Welcome to the third instalment of our National Quality Standards series, where we highlight the importance of implementing the seven key Quality Standards throughout all Lifelong Learning Centres.
National Quality Standard – Quality Area 3 Physical Environment
The third Quality Area addresses physical environment. Quality Area 3, as outlined in the National Quality Standard, strives to guarantee a secure, appropriate, and stimulating physical environment that fosters children's learning and development. The design, equipment, and organization of the environment play a crucial role in shaping how space and resources are utilised, with the potential to encourage children's involvement, positive experiences, and the development of inclusive relationships.
Quality area 3 is comprised of two standards
Outlined on the ACECQA (Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority) website, the two main standards include Design and Use. Design refers to the development of facilities appropriate for the operation of a service, and use refers to the creation of an environment that is inclusive, promotes competence, supports exploration, and encourages play-based learning.
Standard One: Design
The outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures, and fittings are designed to be suitable for their intended purpose, ensuring inclusive access for every child. Upkeep must be maintained, ensuring that premises, furniture, and equipment are safe, clean and in excellent working order.
Standard Two: Use
Use refers to the provision of an inclusive environment, resources that support play-based learning, and environmentally responsible practices. Outdoor and indoor areas are structured and customized to facilitate the involvement of each child and involve them in high-quality experiences within both constructed and natural settings. The resources, materials, and equipment are designed for versatile use, provided in ample quantity, and empower each child to participate in learning through play. The facility promotes environmental stewardship and encourages children to develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment.
The Regulatory Authority conducts Assessment and Rating of our service periodically. However, Affinity Education undertakes evaluation with the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) standards biannually through our dedicated team of early years experts, known as our Quality Team. Through regular internal visits, we guarantee that your child's service consistently aligns with the framework, stays updated on Education and Practice guidelines, and receives tailored on-the-job coaching and training specific to the service, room, and, crucially, your children.
If you would like further information about Quality Area 3 and how the physical environment of our centres have been developed to support your child’s learning, please have a chat to our team or find a centre.