How services are assessed

National quality standards for early childhood services include a quality rating system. Quality ratings can help you choose a service for your child.

Kindergarten, long day care, outside school hours care and family day care services are assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard.

Quality areas

Services are assessed and rated against 7 quality areas:

  1. Educational program and practice—programs need to address children’s individual learning and development needs
  2. Children’s health and safety—your child’s service should have policies, procedures and practices to support healthy eating, safety, dealing with injury or illness and preventing harm
  3. Physical environment—the environment must be safe, suitable and provide rich and diverse experiences to promote learning and development
  4. Staffing arrangements—the service needs to meet staffing levels, qualification requirements and professional standards
  5. Relationships with children—educators need to build responsive and respectful relationships with children
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities—your service should actively communicate, consult and collaborate with families and communities
  7. Governance and leadership—the service must have documented policies, procedures and records, shared values, clear direction and reflective practices for staff.


Services are given a rating for each of the 7 quality areas and an overall rating based on these results. You should consider all these ratings when choosing a service.

The ratings are:


  • Service promotes exceptional education and care, demonstrates sector leadership and is committed to continuous improvement.
  • Awarded by ACECQA.
  • Services rated 'Exceeding National Quality Standard' in all Quality Areas may choose to apply for this rating.

Exceeding National Quality Standard

  • Service goes beyond requirements of the National Quality Standard in at least 4 of the 7 quality areas.

Meeting National Quality Standard

  • Service meets the National Quality Standard.
  • Service provides quality education and care in all 7 quality areas.

Working Towards National Quality Standard

  • Service provides a safe education and care program.
  • Service has 1 or more areas identified for improvement.

Significant Improvement Required

  • Service does not meet 1 of the 7 quality areas or a section of the legislation and there is a significant risk to the safety, health and wellbeing of children.
  • The department will take immediate action to address issues.

Search for local service ratings

Search for local service ratings to find out about the quality of the service you are interested in.

Services not yet assessed

Services not yet assessed are given a rating of ‘Provisional—Not yet assessed under the National Quality Framework’ and must display this rating at the service.

The Queensland Government monitors all services to ensure they meet their legal requirements, regardless of whether they have been assessed and rated.