child Care
TG's Child Care, an award-winning early learning preschool and long day care provider for children 6 weeks to 6 years old is one of those who has been given an Exceeding rating by the NQS.
TG's services are assessed and rated against the NQS by the state or territory regulatory authority. They are given a rating based on each of these seven quality areas and an overall rating based on the results. TG's High Street Wauchope and Armidale centres in New South Wales and Urangan in Queensland have been awarded Exceeding.
This is a strong endorsement of its leading role in the early learning sector, as well as a recognition of TG's trusted reputation by families in the community.
In a summary of the assessment and rating of TG's Armidale, the NQS assessor commented: “Your service is commended on its achievements in providing quality outcomes for children. In particular, careful planning, reflective practice and willingness to collaborate with families and other community organisations to enhance children’s learning and well-being and the consistent critical reflection on all quality areas demonstrate the commitment to quality by educators at your service.”
Choosing a preschool for one's child can be a daunting and overwhelming task for families. When an early childhood care and service is given this nod of approval from the NQS, it is a way for families to trust and value a community resource such as TG's. Families can place their children here without worry or guilt, knowing they have found a place that provides a sound foundation for their children's future, and where they can grow in an environment that fosters a love of learning.
There is a reason why TG's is recognised as the trusted stewardship of the children's future. With these seven quality areas as a guide for both TG's and for families, it ensures everyone is on the same page with regards to how they see the children's future.
Furthermore, TG's is a warm and welcoming place. Their doors are always open for families and children to visit and experience for themselves how TG's just 'feels so right' when they come through their doors.
How TG's Does It
What is TG's doing that makes them stand out and manage to achieve these ratings on not just one but on two of their campuses?
1) Quality Improvement Plan (QIP)
TG's has a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP). They use this as a guide to ensure they are delivering the best quality education and care possible, and to help identify opportunities for improvement.
At TG's, the educators and management are constantly self-assessing their performance. An interesting point to note here is that TG's families also contribute to their QIP!
Families form part of the partnership at TG's, and they are highly involved in their children's growth at TG's. Those who know TG's often say that TG's is their extended family. Families are engaged in their children's learning journeys at TG's.
Families help by answering monthly QIP questions, weekly family input sheets and also in daily discussions with TG's educators. Families are always welcome to view and contribute to TG's QIP. It is this loving collaboration and trust TG's has that helps TG's to continue to grow.
2) Educator-Child Ratio
TG's has a healthier educator-child ratio. The number of educators to the number of children is an important number that can affect the quality of education.
This ensures a more meaningful connection where each educator can really focus on fully engaging in each child's unique learning experience. Educators are not stretched beyond their capacity. There is time and energy to fully observe each child's development, notice their unique gifts and tailor-make activities that really speak to the children. This makes learning much more effective and children's curiosity is engaged and they are willing and eager to participate.
Most importantly, with a healthy educator-child ratio, children are adequately seen and heard. What children at TG's have is a solid support system where they can experience the love, care and respect of the educators around them. Where there is stability and consistency, children feel safe and free to