Guardian Childcare & Education

Changes to National Quality Framework and How They Affect You

5th September 2017

Baby touching large colourful dome and laughing

On October 1 2017 some important changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF) will come into effect. These changes will give child care providers more authority over who they put in charge and cut through a lot of the red tape that often gets in the way of offering quality care.

The NQF is an agreement between Federal and State governments to provide quality and consistent education and care to children. The NQF introduced a Quality Care Standard in 2012 which set a minimum standard of care and established a rating system across long day care, family day care, preschool, and out of school hours care.

This initiative regulates educator to child ratios, as well as the skills and qualifications all carers and supervisors must possess. It also established approved learning frameworks and a freely available national register containing information on educators, providers, and services.

Why are changes being introduced?

Following a review of the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care, ministers agreed that the NQF has functioned as a strong framework for more than five years. The system, however, could be further refined with some minor technical and operational changes to improve its quality and transparency at all levels.

The review encompassed community feedback, centre statistics and assessment results, and consultation with education councils across Australia.

What will change?

Applicants hoping to open any early learning service will now have to meet more stringent requirements before being granted provider approval. What’s more, national law will now be amended to allow information to be shared within government departments and other state and territory agencies where it relates to the funding of a service.

Below are some (but not all) of the key changes to the NQF:

  • Authorities can now publish information about enforcement actions that identify a person in a management or supervisory role within a service.
  • Inspectors and other authorised personnel may enter any premises, including a residence from which a family day care is operating, without a search warrant for the purpose of determining whether an education and care service is operating without proper approval. This can be done with written consent from the occupant.
  • Supervisor certificates are no longer required and will cease to exist. This means decisions about responsible persons in each centre can be made by approved providers at the service level. Note: Regulatory authorities still have the power to restrict a person from being a nominated supervisor, however centres can now put in place supervisors who do not hold or are not currently working towards a diploma-level qualification.
  • A centre supervisor must still be aged over 18 and be an educator within the meaning of the national law. This person must also undertake child protection training before beginning their position.
  • A minimum educator to child ratio of 1:15 is now required for services providing care for school-aged children (this mostly pertains to out of school hours care).
  • Providers will only be required to notify legal authorities of complaints that allege a serious incident has occurred or is occurring, or one that contravenes national or state law.

What won’t change

Changes to the NQF make no mention of educator to child ratios for children under the age of six. These ratios will remain intact according to national regulations.

Funding and the childcare rebate will also remain unchanged for now, however as everyone’s favourite political football, we cannot guarantee that this particular issue will stay that way for long!

You can read a full list of changes and FAQs here and about the new childcare rebate here.

Top Recent Articles

Children playing with toys inside and educator Lilyfield

More Days in Childcare can be Better for your Child

indoor resources at your childcare centre

Indoor Play: Why Resources at your Childcare Centre are Important

Children interacting with chickens at Guardian Market Street Queens view

Outdoor Play: Why Resources at your Childcare Centre are Important

Children playing with music instruments and educator at Lilyfield

Tips for Choosing the Best Childcare for Your Child

Children washing strawberry and carrot at Guardian Blackburn

Tips to get your Child Eating Veggies



  • February 2021 (3)
  • January 2021 (3)
  • 2020

  • December 2020 (6)
  • November 2020 (11)
  • October 2020 (6)
  • September 2020 (6)
  • July 2020 (12)
  • June 2020 (1)
  • May 2020 (10)
  • April 2020 (22)
  • March 2020 (22)
  • February 2020 (19)
  • January 2020 (19)
  • 2019

  • December 2019 (21)
  • November 2019 (17)
  • October 2019 (26)
  • September 2019 (32)
  • August 2019 (37)
  • July 2019 (26)
  • June 2019 (10)
  • May 2019 (1)
  • January 2019 (1)
  • 2018

  • December 2018 (2)
  • November 2018 (3)
  • October 2018 (4)
  • September 2018 (6)
  • August 2018 (4)
  • July 2018 (9)
  • June 2018 (9)
  • May 2018 (7)
  • April 2018 (6)
  • March 2018 (8)
  • February 2018 (6)
  • January 2018 (9)
  • 2017

  • December 2017 (10)
  • November 2017 (13)
  • October 2017 (10)
  • September 2017 (13)
  • August 2017 (15)
  • July 2017 (14)
  • June 2017 (14)
  • May 2017 (23)
  • April 2017 (17)
  • March 2017 (28)
  • February 2017 (21)
  • January 2017 (5)
  • 2016

  • December 2016 (4)
  • June 2016 (1)
  • May 2016 (1)
  • March 2016 (2)
  • February 2016 (2)
  • January 2016 (1)
  • 2015

  • July 2015 (1)
  • Looking for the right Childcare Centre for your Family?

    Submit your details and a member of our Concierge Team will be in touch to discuss what you need and how we can help you experience something more than childcare.

    We'll be in touch soon.


    *Mandatory Fields

    You May Also Want to Read This

    Dr Elanna Yalow talk in Sydney

    16th February 2017

    An Exclusive Event for Sydney Parents: The Early Childhood Education Imperative

    Guardian Earth Hour 2017

    30th March 2017

    Lights Off! Earth Hour 2017 at Guardian

    Baby touching large colourful dome and laughing

    5th September 2017

    Changes to National Quality Framework and How They Affect You