Preschools make up less than a third of all of centre based care services. At the same time, about 60% of all preschools and kindergarten assessed by NQS have exceeded expectations in all quality areas. The rest are meeting NQS standards for childcare education and care, with only 6% missing one or more targets.
More than 80% of preschools and kindergartens in Australian Capital Territory have been exceeding NQS ratings and serving children in more than four of the seven quality areas since 2019.
In NSW, where there are more than 7 times more preschool and kindergartens than ACT, almost half the centres are also exceeding expectations as a general annualized trend. Quality areas 1 (educational program) and 6 (collaborative partnerships) are where these centres have most excelled, both in NSW and ACT.
In other states, the trend is the same, with Queensland boasting 65% preschool/kindergarten centres with a marked performance. However, in Tasmania and Western Australia where a third of the kindergartens are working on improving a few areas of child education and care.
Rise in closures of kindergartens across Australia in Q3-20
More kindergartens and preschool have closed down due to the Covid impact in the previous quarter of 2020. While there was a significant decrease in the closure of these centres in June, by mid August, they started to close again at a faster rate. At the end of Q2-20, the trend has flattened out but close to 50 preschools and kindergartens have still been closing down every week.
Moving forward to adapt processes for safer care
Ratings for standards related to health and safety are some of the most crucial areas where most early learning centres have been identified as lacking.
Early learning and care centres that have had to close down mainly due to Covid-related challenges such as health protocols, will benefit from knowing about the use of contactless technology and remote learning for children. Since preschools have historically been excelling in maintaining collaborative partnerships with parents and communities, they may also benefit from adapting the same techniques to a more technologically advanced solution.
Data shows that 39% of all services have been outdoing child care standards in preparing and following processes that ensure children’s access and inclusion. This is followed closely by efforts in preparing approved learning frameworks that contribute to child development. More than a quarter of all centers have been able to meet all standards pertaining to these essential processes.
Not only does this open up more room for innovation in child care development, it provides an opportunity to leverage success stories in more challenging times ahead.