Examining the revised national learning frameworks (available in Playground)

The landscape of early childhood education and care in Australia is continually changing. It’s crucial for the sector to stay informed about the latest advancements to guarantee optimal learning and development opportunities for children, including staying abreast of the updated national learning frameworks.

Come January 2024, Australia’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector is poised for a significant shift with the introduction of version 2 of the nationally approved learning frameworks. Throughout 2023, the original frameworks will run concurrently with the new version, providing a transition period for services to adjust and enhance their practices. These frameworks, namely “Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia” and “My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia,” have undergone revisions to better align with the changing needs of educators, children and families. Join us as we delve into these changes and their implications for education and care providers nationwide.

Australia has maintained a steadfast dedication to delivering top-notch education and care for children from birth to 12 years old. The National Quality Framework (NQF) stands as a fundamental pillar of this commitment, with nationally approved learning frameworks playing a crucial role within it. These frameworks serve as a guiding beacon for providers of early childhood education and care, facilitating the creation of enriching learning environments that foster the thriving development of children and embed opportunities for lifelong learning.

What additions are in Version 2 of these revised national learning frameworks?

The revised 2.0 versions of “Belonging, Being and Becoming” and “My Time, Our Place” mark a notable progression. Key alterations and improvements encompass:

  1. Integration of cutting-edge research—The updated frameworks seamlessly include the most recent findings in early childhood education and care, guaranteeing that practices are grounded in evidence and remain current.
  2. Enhanced emphasis on diversity and inclusion—The second version highlights the celebration of diversity and the promotion of inclusive practices, mirroring the multicultural fabric of contemporary Australia.
  3. Harmonization with school curricula—The updated frameworks strive for improved alignment with school curricula, facilitating a seamless transition for children progressing from early childhood education to primary school.
  4. Improved assessment and planning—Refinements in assessment and planning procedures empower educators to more effectively monitor children’s progress and customize their learning experiences accordingly.
  5. Introduction of a Sustainability principle—This novel principle integrates a focus on the natural environment and underscores the importance of educators promoting environmentally conscious choices and social responsibility, guiding children in developing awareness of the world around them.

Getting ready to shift to the revised national learning frameworks

As Version 2 of the revised national learning frameworks is scheduled for rollout in January 2024, it’s essential for approved providers and services to ready themselves for this transition. Here are some steps to contemplate:

  1. Get acquainted—Begin by thoroughly acquainting yourself with the updated learning frameworks relevant to your service. ACECQA (the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority) offers resources and guidance to assist educators in catching up.
  2. Invest in professional growth—Contemplate allocating resources to professional development opportunities for your educators and staff, ensuring they are thoroughly equipped to implement the new frameworks effectively.
  3. Connect with families—Ensure parents and families are well-informed about the changes and actively involve them in the process. Their support and understanding play a vital role in guaranteeing a seamless transition for children.
  4. Revise educational programs—Evaluate and modify your educational programs and practices to synchronize with Version 2 of the frameworks. For users of Playground, we’ve integrated both basic and advanced versions of the frameworks, readily available for activation in your service.


Navigating change may pose challenges, yet it also unveils opportunities for growth and improvement. The revised national learning frameworks in Australia signify a positive stride toward elevating the quality of early childhood education and care in the nation. By acquainting yourself with the changes and taking proactive measures to prepare, you can guarantee that your ECEC service is well-prepared to deliver optimal learning experiences for children.

To enable the 2.0 versions of these frameworks in Playground at your service, please contact our incredible QikKids support team to request this be turned on in your Playground system. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact QikKids support.

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Natasha Veiman

Training Specialist

A former childcare centre manager and customer success coordinator at Xplor Education, Tash now empowers childcare staff to get the most out of Xplor Education’s suite of tools.

Playground gets new Messenger feature

Educators can now easily communicate with parents with Playground’s new Messenger feature. 

