Driving quality – a case study of raising the quality of early childhood services in the Northern Territory using the values chain

Parenting and early education
Wednesday 25 July, 1230 – 1250


Susan Edwards
Department of Education NT

International research shows the first five years of life have significant impact on lifelong health, development, learning and wellbeing. Quality early childhood programs yield major benefits for society and individuals. The benefits of participation in early childhood education and care services depend on quality provision. Australia has seen significant improvements in the quality of early childhood education and care services over the past decade, following the introduction of the National Quality Framework (NQF) in 2012. The NQF raised quality expectations, and the National Quality Standard (NQS) challenged services to lift their practices. So it should be no surprise that in the first year of assessment, 44% of centres in Australia and more than 80% of centres in the Territory did not meet the NQS. The picture for the NT was not much better by the end of 2015, with only 21% of NT services rating as at least meeting the NQS. This case study will demonstrate the applicability of the values chain to a collaborative project that significantly increased the quality of early childhood services in the NT and its further applicability to the next steps for the NT.