Element 3.1.1 Fit for purpose – Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures and fittings

Click on the button below that best describes you and follow the simple steps. Complete each step as it will automatically write your QIP and Self Assessment Tool.

Educators

The following is an example of a Code of Conduct. These types of codes must be negotiated and agreed upon by the service. Please review your Code of Conduct and compare with the one below. Change or add accordingly to your services needs and requirements.

The Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, educators, staff members, volunteers and students will uphold the following ethical conduct principles at all times, and promote positive interactions within the Service and the local community.

  1. Commitment to our Service philosophy and values, including the promotion of a meaningful connection to the NQF and best practice in early childhood education in partnership with our families
  2. Effective, open and respectful two-way communication and feedback between employees, children, families and management
  3. Honesty and integrity in all interactions between children, families, employees and managers
  4. Consistency and reliability in all exchanges with children, families, employees and managers
  5. Commitment to a workplace which values and promotes the safety, health and wellbeing of employees, volunteers, children and families.

Commitment to an Equal Opportunity workplace and culture which values the knowledge, experience and professionalism of all employees, team members and managers, and the diverse heritage of our families and children.

Why are you doing the checklist?

The practices identified in the checklist are what the assessor needs to see you do so they can check you’re ‘meeting the NQS.’ If you embed all the things in the checklist, then you are meeting the Element. If there’s something on the checklist that you’re not doing, then you need to either adjust your practice to do it, or ask for help and training to do what’s on the checklist ie work with your educational leader or room leader who should teach/coach you how to do it.

Together as a team, use what you do (from your brainstorming session and the checklist) to write 6 short sentence that show “how” you are doing it. We’ve chosen 3 questions from the checklist for you. Why are you doing this? QIP’s need to have personalised stories about your practice so the assessor can ask you about why and how you do things. The sentences below can be used for Friday’s QIP writing section.

  1. Do you contribute to making the environments attractive and welcoming eg display children’s projects and art work, keep environments clean and tidy?
  2. Do you set up the environment to minimise the risk of injury and conflict?
  3. Do you follow a playground supervision plan for any hard to see areas?

What Regulation goes with this NQS Element?

  • Reg 104 Fencing,
  • Reg 106 Laundry and hygiene facilities,
  • Reg 107 Space requirements – indoor
  • Reg 108 Space requirements – outdoor,
  • Reg 109 Toilet and hygiene facilities,
  • Reg 110 Ventilation and natural light,
  • Reg 111 Administrative space,
  • Reg 112 Nappy changing facilities,
  • Reg 114 Outdoor space –shade,
  • Reg 115 Premises designed to facilitate supervision

Who has to do what?

You must ensure:

  • soiled clothing, nappies and linen is stored hygienically and safely, and cleaned effectively
  • indoor spaces are well ventilated (eg open windows and doors, or air con and fans) and are kept at temperatures that are comfortable and safe
  • adequate shading covers active and passive play areas
  • children are always well supervised.

Step 1 Critical Reflection
The EYLF and MTOP say “Critical reflection involves closely examining all  aspects of events and experiences from different perspectives.” There is no checklist for critical reflection, it is all about other peoples perspectives.

Select one or more from below or from the checklist to critically reflect upon:

  • Would families agree you’re always vigilant supervising children?
  • Would team members agree you consider how the available space will affect children’s interactions and learning?
  • Would families and staff agree the learning environment always minimises the risk of injury?
  • Would families agree you make sure sleep and rest areas are quite and comfortable?

You have discovered where your practice is compared to the NQS Guide (comparing what you currently do and the checklist). This is the process of self-assessment. If you have discovered practices, processes, checklist areas you need to improve upon, write them below. This section will be copied into your QIP.

We’ve got this great sandpit with lots of plastic toys. I’m not sure why children aren’t using it? Guess they’ll come back to it when they get tired of playing elsewhere.


The green text is directly related to the meeting indicators for Element 3.1.1 on pages 181-183 of the NQS Guide.