Playground, QikKids’ educator platform, is every educator’s reliable partner when it comes to administrative work, documentation, observations, parent communication and health and safety tracking. Now, Playground boasts a new Messenger feature that enables educators to directly send messages to parents and families who use Home. 

The Home parent app helps put families at ease when their children are in care. Messages sent from Playground can be viewed in Home, allowing parents to stay actively involved in their child’s learning progress. With this latest messaging feature release, Playground opens an avenue for educators and parents to communicate and collaborate outside the usual comment exchanges in Observations and Moments.  


At the core of QikKids is our desire to provide childcare services with solutions that make day-to-day work simple and easy to navigate. We recognise the extreme value of customer feedback. We listen to your requests and make the necessary improvements to ensure you have a seamless experience.  

 One of the top requests we received from providers via our Canny feature-request portal was for educators and parents to be able to communicate directly with each other. Implementing this latest feature demonstrates that we listen and strive to bring centres and educators the best experience possible.  

 It will now be much easier for educators to connect with families, opening the door to consultations, active communication and stronger partnerships. They can keep in touch in real-time to talk about children’s learning outcomes, their behaviour and updates on programmes and plans, all of which are beneficial to bringing a personalised approach to each child. Parents can now quickly update educators on minor concerns, such as when they’re running late, without the need to create a Memory or phone the centre.   

Get to know Playground’s new Messenger feature to see how it simplifies parent-educator collaboration and creates an environment that helps children flourish. 


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Patricia Podolig Donaldson

Marketing Content Specialist

Marketing and communications professional with over eight years of experience, writing about Xplor Childcare & Education’s comprehensive suite of products since 2021.

QikKids brings programming and planning to the Playground app

Now educators can get more done without needing to be in front of their computers.

Playground, QikKids’ educator platform, simplifies everyday tasks for educators and enhances parent engagement through its convenient and practical features. In its initial release, the Playground app focussed on ensuring every child’s safety through features that track and document health and safety events. Other useful features, such as programming and planning, required educators to log in to the Playground web platform. 

We are thrilled to announce that we are upgrading the app experience as we bring in core web features, such as programming and planning, into the Playground app. With this functionality made available on mobile, educators can efficiently accomplish programming and planning tasks and ensure compliance even when they’re on the go. 

“Direct access to the programming and planning records via the Playground app means educators are able to create meaningful documentation and record experiences with greater flexibility. The app will enable educators to interact with the platform in ways that suit them best, saving time and supporting increased engagement with Playground and shared decision-making with children,” said Kirsten Holland, General Manager of Program and Practice of Catholic Early Ed Care. 

A table showing the programming and planning features now available in the Playground app
Programming and Planning functionality now available in the Playground app

Adding to this innovative mobile-first planning experience, Playground also offers Documents, Tables and Canvases in the app. These features make it convenient for educators to create and share learning journeys with parents to report on and track each child’s learning outcomes and progress. Canvas gives educators the ability to make their plans more creative and visually appealing. 

Our commitment to empowering the early education sector is always a priority. In line with this, we consulted with an education advisory group of five pedagogical leaders and engaged with them to learn how to improve our software for the wider sector. The initiative reveals that adding programming and planning functionality to the Playground app would be a transformational benefit to educators across the sector.

Another leader in the ECEC sector, Dr Melinda Miller, the Director of Early Learning, First Five Early Learning, expressed how the new update addresses the modern needs of educators. “When digital platforms are responsive to the nature of educators’ work in early childhood education settings, documentation can become more meaningful and accessible. The evolution of Playground web functionality into the app is responsive to the time-critical nature of educators’ work, a need for flexibility in how documentation is accessed and recorded, and opportunities for working with digital documentation in more innovative ways for and with children.”  

To take advantage of this cutting-edge functionality, users must update to Playground app version 2.14.0 on their iPad or Apple mobile device. After the update, educators will be able to save time and enjoy the freedom of completing programming and planning tasks while on the move. 

To learn more about how Playground can benefit your service, book a demo with us. 


