The percentage of services rated Exceeding NQS has remained consistent at 30% over the last year, up from 25% in 2013. The highest proportion is currently for PSK at 60%, followed by 27% LDCs and 14% OSHC services exceeding quality standards in Q4-20. Overall, 79% OSHC services were Meeting NQS and beyond in Q4-20, up 3 percentage points from the previous quarter.
21% of OSHC services are Exceeding NQS in QA 5, seeing an increase in promoting healthy relationships with children and enhancing their sense of security. This is followed closely by quality areas in which close to 15% centres are also Exceeding NQS, including QA 6 (Collaborative partnerships with families and communities), QA 4 (Staffing arrangements) and QA 7 (Governance and leadership).
Similar trends are noted for NSW where 98% services are now rated Meeting and Exceeding NQS in QA 5, followed by 95% in QA 4. In ACT, more a third of all services are excelling in collaborating with families and children, developing effective service leadership and maintaining quality educators.
Educational programming and planning needs improvement in OSHC centres
With 8% more services meeting the national standards than the same time last year, this is an improvement overall. However, 21% of OSHC services are still rated Working Towards NQS, compared to only 5% Preschool and Kindergartens (PSK) and 16% LDCs. Most services that fall under this category are state/territory government schools (34%) or independent schools that still need to improve one or more quality areas. On the other hand, 89% of Local Government managed schools and private not for profit schools are rated Meeting NQS and above.
Key areas that need improvement are QA 1 and QA 7, the same areas that were identified last year in Q4-2019. 15% of services still need to work on improving educational programs and practice, as well as components of governance and leadership.
Elements related to assessment and planning cycles, where each child’s learning is assessed with ongoing documentation and reflection, were not met by 13% of OSHC services. Performance in an additional NQS component that uses child learning progress to drive program planning also needs to be improved by 13% of centres.
In ACT, 32% of all OSHC services were rated Working Towards NQS. 27% of services need to work toward educational programs and practice (QA 1), and 21% towards children’s health and safety (QA 2). Standards in health and safety are met by less than 70% of centres, while up to 20% still need to achieve related NQS standards. The same is true for NSW, NT and SA.
The next few areas of concern under QA 7 are centre management systems, educational leadership and development of professionals, where 10% of services across Australia need more focus. 13% services in Victoria, 14% in QLD and 17% in NSW were rated Working Towards governance and leadership components. In NSW, the most prominent area of concern is quality service management systems, in which 14% services failed to meet standards.