At our staff meeting on 6_4_20 educators from the Hippo room/group mentioned that children seemed to be avoiding the sandpit. Other educators agreed and all staff reflected on why this may be happening. Miss Danni suggested we include more natural elements in the sandpit eg large rocks to sit on and more natural loose parts like sticks and pine cones. Miss Millie said we could build a path to and around the sandpit to encourage sandpit play. Miss Samantha suggested the sand was too wet and cold and they needed to consider removing the shade covering for longer periods so the sand had a chance to dry out. She noted this would also help keep the sand clean and hygienic. Educators agreed these were all good ideas. They decided to source more natural materials and to remove the shade covering when it was fine and children were not using the sandpit. The NS committed to reviewing if it was feasible to redesign access to the sandpit. We’ve already seen a dramatic increase in use since introducing the natural materials and ensuring the sand is dry eg see photos and learning stories for week commencing 20_4_20.


Below is a case study that demonstrates how the Exceeding themes 1 Embedded Practice, 2 Critical Reflection and 3 Meaningful engagement with families and communities link into practice. The blue text is based on or directly quotes the exceeding indicators in the NQS Guide pages 186-187.

At our staff meeting on 6_4_20 educators from the Hippo room/group mentioned that children seemed to be avoiding the sandpit. Other educators agreed and all staff reflected on why this may be happening. Miss Danni suggested we include more natural elements in the sandpit eg large rocks to sit on and more natural loose parts like sticks and pine cones. Miss Millie said we could build a path to and around the sandpit to encourage sandpit play. Miss Samantha suggested the sand was too wet and cold and they needed to consider removing the shade covering for longer periods so the sand had a chance to dry out. She noted this would also help keep the sand clean and hygienic. Educators agreed these were all good ideas. They decided to source more natural materials and to remove the shade covering when it was fine and children were not using the sandpit. They referred to Kidsafe Fact Sheets for guidance and ideas eg Kidsafe NSW Fact Sheet says:

  • “A 700mm wide paved edge surrounding the sandpit provides an easy to sweep surface that helps keep the sand in place. Making two 700 mm wide ledges adds to the play experience as children are inevitably drawn to placing their masterpiece on a ledge to dry”
  • The incorporation of natural elements such as boulders, dry creek beds and strappy plantings with sandpit design are popular and aid in establishing a special “sense of place”. …Boulders should be large enough to sit on or to be used as small building decks and should measure from 300-700mm across and 300- 450mm high. The boulders should be positioned so they are stable ….any sharp edges …must be rounded off.
  • “Introduce plantings to at least one edge of the sandpit and include groundcovers, strappy plants, plumed grasses and shade trees.”

The NS committed to reviewing if it was feasible to redesign access to the sandpit. On 13_4_20 the NS posted in our closed Facebook groups asking families for ideas on improvements we could make to the design of the sandpit and surrounding areas. She also discussed this in person with one family who runs a landscaping business. We ended up engaging this business to build a 700mm wide paved edge around the sandpit. We saw a dramatic increase in use after introducing the natural materials and ensuring the sand was dry eg see photos and learning stories for week commencing 20_4_20. The addition of the paved area has further increased use and opportunities for learning (see photos 3_8_20).

Use the below points to analyse your above exceeding example to see if you have included everything.

1. Write the room location into the strength. This will ensure the assessor knows where to look for your strengths.
2. Write the educator’s name into the strength. This will ensure the assessor knows who to ask about your strengths.
3. Include the child/children’s names in your strength. This will give educators confidence to talk about a subject they know about (the child/ren).
4. Evidence eg learning story, photo that’s easy to access.
5. Write how you are achieving the exceeding themes.
Embedded Practice
Critical Reflection
Engagement with families/community
6. Tell the assessor exactly where to find the location of other evidence they need to see to show how you’re exceeding.
7. Show the assessor the location and time of other practice they need to observe to show how you’re exceeding.

Sun Safety

We will use a combination of sun protection measures when UV levels are 3 and over including:

  • planning outdoor activities in shaded areas
  • wearing sun safe hats that protect their face, neck and ears (educators, staff and children)
  • wearing sun safe clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible (educators, staff and children)
  • applying SPF30+ broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapplying every 2 hours (educators, staff and children)
  • ensuring babies remain in full shade when outside
  • role modelling sun safe techniques
  • incorporating sun protection learning into our curriculum.

Water Safety

We will implement the following measures in relation to water safety:

  • complete a risk assessment before allowing children to engage in water based activities
  • ensure no child swims without written permission from parents
  • ensure there is adequate supervision
  • fill wading pools with less than 300mm of water
  • remove any items that could be used to climb into the fenced area of a water hazard
  • display a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation guide
  • cover all water containers or ensure they are inaccessible to children
  • immediately empty all wading pools/water troughs etc. after every use
  • ensure children’s play areas are safely fenced off from water hazards
  • clean and disinfect pools etc in accordance with the instructions on the container.

