National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care


Research shows that high-quality education and care early in life leads to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life. Self-esteem, resilience, healthy growth and capacity to learn are all established in the early years.

In recognition of this, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (NQF) was established to ensure children receive a high standard of education and care.

As part of the 2015-16 Budget, the Australian Government allocated $61.1 million over three years to June 2018 to support states and territories to implement the NQF.

The NQF applies to most long day care, family day care, preschool and kindergarten, and outside school hours care services and includes a:

  • national legislative framework that creates a standard approach to the regulation and quality assessment of education and child care services
  • National Quality Standard that sets a national benchmark for the quality of education and care services
  • national quality rating and assessment process that rates services against the National Quality Standard.

The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is the organisation that guides and reports on the NQF. Regulatory authorities in each state and territory are responsible for implementing it.

Early Years Learning Framework

The Early Years Learning Framework describes the principles, practices and outcomes that support and enhance young children's learning.

My Time, Our Place

The My Time, Our Place – Framework for School Age Care in Australia is about making care services for school aged children better.

Further information

If you would like more information on the NQF:

If you have a concern about a child care service, please contact your state or territory regulatory authority.