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Patricia Podolig Donaldson

Marketing Content Specialist

Marketing and communications professional with over eight years of experience, writing about Xplor Childcare & Education’s comprehensive suite of products since 2021.

QikKids at the Early Childhood Australia 2022 Conference

Canberra hosted the annual Early Childhood Australia (ECA) conference from the 6th to the 8th of October at the National Convention Centre. This was the first time in several years that the conference was held in person after being held online due to COVID. With the theme “Passion to power: Our future profession,” the conference aimed to reflect on how far the sector has come, from the visionary and passionate women of the 1920s to the competent and qualified educators of today.

It was also an opportunity to consider how early childhood professionals can become thought leaders and power brokers in the sector. Early Childhood Australia has served as a voice for young children since 1938. It represents the interests of young children, their families and early childhood professionals. The annual conference emphasized ECA’s vision of ensuring that every young child thrives and learns.

Over 1,600 delegates attended the conference in person and another 600 virtually, with over 100 workshops and breakout sessions held throughout the week. Attendees were treated to talks by respected leaders in the ECEC sector, such as Dr Melinda Miller, Colin Slattery, Anthony Semann & Pippa Procter, and Dr Michele Peden & Bridy Garnon. There was also a welcome address from the Hon Jason Clare MP, Federal Minister for Education, and keynote addresses from Dylan Alcott AO and Dr Laura Jana.

Among the highlights of the conference was the well-received address by The Hon Julia Gillard AC and Catherine Liddle, CEO of SNAICC – National Voice for our Children. As part of their conversation, the two discussed the importance of investing in early childhood education and care, gender equality, and closing the gap. In addition, part of the program included four researchers and early childhood advocates being recognized for their contributions to the profession and early childhood education sector.

The HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards have also long been associated with the ECA conference. Educators play a vital role in helping young Australians succeed, and this awards night celebrates and acknowledges that role. Awards were given in three categories: Advancing Pedagogy & Practice, Outstanding Organization, and Individual Leadership. The Xplor team congratulates all finalists and winners.

As a leading conference in early childhood education, the ECA conference provided an excellent opportunity to showcase both the QikKids and Xplor brands in the co-branded booth. For the first time since the merger, both brands were represented in a single booth, introducing the broader market to the Xplor Childcare & Education brand, as well as our leading ECEC products, QikKids, Office, Playground, Home and MyWaitlist.

The Xplor Childcare & Education and QikKids cobranded booth at ECA 2022


Matt Varley, General Manager, attended the conference on Thursday, stating that it was “Great to be back in-person in Canberra, connecting with customers, people who are looking to move to new software like QikKids and Xplor and connecting with people in the sector was fantastic.” With the Xplor and QikKids custom-built booth, we were able to create a hub where delegates and other exhibitors could interact freely. This was another successful conference hosted by Early Childhood Australia. The QikKids team is already looking forward to next year’s conference, which will be held in Adelaide from October 4th to 7th, 2023.


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Mufaro Maringe

Community & Engagement Lead

Building communities in the ECE sector with my learnings as an early childhood educator and a customer support coordinator with Xplor Childhood & Education since 2021.

Why Does Level One PCI Compliance Matter?

Debit Success removes data security concerns from early childcare services.

You likely heard “Level One PCI DSS compliance” mentioned as a feature of Debit Success when you were signing up for the platform. It probably sounded important and good to have, but what does it really mean? 

What is PCI compliance? 

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It is designed to ensure all payments processors properly and securely store and process credit card information. 

PCI is independently assessed and rated by the PCI Security Standards Council and is scored against twelve requirements. These requirements are:  

  1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data 
  2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters 
  3. Protect stored cardholder data 
  4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks 
  5. Use and regularly update anti-virus software or programs 
  6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications 
  7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know 
  8. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access 
  9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data 
  10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data 
  11. Regularly test security systems and processes 
  12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel 


Businesses must achieve an assessment score of 100% in each field to maintain Level 1 PCI Compliance. Debit Success has maintained this 100% score in all twelve fields since it was implemented as a payments process for QikKids.