Room/Group Leader

  1. Set a goal for the week.
    Goal doesn’t always need to link to NQS Element. A goal can be used to solve a challenge or be positive improvement i.e. learning area setup
    Click here for goal template.
  2. Identify barriers
  3. Track the goal daily
  4. Celebrate achieved goal.

The following is an example of a Code of Conduct. These types of codes must be negotiated and agreed upon by the service. Please review your Code of Conduct and compare with the one below. Change or add accordingly to your services needs and requirements.

The Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, educators, staff members, volunteers and students will uphold the following ethical conduct principles at all times, and promote positive interactions within the Service and the local community.

  1. Commitment to our Service philosophy and values, including the promotion of a meaningful connection to the NQF and best practice in early childhood education in partnership with our families
  2. Effective, open and respectful two-way communication and feedback between employees, children, families and management
  3. Honesty and integrity in all interactions between children, families, employees and managers
  4. Consistency and reliability in all exchanges with children, families, employees and managers
  5. Commitment to a workplace which values and promotes the safety, health and wellbeing of employees, volunteers, children and families.

Commitment to an Equal Opportunity workplace and culture which values the knowledge, experience and professionalism of all employees, team members and managers, and the diverse heritage of our families and children.

Why are you doing the checklist?

The practices identified in the checklist are what the assessor needs to see you do so they can check you’re ‘meeting the NQS.’ If you embed all the things in the checklist, then you are meeting the Element. If there’s something on the checklist that you’re not doing, then you need to either adjust your practice to do it, or ask for help and training to do what’s on the checklist ie work with your educational leader or room leader who should teach/coach you how to do it.

Together as a team, use what you do (from your brainstorming session and the checklist) to write 6 short sentence that show “how” you are doing it. We’ve chosen 3 questions from the checklist for you. Why are you doing this? QIP’s need to have personalised stories about your practice so the assessor can ask you about why and how you do things. The sentences below can be used for Friday’s QIP writing section.

  1. Do you contribute to making the environments attractive and welcoming eg display children’s projects and art work, keep environments clean and tidy?
  2. Do you set up the environment to minimise the risk of injury and conflict?
  3. Do you follow a playground supervision plan for any hard to see areas?

What Regulation goes with this NQS Element?

  • Reg 104 Fencing,
  • Reg 106 Laundry and hygiene facilities,
  • Reg 107 Space requirements – indoor
  • Reg 108 Space requirements – outdoor,
  • Reg 109 Toilet and hygiene facilities,
  • Reg 110 Ventilation and natural light,
  • Reg 111 Administrative space,
  • Reg 112 Nappy changing facilities,
  • Reg 114 Outdoor space –shade,
  • Reg 115 Premises designed to facilitate supervision

Who has to do what?

You must ensure:

  • soiled clothing, nappies and linen is stored hygienically and safely, and cleaned effectively
  • indoor spaces are well ventilated (eg open windows and doors, or air con and fans) and are kept at temperatures that are comfortable and safe
  • adequate shading covers active and passive play areas
  • children are always well supervised.

Step 1 Critical Reflection
The EYLF and MTOP say “Critical reflection involves closely examining all  aspects of events and experiences from different perspectives.” There is no checklist for critical reflection, it is all about other peoples perspectives.

Select one or more from below or from the checklist to critically reflect upon:

  • Would families agree you’re always vigilant supervising children?
  • Would team members agree you consider how the available space will affect children’s interactions and learning?
  • Would families and staff agree the learning environment always minimises the risk of injury?
  • Would families agree you make sure sleep and rest areas are quite and comfortable?

You have discovered where your practice is compared to the NQS Guide (comparing what you currently do and the checklist). This is the process of self-assessment. If you have discovered practices, processes, checklist areas you need to improve upon, write them below. This section will be copied into your QIP.

We’ve got this great sandpit with lots of plastic toys. I’m not sure why children aren’t using it? Guess they’ll come back to it when they get tired of playing elsewhere.


The green text is directly related to the meeting indicators for Element 3.1.1 on pages 181-183 of the NQS Guide.

