7.1.1 Service philosophy and purpose

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A statement of philosophy guides all aspects of the service’s operations.

The NQS guide says (a) we need to develop a written philosophy that is based upon the ‘guiding principles’ of the National Quality Framework and the National Law and (b) our statement of philosophy should serve three purposes.

  1. underpins the decisions, policies and daily practices
    of the service
  2. reflects a shared understanding of the role of the service among staff, children, families and the community
  3. guides educators’ pedagogy, planning and practice when delivering the educational program.

First, we need to discover what that National Law says in relation to ‘guiding principles’. Please note the Law sits above the Regulations.

(3) The guiding principles of the national education and care services quality framework are as follows—

(a) that the rights and best interests of the child
are paramount;
(b) that children are successful, competent and capable learners;
(c) that the principles of equity, inclusion and diversity underlie this Law;
(d) that Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are valued;
(e) that the role of parents and families is respected and supported;
(f) that best practice is expected in the provision of education and care services.
Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
Page 13.

Reviewing your philosophy – Part 1

The NQS Guide says educators need to be meaningfully involved in reviewing the service’s statement of philosophy. Read your current philosophy then discuss it with your team and answer the questions in the next column.

After the review process you may need to subtract or add to your philosophy.

Review your philosophy in relation to the ‘guiding principles’ of the National Law.

Can you find point (a) in your philosophy?
(a) that the rights and best interests of the child are paramount;

___________________________________________________

 

Can you find point (b) in your philosophy?
(b) that children are successful, competent and capable learners;

___________________________________________________

 

Can you find point (c) in your philosophy?
(c) that the principles of equity, inclusion and diversity underlie this Law;

___________________________________________________

 

Can you find point (d) in your philosophy? (d) that Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are valued;

___________________________________________________

 

Can you find point (e) in your philosophy? (e) that the role of parents and families is respected and supported;

___________________________________________________

 

Can you find point (f) in your philosophy? (f) that best practice is expected in the provision of education and care services.

___________________________________________________

Reviewing your philosophy –  Part 2. The NQS Guide says ‘A statement of philosophy’ underpins the decisions, policies and daily practices of the service. Let’s focus on the ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’ in relation to the National Law and your philosophy.

Here are some examples and on the next page is where you can add your own practices.

The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(a) that the rights and best interests of the child are paramount; Keeping children safe We ensure children are emotionally safe and know what’s happening during the day. That’s why we teach the parents how to say goodbye to their child before leaving even though it is very difficult for some parents
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(b) that children are successful, competent and capable learners; Keeping children safe

Always improving
We realised we needed to be mindful of children’s views and feelings. For example, we ignored children’s wishes on whether they wish to share their work with others by hanging their art without their permission. This has now changed. It’s very interesting to watch the difference when children want to show their work and when they don’t. We feel this could have something to do with how they feel about their capabilities.
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(c) that the principles of equity, inclusion and diversity underlie this Law; Meeting family’s needs We ensure Jackson our child on the autistic spectrum doesn’t become dependent on our support worker as this would create stress for Jackson when she isn’t there. We are actively working with the other children in the room to include Jackson.
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(d) that Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are valued; Meeting family’s needs We don't need to wait for NAIDOC Week. Maalaa's mum Clair set a great example of this when she engaged with the children by identifying native bush foods which were growing near the centre. Clair and her daughter enjoyed sharing this knowledge and eating the native food with the class. This has sparked an interest with Nathan wanting to share more about his culture, which in turn has seen us holding regular corroborees in the room.
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(e) that the role of parents and families is respected and supported; Meeting family’s needs We ensure all religious dietary requirements are met for our families and celebrate the differences
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(f) that best practice is expected in the provision of education and care services. Always improving We are constantly challenging assumptions educators have in our room. We sit and map out together what we think and then we celebrate the difference in opinions. We then test the opinions of other educators by trialling them. For example one educator thought it was best to allow children to just create with art material while the other thought it best to teach the children technique first, then let the children experiment. Testing is in progress.

Reviewing your philosophy –  part 2. The NQS guide says ‘A statement of philosophy’ underpins the decisions, policies and daily practices of the service. Let’s focus on the ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’ in relation to the National Law and your philosophy

The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(a) that the rights and best interests of the child are paramount;
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(b) that children are successful, competent and capable learners;
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(c) that the principles of equity, inclusion and diversity underlie this Law;
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(d) that Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are valued;
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(e) that the role of parents and families is respected and supported;
The Law Section of your philosophy Your ‘decisions’ and ‘daily practices’
(f) that best practice is expected in the provision of education and care services.

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