In December 2009, all Australian Governments, through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a partnership to establish a National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care for most long day care, preschool, family day care and outside school hours care services in Australia.
"The Australian government and state and territory governments recognise the importance of increasing their focus on the early years to ensure the well being of children throughout their lives and to lift the productivity of our nation as a whole. The drive for change is based upon clear evidence that the early years of a child’s life are very important for their present and future health, development and well being." (Guide to the National Quality Framework).
The National Quality Framework aims to raise the standard of early childhood education and care across the country.
The National Quality Framework involves the implementation of a national law and regulation, a national quality rating and assessment process and a new national body jointly governed by the Australian Government and state and territory governments- the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) to oversee the new system. This new system commenced January 1 2012.