What do I receive with the Certification Mark?

You receive access to:

  • An online self-reflection course
  • A link to a survey for a manager and all staff to complete
  • Audit and exemplifications to use within your setting and reflect on the quality that you provide, make changes, and to improve the quality of care you provide for children and families
  • Access to a mentor who will aim to respond to all queries within 72 hours
  • NDNA head office support
  • An onsite assessment visit from an Early Years Expert
  • On award, a report, use of the Quality Counts logo and an awards pack
  • The name of your setting added to the Quality Counts register on the NDNA website as a Quality Counts endorsed setting, which parents can then search for.

How long do I get to complete it?

Once you have made your commitment to Quality Counts, you have access to the system for 12 months. Within this time you will have had to complete all online audits, upload evidence and apply for onsite assessment.

Can I have an extension if I do not complete it in 12 months?

Quality improvement is a continual process and in order to embed it, should become part of the day to day practices within your setting. Extensions are discouraged; however where there is extenuating circumstances a three month extension may be granted. An additional charge will be required for extensions to cover administration costs. Settings are only able to apply for one extension.

What assessment do I receive?

Your assessor will evaluate everything that you submit online against the standards and then carry out an assessment visit at your setting. This will include observing practice and talking to children, parents, staff and management. Following the visit, the assessor will prepare a report and make a recommendation of ‘working towards’, ‘awarded’ or ‘awarded at platinum’ to the Quality Counts Panel. There will be some time at the end of the day for the assessor to provide some brief feedback. Post Panel you will receive a full report outlining the assessor’s observations of the setting.

What are the two levels?

From our long-term experience of delivering quality schemes we recognise the difference between settings so we wanted to provide a framework that both supported improvement and validated outstanding achievement. There are two levels of award. One is ‘awarded Quality Counts’ and ‘awarded Quality Counts Platinum’. These are decided by the Quality Counts Panel based on the assessor’s report detailing how well embedded processes are in practice and the recommendations made. If at onsite assessment the setting is demonstrating that practice is well embedded they are likely to be granted Quality Counts Platinum.

How long does the award last?

Once you are awarded the award is valid for three years. We would expect that you use this framework each year as an ongoing quality improvement tool. Once you are approaching your final year we will contact you to let you know. You then have the option of further external assessment which will continue your validation for a further 3 years.

What are the benefits of Quality Counts?

Quality Counts is a setting wide framework for continuous improvement and staff development. Working towards and achieving the framework enables you to work with your team to ensure they are offering the best quality care possible for children in your setting. Using the framework will help you and your staff to critically evaluate practice against a set of standards developed by early years experts based on research findings and the UN Convention Rights of a Child. The standards look at leadership practices, staff capabilities in addition to activities, environments and the health and wellbeing of children. By using the standards it will help your team to work together to develop their own skills and ensure that activities and environments that support children’s development at all ages are the best they can be.

When are the panel dates?

Once you have been assessed your assessment notes will be passed to a panel of independent individuals to confirm there is enough evidence and the award level.

The next dates are as follows:

May 2022

August 2022

November 2022

All dates are TBC. You will be advised of the next panel date during your assesment.