Why is this important to my business? 

With more and more of our lives online and an increasing amount of personal information stored online, data security is at the forefront of most people’s minds. Knowing the information your families provide to Debit Success is secure whilst removing the burden from your service to adequately protect this information provides you with peace of mind. 

Whilst PCI compliance applies to how we process and store credit card information, it is essential to note that this level of data security is applied to all information Debit Success collects and stores. We have a dedicated IT security team that performs regular external penetration testing to identify and repair any possible areas of weakness.  

You can rest assured that your payments data is in safe hands when you use Debit Success. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about Debit Success or want to get started with Debit Success at your centre.


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Tenille Johnson

Team Lead Payments and Billing

NSW and Victoria announce increased funding for childcare programs over the next decade

Now’s the right time to make service upgrades at your centre.

As a result of the ongoing collaboration between the New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria governments, significant changes are coming to the childcare and education sector. In what the state premiers have called “the greatest transformation of early education in a generation”, an additional year of play-based learning will be introduced.  

The policy reform will benefit all children in Victoria and New South Wales. As they have a full year of play-based learning before they begin school, they have the opportunity to grow, learn, make friends and gain new experiences. Children four years of age will be offered 30 hours per week of play-based learning, up from the current 15 hours/week. The program will be called “pre-prep” in Victoria and “pre-kindergarten” in NSW. 

They have also announced plans to invest billions in childcare to drive down prices and increase the number of places over the next ten years. More than $5.8 billion will be allocated to introduce universal pre-kindergarten in NSW by 2030. Meanwhile, programs will be rolled out in Victoria starting in 2025 as part of early childhood education’s $9 billion overhaul. 

New childcare centres will be built in suburbs where there are long waiting lists. This will increase the overall childcare supply by about 3 to 5 per cent. This will help solve the problem in childcare deserts or places in the state where there are more than three times as many children as childcare facilities within 20 minutes of a family’s home. The reform will benefit hundreds of thousands of working families with limited access to childcare, making it easier for working parents to return to work on their own terms.

 This collaborative effort will undoubtedly benefit providers of early childhood care and education. A workforce plan is also included in the policy to ensure expanding centres can find qualified staff. These reforms should enhance the financial stability of childcare providers. Centres will be in an excellent place to consider improving business practices and availing themselves of upgrades to continue thriving.  

Revisiting software upgrade plans can help services future-proof their business. Adopting convenient and easy-to-use platforms like Playground is a practical next step. Playground integrates compliance, safety and parent engagement into one platform. It makes it easy to document learning outcomes, record observations, and improve parent engagement—resulting in centres providing better quality care. As the childcare sector takes a step forward, so should your centre. 


For more information about Playground, visit https://qikkids.com.au/products/playground 

How to Improve NQS Ratings in Quality Area 5 (Relationships with Children)


Relationships with children: Quality Area 5 

Quality Area 5 of the National Quality Standard focuses on the value of relationships with children that are responsive and respectful in nature. Respectful and meaningful relationships help a child to feel secure, confident and included. When a child is supported, their self-esteem gets a boost. 

Respectful relationships encourage children to explore the environment and engage in play, resulting in positive learning outcomes. Good relationships ultimately empower children to connect with others, build positive friendships and resolve conflicts. These relationships support children to self-regulate their own behaviour and respond appropriately. 

Relationships between educators and children 

The goal of NQS Quality Area 5 is for children to develop a strong sense of belonging and well-being through nurturing and respectful relationships with their educators. Early childhood education services are responsible for developing and nurturing respectful and equitable relationships with children.  

Staffing arrangements must be taken seriously by education and care services for young children. Children’s relationships early in life influence their identity and how they belong in particular groups. Educational leaders must always promote responsive and meaningful interactions with children.  

Educators play a crucial role in ensuring services’ compliance with the national quality standard. They must take the lead in creating various constructive everyday interactions and shared learning opportunities with each child. By supporting children through nurturing relationships, educators help promote children’s sense of self-confidence and skills to manage their behaviour and relate positively to others.  

