Welcome to Early Years Wales' quality assurance scheme, Quality for All (QfA).
Early Years Wales believes that consistently meeting all regulatory requirements to the highest standards, and continuously reflecting on and evaluating practice is key to the delivery of high-quality childcare where the best possible experiences and opportunities are provided for children and families.
QfA accreditation follows a process which includes:
- completion of the QfA Assessment Tool.
- an observation of practice, and
- a Professional Discussion with an experienced assessor followed by annual reaccreditation
The QfA Assessment Tool (Tool) is a living improvement plan that supports childcare settings to provide outstanding quality services.
It gives a consistent approach to demonstrating high-quality across all types of childcare provision.
We aim to support providers to achieve and maintain the highest standards, giving them the opportunity to gain recognition for the investment and contribution that they and their staff make.
Having high-quality childcare means you focus on how well your service is managed, staffed, resourced and provided overall.
The Tool will help you to reflect on this and your practice, and to plan for improvements or change over time. It will help you maintain and raise standards and prepare for other assessments or inspections.
You can also use the QfA process to highlight and celebrate any activities or achievements that are unique to your service.
Our scheme recognises the importance of having robust legal and management structures in place and you will be guided to reflect on the suitability of your processes in the delivery of high-quality services.
There is an expectation that all relevant regulations and National Minimum Standards for regulated childcare for children up to the age of 12 years (NMS) are met at all times. There is a similar expectation that any other appropriate guidance materials, especially those produced by Welsh Government should be followed or should be given due regard and embraced where possible. This applies across all aspects of early childhood development, learning, education and care
The Tool is divided into 3 sections:
- Section 1 - Ownership, leadership, management, and organisation
- Section 2 - Children's health and wellbeing
- Section 3 - The learning environment and operational practice
Each section is further broken down and contains a series of questions based on key operating areas for childcare settings. These are largely based on the NMS and require a Yes or No answer. However, in answering the questions, we expect that you will think about how you and your service meet and exceed requirements in the areas that are relevant to you.
Ideas for your further reflection are also provided and are intended to help you evaluate your practice and gain a deeper understanding of how well your service is delivered. These reflections will furthermore help you to highlight areas for future development and improvement.
When you have completed and submitted the Tool, an assessor will be allocated to review your submission, carry out an observation of practice and engage in a Professional Discussion with you as part of the assessment.
The assessor will provide both verbal and written feedback and they may offer constructive suggestions to enable you to improve your service further. They will also highlight any areas of excellent practice they have observed.
Every provider successfully completing a QfA assessment will receive a Certificate of achievement, a PDF copy of the assessment report and our Early Years Wales QfA Logo to be used for promotional purposes.
Following initial assessment and accreditation, you are expected to regularly revisit and reflect on the key areas laid out in the Tool. Using our QfA Assessment Tool as a living improvement plan can support you to embed and maintain quality practices, helping to make your childcare service the best that it can be.
Annual reassessment is required to retain accreditation, more information on this will be available later this year.