Assessment & Rating (A&R) Software in Childcare - Kinder M8

Assessment & Rating (A&R) made easy with an All-In-One Childcare Management Software

Assessment & Rating (A&R) made easy with an All-In-One Childcare Management Software

You may find yourself feeling stressed, overwhelmed and unprepared when it comes time for assessment and rating. Having a centralised childcare management system can make a huge difference and ensure everything is organised for educators, management and authorised officers. This article will explain the key steps involved in assessment and rating, and how Kinder M8 — Australia’s most trusted childcare software — can help you during this time. 

What is assessment and rating?

Assessment and rating is a national process that regulates, assesses and rates education and care services across Australia against the National Quality Framework. The purpose of assessment and rating is to ensure the health and safety of children, refine educational outcomes, and promote continuous improvement. Assessment and rating should not be seen as just a compliance check, but rather a great opportunity to showcase what your centre does every day to further support, educate, and care for children.


To prepare for assessment and rating, it is recommended that you review your processes, operations and facilities beforehand to make a judgement on how well you think you are meeting compliance. This involves self-assessment and quality improvement planning.

What is self-assessment?

The National Quality Framework emphasises how important continuous improvement is in relation to childcare services. Self-assessment is a key step in this process. It involves reflecting on your strengths, checking if regulatory requirements are being met, and exploring areas of improvement. In Australia, all education and care services must complete a self-assessment. 


For self-assessment to be most effective, it is recommended that you look to the broader community rather than limiting it to just educators and management. This can include seeking input from families, children and the wider community. Kinder M8 can help make gathering this information easy. You can access a range of communication channels, such as SMS and email, to connect with your community and gain valuable input for your self-assessment. You can also refer to existing CRM insights and analytics through the Kinder M8 platform to collect further data.


Quality Improvement Plan (QIP)

After self-assessment has been completed, the improvements and suggestions identified can be actioned and prioritised in a QIP. A QIP provides childcare services with the opportunity to self-reflect on the quality of education and care provided, and help plan ahead for clear and targeted improvements. The QIP is also used during the assessment and rating process. To make sure this plan is followed, good communication and tracking systems are vital. By using Kinder M8, you can ensure a smooth roll out of your QIP. The daily tasks and reminders feature allows you to set, track and manage tasks so that everything is completed on time.

Assessment and rating visits

On the day of assessment and rating, an authorised officer from your state or territory will visit your centre to observe and discuss your practices. Your service will be assessed against each of the 7 National Quality Standards, which are:


  1. Educational program and practice
  2. Children’s health and safety
  3. Physical Environment
  4. Staffing arrangements
  5. Relationships with children
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  7. Governance and leadership


This results in an overall rating for your centre. There are 5 quality ratings that can be awarded:


  1. Excellent
  2. Exceeding
  3. Meeting
  4. Working towards
  5. Significant improvement required


These ratings are published on the National Registers and can be viewed by the public. This makes assessment and rating an important process to consider.

What to expect

Your service provider will be notified a minimum of 5 days prior to an assessment and rating visit, and is responsible for informing you about the date it will be taking place.


When the authorised officer arrives at your service on the day of A&R, they will discuss with the service provider or Management team what the assessment day will look like, while they are at the service. During their visit the assessor will sight, observe and discuss to collect evidence that reflect the information you have provided in your self-assessment and to be able to assist in their report to make the final decision about your services’ rating.

How can a childcare management software like Kinder M8 help with A&R?

The authorised officer will be required to sight some documents to provide as evidence to support the particular practices that are implemented at the service.. Some of the documents that an assessor might want to sight are:



If any additional or specific documents are required, your service provider will be notified via phone and/or email prior to the visit. They are responsible for passing this request onto you.


It is important that these documents are easily accessible and ready to show the authorised officer during an assessment and rating visit to make the process as smooth as possible. Having an all-in-one childcare management system like Kinder M8 will ensure efficiency, ease of access, and convenience when it comes to gathering information and documents required. 


As well as being practical, Kinder M8 offers continuous benefits to help streamline your operations. Every centre has good intentions when it comes to the health and safety of the children in their care, but without effective communication channels, there is often the risk of messages being missed or unclear. Policies and changes may not be consistently upheld, or may only be followed for a short period of time. This inconsistency can impact your centre during assessment and rating. 


Fortunately, Kinder M8 enables the centralisation of all communications which fosters accountability among service providers and educators. This ensures that when assessment and rating time comes around, the process is holistically understood throughout your centre. It also shows the authorised officer that your centre deals with issues relating to the health and safety of children effectively and efficiently. Also, the Kinder M8 system can pave the way for smooth implementation of any changes that may be required to action after a visit. 


Assessment and rating can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are looking to get your self-assessment and Quality Improvement Plan under control, as well as make assessment and rating easy, a centralised childcare management system can make all the difference. Contact us to schedule a demo or learn more about how Kinder M8 can help you stand out from the pack.