Positive educator-to-child interactions  

Through positive interactions and shared learning opportunities, educators can stimulate children’s thinking and enrich their learning through routines, play and ongoing projects.  

Educators can use daily interactions to develop sensitive and responsive relationships with children. One simple and practical way to enable children to communicate effectively and respond appropriately is to actively engage with them through listening and responding to what they are saying. Children learn by example. 

Build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships with children. An educator can do so by being extra attentive to the children’s non-verbal cues, especially when immersed in a small group setting. 

Creating a safe space for a child to share their thoughts and feelings is imperative in fostering a positive educator-to-child relationship. It allows them to feel accepted and safe. The child is supported when they feel that they have a voice in the group and can contribute to decisions.  

More than just guiding children’s behaviour, educators who are developing responsive and meaningful interactions must also observe and note how children prefer to communicate. It’s one way of showing children their thoughts, opinions and preferences matter. Showing respect for a child’s feelings will encourage them to keep sharing them with you. 

Dignity and rights of the child   

The Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Code of Ethics encourages early childhood professionals to value, acknowledge and respond to all children’s rights to their identities, abilities, strengths and culture.  

One of the guiding principles of the National Quality Framework (NQF) is that the rights and best interests of the child are paramount. Each child has a right to be heard, to be free from violence, abuse and neglect, to have the opportunity to thrive, to be engaged in civics and citizenship and opportunities, and to act and be accountable.   

Providing education and care based on rights means understanding these rights and implementing practices that reflect them. 

Relationships between children 

Each child is supported to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships. Children will also need to manage their relationships with one another. Relationships between them and their peers will gradually become more complex as they grow. 

Developing sensitive and responsive relationships is vital for them to set a base for learning how their choices affect themselves and others. Secure children have increased empathy, better relationships with parents and peers, and increased capacity to handle emotions more effectively. 

Collaborative learning  

Children are active learners, and they learn skills needed by watching, copying and practising or through trial and error. They develop skills through play more than any other activity. That’s why services should provide many opportunities for children to practice working together collaboratively and effectively, including through play activities.  

Collaborative experiences help hone children’s behaviour. Through these, children learn about their responsibilities to others and appreciate their connectedness and interdependence as learners. Interaction with other children helps a child learn life and social skills, such as conflict resolution and negotiation skills. 


Self-regulation develops through interaction with caregivers and the broader environment. It is critical to support self-regulation at each stage of development. During their early childhood, children should start knowing how to manage thoughts and feelings to enable goal-directed actions. 

In addition to becoming aware of their own interactions with others, children begin to understand how their actions affect others. Self-regulation includes cognitive, emotional and behavioural skills and processes that support children in coping with strong feelings, controlling impulses, learning and getting along with others.  

Role modelling and supporting children to convey and construct messages with purpose and confidence can encourage young children to relate to others. Modelling positive ways to express needs, resolve conflict, or respond to their own behaviour and other people’s behaviour is an essential part of teaching young children.  

Parents, educators, staff of afterschool care providers, extended family members and others support self-regulation development by using three strategies in a process called “co-regulation.”  

Their strategies include: 

  1. Building Warm, Responsive Relationships 
  2. Structuring the Environment 
  3. Coaching Self-regulation Skills  


For more ways to build respectful and genuine relationships with children in your care, along with tips for improving your Quality Area 5 ratings, check out our free guide.

For more ways to build respectful and genuine relationships with children in your care, along with tips for improving your Quality Area 5 ratings, check out our free guide. 

Bonus content in the guide: 

A handy self-assessment checklist to prepare your staff for the Assessment and Rating process.

Download Guide


Finding and keeping the right staff for your centre

The National Quality Standard Quality Area 4 (QA4), Staffing Arrangements, underscores the importance of having qualified and experienced staff in early childcare services. Educators, coordinators and supervisors must be able to develop warm, respectful relationships with children, create safe and predictable environments and encourage children’s active engagement in the learning program.

