The information below relates to the standard of all early childhood institutions throughout Australia
The National Quality Standard (NQS), developed in partnership with State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments, is intended to deliver higher standards for young children in the areas of education, care and health across Australia.
Early childhood education and care services within scope of the NQS include long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and preschool services across Australia. Western Australia’s kindergarten year is what is referred to nationally as ‘preschool’.
Western Australia’s approach to implementing the NQS in schools has been jointly developed by the Departments of Education and Education Services, in consultation with the Catholic and Indepedent school sectors.
In November 2013, the Minister for Education, the Hon Peter Collier, informed all principals that early childhood programs to Year 2 in Western Australian schools will be required to meet the NQS.
Please note when viewing the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website, the assessment and rating process and national laws and regulations do not apply to the Western Australian schooling sector. The Western Australian education sector has used the national laws and regulations to inform our implementation of the NQS.
For more information: The National Quality Standard
The Kindergarten and Pre-primary Statement sets out the expectations for the development of high quality Early Childhood learning and teaching environments in Western Australia.
Kindergarten and Pre-primary programs assist in the development of competent, confident and creative learners who grow to become responsible citizens. Children have a fundamental right to access high quality programs, environments and pedagogical practices that acknowledge and respond to each child’s uniqueness in the way they develop, grow and learn.
Educators use the Early Years Learning Framework, the Australian Curriculum and their own professional knowledge to develop high quality early childhood programs that are aligned with whole school plans and initiatives and tailored to community contexts. These programs take advantage of relevant research evidence and are refined and enhanced through reflection, analysis of data and ongoing professional learning. Educators have high expectations for all children’s learning and demonstrate understanding of content and pedagogy of the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum, and the relationship between these documents.
Children in these years continue to build foundations of effective communication (including Information Technologies), literacy and numeracy and are introduced to key ideas and concepts of other learning areas. Building effective learning and life skills require cognitive skill and strategies, social and emotional competence, cultural competence, physical and personal development and creativity to be addressed.
High quality programs complement and motivate children’s natural curiosity, sense of fun and zest for learning. Educators provide opportunities for children to learn through an orchestrated balance of play, deliberate and intentional teaching and spontaneous experiences and interactions. Curriculum experiences are active, engaging, challenging and connected to children’s lives. Children are encouraged to make decisions and take risks in learning, show initiative, make choices, reflect, problem solve and persist. Kindergarten and Pre-primary indoor, outdoor and temporal environments are used to enrich learning and reflect effective early childhood pedagogy for children of this age.
Educators’ knowledge and ongoing assessment of each child’s achievements, interests and dispositions are used to build on children’s learning. They use assessment data to differentiate the curriculum to provide equitable learning outcomes for all children. Learning intentions are made clear to learners and educators encourage children to reflect on their learning and ways to improve. Educators monitor and evaluate children’s learning, develop programs and, if required, access appropriate support to help individual children achieve their potential.
For children to build a positive sense of identity, considerations of belonging, being and becoming are evident in programs. Educators support children to build respectful, reciprocal relationships that promote a strong sense of social and emotional wellbeing and assist them in working productively with others. Wellbeing is sustained through effective transition processes that support children in moving from home and children’s services to Kindergarten and Pre-primary and the wider school community.
Educators acknowledge parents as children’s first educators and involve families in supporting children’s learning and contributing to the program. In Kindergarten and Pre-primary, collaboration and participation are important elements in sustaining parental involvement in children’s learning. Effective partnerships with stakeholders that support children’s learning and development are built on common goals and expectations, clear communication and mutual respect.