Quality Improvement

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Baby playing with paint Quality improvement is all about ensuring that all settings and all professionals consider how best to create, maintain and improve  provision in order to offer the highest quality learning and developing experiences for all children and their families. Children who experience high quality provision are well placed to achieve higher outcomes at school and develop better social, emotional and cognitive abilities necessary for life-long learning.


Poor quality provision does not support children’s learning and development in the long term.


Quality improvement is a continuous cycle based on planning; implementing; reviewing and analysing. It is a never ending journey involving children, parents and professionals.


The role of leadership 


Leadership plays a significant role in quality improvement and leaders should have in place systems for self evaluation; identifying and agreeing improvement priorities; and plans to implement the priorities and review the difference the actions have made.


Supporting quality improvement

The National Quality Improvement Network has developed a set of key principles to support quality improvement.


Quality assurance schemes support quality improvement systems and provide recognition that an individual setting has made real progress against an agreed set of standards, achieving an accredited level.


Many organisations have developed their own quality assurance schemes – check with your sector lead or overarching provider to see if they have one.


Ofsted is the independent, non-ministerial government department responsible for inspecting  and regulating early years provision and registered childcare.


Reflective question:


In your setting have all the staff discussed, debated and reached agreement as to what quality looks like for you?

Find out more… (click to open)

  • NQIN - the National Quality Improvement Network
  • Ofsted - the independent, non-ministerial government department responsible for inspecting  and regulating early years provision and registered childcare
  • National Strategies Early Years Quality Improvement Support Programme - guidance materials from National Strategies providing  local authority early years consultants and leaders of early years settings with tools to support continuous quality improvement in line with the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework,  drawing on the Ofsted self evaluation form,  and the National Quality Improvement Network’s principles
  • Children Come First (NCMA) 
  • Reflecting on Quality (PSLA) 
  • E-Quality Counts (NDNA)
  • Role of leadership in quality improvement – Pen Green Research Centre are running a two-year project to establish a national network of Early Years Teaching Centres and develop and promote different ways in which outstanding centres can train and support staff in other local early years settings.
  • National College  for School Leadership – The National College for School Leadership works to develop and inspire great leaders of schools, early years settings and children’s services so that they can make a positive difference to children’s lives.


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Comments (4)

  1. Colleen Bilton, November 1, 2011
    I would apprecaite the networking and communications newsletters as our organisation will work in partnerhship with a number of Sure Start centres. thank you Colleen Bilton
  2. ros, October 21, 2012
    please note the link to the National Qualitity Improvement Network on the Quality Improvement page does not work. Can you correct this please.
  3. janeannmohseni, January 14, 2013
    Looking for some inspiration and contacts for our learning garden, any ideas appreciated. thanks

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