Hiring staff that meet national regulations

For centre-based childcare services, at least 50% of educators must be diploma level qualified or higher. All other educators must be certificate III level qualified. Services must also have access to an Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) who possesses approved early childhood teacher qualifications.

Additionally, for Family Day Care, all educators must hold (or be actively working towards) an approved certificate III level education and care qualification. Coordinators must hold an approved diploma level education and care qualification.

There are also national first aid requirements for services. Centre-based and Outside of School Hours Care (OSHC) must have at least one staff member or nominated supervisor with up-to-date approved first aid qualification, anaphylaxis management training, and up-to-date asthma management training in any place where children are being educated or cared for. As for Family Day Cares, they must ensure each educator and assistant registered with the service holds up-to-date approved first aid qualification, has taken up-to-date asthma management training and anaphylaxis management training.

The day-to-day running of centres

Providers must have at least one nominated supervisor. Nominated supervisors may be required to successfully complete child protection training—depending on the jurisdiction. The nominated supervisor is responsible for the day-to-day running of the service.

Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring educational programs adhere to an approved learning framework
  • Ensuring children are adequately supervised and kept safe
  • Regulating who does and doesn’t have access to the service premises
  • Ensuring that provided food and beverages are healthy and prepared hygienically
  • Ensuring only authorised medicine is administered to children
  • Ensuring no staff caring for children are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription drugs that may impair their ability to provide adequate care to children
  • Conducting risk assessments before any centre excursions
  • Ensuring that educator-to-child ratios are maintained


Quality and quantity matter

Meeting the minimum educator-to-child ratio is just as important as having qualified educators. These ratios aim to ensure the safety and welfare of all children. According to studies, an adequate number of educators correlates to quality interactions and positive learning outcomes for children. The educator-to-child ratio also helps ensure educators get to know children in their care better, including understanding their individual preferences and developmental needs.


Educator-to-child ratios:

  • Apply to all areas and rooms within the service.
  • Apply during pick up, drop off and while children are being transported under the care of the service. It may be necessary to have extra staff on hand during these busy times.
  • Apply during break times and scheduled administration tasks (educators are NOT included in ratios).
  • Vary by service type and age range.


Keep your staff and invest in them

Interacting with the same educators daily helps children develop strong bonds with them. Constant interaction enables educators to understand each child’s individual interests, strengths and areas where they may need support. This is why the continuity of staff is a critical factor that contributes to a child’s learning and development.

Children who feel comfortable with educators will help improve your QA4 assessment. Assessors want to see children happily interact with educators and feel comfortable initiating conversations and interactions. Bonds like these take time to develop, so constant staffing changes may make it difficult for children to feel comfortable with their carers.

This is also a consideration when getting relief educators. Your centre must exert an effort to draw from the same pool that children are familiar with. During busy times such as drop off and pick up, do your best to schedule the same extra helpers.

According to the Early Years Research 2020 Report, services with Exceeding ratings typically invest 13% more in staff costs. A service that values and supports its staff is more likely to retain quality educators. Having staff that are continually looking to develop as professionals will benefit children, as well as your ratings.

Part of the NQS cycle is critical reflection and improvement. If staff are reflecting on weak areas in their training and seek to improve in those areas, the benefits will transfer directly to the children. This will show assessors your centre and staff are working towards constant improvement.

The new generation of educators entering the childcare field are more tech-savvy and they maximise software solutions that make their jobs easier. Information stored in a secure cloud-based system is easily shared with fellow educators and parents. Other tasks that can be tedious when done manually can be efficiently streamlined with a suitable suite of software tools.

Learn more about the importance of experienced and qualified staff at your centres in our guide, How to Improve NQS Ratings in Quality Area 4.

Bonus content in the guide: 

A handy self-assessment checklist to prepare your staff for the Assessment and Rating process.

