7.2.1 Continuous improvement

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There is an effective self-assessment and quality improvement process in place.

There is one NQS Element that is the backbone of the whole NQS.

Element 7.2.1 Continuous improvement. There is an effective self-assessment and quality improvement process in place.

Centre Support’s (CS) weekly learning activities (WLA) assists you to meet and exceed the NQS. To achieve this and gain a better understanding of the NQS I have copied points from the NQS guide below with the ways our weekly learning activities guide you to meet and exceed the elements.

NQS Guide: Quality services regularly monitor and review their performance to guide planning and improve service quality.

CS: Our WLAs do this by covering ALL 40 NQS elements with a structure . On Monday I ask you to review your practice with the use of a checklist. On Tuesday I use case studies to make you think and evaluate your practices and create a plan to improve them.

NQS Guide: This creates a shared understanding of the principles that guide the service, and encourages continuous improvement in practice, policies and procedures.

CS: All WLAs should be completed as a team. If one person or room leader is left to complete the WLAs then it won’t work. The assessor will ask educatos questions and educators won’t have the confidence to answer them.

NQS Guide: Quality services regularly update and maintain their Quality Improvement Plan as a dynamic document to guide progress towards improvement. Quality services use the Quality Improvement Plan for continuous assessment against the National Quality

CS: The WLAs do this in two ways. Firstly on Tuesday I get you to create an improvement plan after you reflect on the case study and secondly on Friday where I get you to write your strenghts in relation to the NQS Element.

NQS Guide: Quality services use the Quality Improvement Plan for continuous assessment against the National Standard and the approved learning frameworks, to identify new goals for the service as part of an effective cycle of improvement. Incorporating regular self-assessment and quality improvement discussions in staff meetings encourages educators to participate in reflection on key practices, such as pedagogy and inclusion, and enables all staff members to provide input into planning for continuous quality improvement.

CS: The WLAs cover all of this as mentioned previously. Don’t forget we start every week with some goals that can be matched to NQS Elements.

NQS Guide: Establishing and maintaining a culture of ongoing reflection and self-review offers challenge, inspires motivation, and supports positive levels of staff satisfaction.

CS: Every Thursday we critically reflect from different perspectives which includes children, educators, families and theorist. This reflective process should create a change in practice.

NQS Guide: This provides opportunities for all staff to improve their practice and programming, which contributes directly to improved learning outcomes for children.

CS: The WLAs cover all of this as mentioned previously.

NQS Guide: An effective cycle of continuous improvement includes reviewing:

  • the extent to which the service meets or exceeds the National Quality Standard
  • the performance of all staff members
  • how the service and its practices are delivered in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework and/or the Framework for School Age Care (or other approved learning frameworks)
  • the outcomes for children at the service against the learning outcomes in these frameworks
  • feedback and complaints from children and families.

CS: The WLAs cover all of this as mentioned previously.

NQS Guide Exceeding Theme 1, embedded practice.  All members of the service team:

  • are able to explain how the service’s performance evaluation process consistently supports their learning and development goals and growth as professionals, including how a tailored professional development plan provides a focus for continuous performance improvement;
  • are able to discuss and demonstrate how they actively participate in the service’s ongoing self-assessment and quality improvement process, and how this process drives continuous improvement in service quality and enhances outcomes for children and families

CS: The WLAs cover all of this as mentioned previously.

Exceeding theme 3: Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and community

NQS Guide says to get gexceeding we need to:

  • support families and the community to participate meaningfully in the service’s quality improvement processes, including the development and review of the Quality Improvement Plan;
  • The service supports and enables families and the community to provide feedback on quality improvement processes, and this feedback is actively considered as part of the regular cycle.

These points are difficult as families don’t give feedback on the QIP easily, but they do have a big influence on quality improvement.  Below is an example of how the centre worked with family feedback to improve the centre’s practices and staff professional development.

Family feedback to assist with curriculum
Asher is cooking fried rice for his family tonight. Ash added all the ingredients to the pan and practised cracking the eggs. Asher’s verdict is “it smells delicious!” 19 July 2018. Reflecting upon the family input led to children preparing lunch at least once a week.

This morning Cody, Rocky and Charlie prepared lunch for our preschool room. Rocky and Charlie were excited to make their own lunch especially since they love playing in their kitchen. Rocky and Charlie engaged in their own learning and development (LO 4.3) by following instructions that Cade (the centre’s chef) sent us along with all the ingredients to make lasagne. Cody asked Rocky and Charlie if they have ever made lunch before. The boys responded, “no we haven’t.” Cody replied, “this will be the first time we make lunch together.” We continued to place the mince, lasagne pasta sheets and white sauce in the dish. We went through the ingredients. Cody asked, “Rocky what is this?” and Rocky responded, “it’s mince.” Cody responded, “yes Rocky that’s correct. Do you know what this is Charlie?” Charlie then responded, “yes, it is pasta.” The boys layered the pasta sheets. Cody provided opportunities for Rocky and Charlie to construct materials as a strategy for learning (LO 4.4) as we built our lasagne for our friends to eat. We finished making our lunch and we sent it back to Cade to put in the oven.

When it turned up for lunch Rocky and Charlie were so happy with their job of making lunch that their smiles would not leave their faces.

Other educators in other rooms reflected upon the success,  and this led to every room preparing their food at least once a week. Reflecting further Chef Cade and educators now have a daily program called Junior Master Chef where small groups of 4-5 children with an educator prepare meals with Chef Cade.

Which led to the chef enrolling in a Diploma of Early Childhood with the intent to go onto an early childhood degree. All this from family input into the curriculum.


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