Download Guide


A picture can be worth a thousand words—and higher National Quality Standard ratings

Understanding and implementing the National Quality Standard (NQS) for all quality areas is essential for childcare services. But if you don’t have documentation showing that your staff understands and puts in place NQS guidelines, you may be missing out. If assessors don’t receive concrete proof you’re implementing these standards, your centre may not get the ratings it deserves.

Along with providing high-quality care based on the NQS, amassing your “Wall of Evidence” should be your next course of action. Document your centre’s implementation of all NQS elements across all quality areas and include Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) outcomes. Together, these are your path to higher NQS ratings, and, according to Early Years Research 2021, this can eventually lead to higher occupancy rates.

Documenting interactions throughout the day may seem overwhelming, but such efforts are highly beneficial. One of the easiest ways to collect documentation is through pictures and videos. Let’s look at how one picture and one video can do much more than ‘capture a memory’.

Meeting NQS for Quality Area 2 – Health & Safety

Quality Area 2 (QA2) is Health & Safety, and centres are tasked with supporting each child’s wellbeing through a safe and hygienic centre environment. One way to do this is by modelling and implementing good hygiene and healthy eating habits. So how do you document this?

Let’s start with a picture of a child washing her hands before a meal. This picture documents your understanding and implementation of Element 2.1.2 (Healthy practices and procedures). If you use People Engagement Software (PES) and share this picture with a family member, you’ll also fulfil Element 1.3.3 (Information for families).  

Once the child has washed her hands and is ready to eat, what now? As the child is eating, you could record a short 10-15 second video clip. This might not seem like much more than recording a happy memory. But it can be much, much more with Programming and Planning (P&P) tools which can log details of children’s activities in both text and graphic files. Educators can then share these with families and help them stay connected with their child’s daily development.

A short video clip is more than a captured memory

The video shows a lot more than the child eating. You’ve already documented the child washing her hands before mealtime. But the video displays that the table she’s eating at is also clean (hygienic). This is further evidence that your centre meets Element 2.1.2.

The table, chairs, and utensils in the dining area can provide further proof. Showing that the furniture is child-friendly is evidence of careful planning when designing and furnishing the centre (Element 3.1.1 Fit for purpose). The use of child-appropriate utensils to avoid injury is yet more proof of Element 2.1.2.

Let’s take a closer look at the food that the child in this short video is eating. This video is an easy way to prove your centre provides nutritious meals to children, in line with Australian Dietary Guidelines. Providing nutritious food options helps you meet Element 2.1.3 (Healthy lifestyle).

In addition, if the video shows different children have different food on their plates, in varying amounts, it is further evidence of Element 2.1.3. It shows that children aren’t required to eat foods they don’t like and aren’t required to eat more than they need. With a P&P tool, you could include information about individual dietary needs or food allergies—further proof of Element 2.1.2.

Documentation can meet several NQS Elements

If the video includes educators in the background, you’ve met another element. Showing that qualified supervisors monitor activities at all times helps you meet Element 2.2.1 (Supervision). If the video includes a respectful interaction between staff and children while eating, you have evidence of staff fulfilling Element 4.2.2 (Professional standards).

Finally, a video of a child eating by herself is evidence of EYLF learning outcomes. Choosing what food to eat and feeding herself helps a child have a strong sense of identity. Eating nutritious food that she enjoys can also help promote a strong sense of well-being.


Our free guide, How to Improve Your Ratings in NQS Quality Area 2, has excellent tips and information to help your centre deliver quality care and achieve high ratings. 

An image of a screenshot of the Playground app demonstrating how NQS documentation is easier with software.
Playground helps educators publish tables with child observations that can be shared with parents directly through a parent app.


Download Guide

Documentation—your path to higher NQS ratings

Hopefully, you can now see how simple documentation of daily interactions at your centre can benefit your NQS ratings. The simple picture and video prove that your centre understands and implements several elements of the NQS in its day-to-day operations. But without that picture and video, you have no proof to offer assessors—even though you did everything right. Assessors would have no way of knowing how thorough your efforts are.

Documentation can seem like a formidable task, but P&P tools and PES can make the job much more manageable. They provide a simple means to store the documentation, tag learning outcomes, and make notes relevant to different Quality Areas.

6 digital marketing tools to boost your childcare centre’s occupancy

We’ve all had to learn new ways of doing things because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the last thing you need on your plate is to learn how to do yet another new thing – digital marketing. As a centre owner or educator, you’ve probably already got your hands full and have no time to figure out the new-fangled world of online engagements. 

If that’s the case, this blog will help you switch from more traditional advertising methods to digital tools that you need to start marketing your centre online. Simply put, an online presence will make it easier for families to find your centre and see what services you offer.

Step 1: Create a website with clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons

The first, and most important step, is to set up a website for your service. It serves as a place to interact with families and share information via other channels. You can use it as a place to display your facilities, share what services you offer, and answer enquiries.

You have various options to choose from for hosting and design. But, any well-established website service will have easy-to-use templates you can use to showcase your centre. Use your page to highlight unique features and benefits that set your centre apart.

Regardless of what information you include on your website, don’t forget this critical feature. Each page must have a CTA button that families can click on to engage with your service. CTAs can be things like “Book a Tour,” “Enrol Your Child,” or simply “Contact Us.” The easier it is for families to contact you, the better the chances they’ll reach out. 

Step 2: Set up social media accounts for your centre

Social media accounts increase the chance of families discovering your service. You can use these social media channels to direct families to your website, where most of the service information is stored.

Facebook is the most popular social platform and allows for Facebook ad campaigns. You can use other social media platforms, but remember—always engage with your followers regularly to maintain an active social media presence.

Step 3: Learn how to be seen more often with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is all about getting your website to appear higher in Google search results. If a family Googles “childcare near me” and your website appears on page 9, you’re not going to get many enquiries.

Thorough SEO requires extensive knowledge and can be daunting. But simply being aware of SEO and following basic best practices can make a difference. The common thread in all SEO strategies is quality content. Unique, well-written content in the form of blogs or articles can go a long way to improving your site’s SEO ranking.

Step 4: You can also advertise with targeted Google Ad Campaigns

Like you can run ad campaigns with Facebook, you can do the same with Google. Google ad campaigns help with SEO by putting your listing at the top of Google search results. 

Have you ever searched for something on Google and seen “Ad” or “Sponsored” included in the top results? Then you’ve seen a Google ad campaign in action. You can target specific audiences with your ads. For example, you can focus on families looking for childcare in your area.

Step 5: Use a low-cost but effective strategy—email marketing

Remember the CTAs we told you to create on your site back in Step 1? You can use a CTA to collect email addresses that you can use for email marketing. You can send a weekly or monthly newsletter to current and prospective families.

You can also include CTAs in your emails in various ways. You can share special offers, link to enrolment forms or post vacancies. Email marketing is cheap—it only costs you time and effort. You’ll also be contacting people who’ve previously expressed interest in your centre. After all, it’s likely they joined your mailing list while checking out your site.

Step 6: List your centre on an online marketplace to increase exposure

Online marketplaces expose your centre to the right people at the right time. More and more, families are turning to online marketplaces for their childcare needs. They can view and compare all the options available to them in one convenient place. If you aren’t listed on a marketplace, you risk missing out on exposure to families actively looking for childcare options.

Parents like online marketplaces because they can easily compare the different services in their area. Marketplaces give you the chance to highlight your centre’s unique features and services. A listing that differentiates you from your competition can help drive enquiries and enrolments.

The Space childcare marketplace can help generate enquiries online and streamline communication with prospective families.

Different marketplaces offer different features. A good marketplace offers a dedicated listing page, enquiry lead management, and embedded enquiry forms. It may even provide tour bookings and CSS platform compatibility. Some of them, like Space, also offer automated digital marketing services. This will help you implement several items in this list, like social media pages and email marketing. The team at Space will help integrate the Space software into your existing website or help you create one.

For a more detailed explanation of the steps outlined in this post, please check out our Childcare Digital Marketing Guide.