At our staff meeting on 6_4_20 educators from the Hippo room/group mentioned that children seemed to be avoiding the sandpit. Other educators agreed and all staff reflected on why this may be happening. Miss Danni suggested we include more natural elements in the sandpit eg large rocks to sit on and more natural loose parts like sticks and pine cones. Miss Millie said we could build a path to and around the sandpit to encourage sandpit play. Miss Samantha suggested the sand was too wet and cold and they needed to consider removing the shade covering for longer periods so the sand had a chance to dry out. She noted this would also help keep the sand clean and hygienic. Educators agreed these were all good ideas. They decided to source more natural materials and to remove the shade covering when it was fine and children were not using the sandpit. The NS committed to reviewing if it was feasible to redesign access to the sandpit. We’ve already seen a dramatic increase in use since introducing the natural materials and ensuring the sand is dry eg see photos and learning stories for week commencing 20_4_20.


Below is a case study that demonstrates how the Exceeding themes 1 Embedded Practice, 2 Critical Reflection and 3 Meaningful engagement with families and communities link into practice. The blue text is based on or directly quotes the exceeding indicators in the NQS Guide pages 186-187.

At our staff meeting on 6_4_20 educators from the Hippo room/group mentioned that children seemed to be avoiding the sandpit. Other educators agreed and all staff reflected on why this may be happening. Miss Danni suggested we include more natural elements in the sandpit eg large rocks to sit on and more natural loose parts like sticks and pine cones. Miss Millie said we could build a path to and around the sandpit to encourage sandpit play. Miss Samantha suggested the sand was too wet and cold and they needed to consider removing the shade covering for longer periods so the sand had a chance to dry out. She noted this would also help keep the sand clean and hygienic. Educators agreed these were all good ideas. They decided to source more natural materials and to remove the shade covering when it was fine and children were not using the sandpit. They referred to Kidsafe Fact Sheets for guidance and ideas eg Kidsafe NSW Fact Sheet says:

  • “A 700mm wide paved edge surrounding the sandpit provides an easy to sweep surface that helps keep the sand in place. Making two 700 mm wide ledges adds to the play experience as children are inevitably drawn to placing their masterpiece on a ledge to dry”
  • The incorporation of natural elements such as boulders, dry creek beds and strappy plantings with sandpit design are popular and aid in establishing a special “sense of place”. …Boulders should be large enough to sit on or to be used as small building decks and should measure from 300-700mm across and 300- 450mm high. The boulders should be positioned so they are stable ….any sharp edges …must be rounded off.
  • “Introduce plantings to at least one edge of the sandpit and include groundcovers, strappy plants, plumed grasses and shade trees.”

The NS committed to reviewing if it was feasible to redesign access to the sandpit. On 13_4_20 the NS posted in our closed Facebook groups asking families for ideas on improvements we could make to the design of the sandpit and surrounding areas. She also discussed this in person with one family who runs a landscaping business. We ended up engaging this business to build a 700mm wide paved edge around the sandpit. We saw a dramatic increase in use after introducing the natural materials and ensuring the sand was dry eg see photos and learning stories for week commencing 20_4_20. The addition of the paved area has further increased use and opportunities for learning (see photos 3_8_20).

Use the below points to analyse your above exceeding example to see if you have included everything.

1. Write the room location into the strength. This will ensure the assessor knows where to look for your strengths.
2. Write the educator’s name into the strength. This will ensure the assessor knows who to ask about your strengths.
3. Include the child/children’s names in your strength. This will give educators confidence to talk about a subject they know about (the child/ren).
4. Evidence eg learning story, photo that’s easy to access.
5. Write how you are achieving the exceeding themes.
Embedded Practice
Critical Reflection
Engagement with families/community
6. Tell the assessor exactly where to find the location of other evidence they need to see to show how you’re exceeding.
7. Show the assessor the location and time of other practice they need to observe to show how you’re exceeding.

Sun Safety

We will use a combination of sun protection measures when UV levels are 3 and over including:

  • planning outdoor activities in shaded areas
  • wearing sun safe hats that protect their face, neck and ears (educators, staff and children)
  • wearing sun safe clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible (educators, staff and children)
  • applying SPF30+ broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapplying every 2 hours (educators, staff and children)
  • ensuring babies remain in full shade when outside
  • role modelling sun safe techniques
  • incorporating sun protection learning into our curriculum.

Water Safety

We will implement the following measures in relation to water safety:

  • complete a risk assessment before allowing children to engage in water based activities
  • ensure no child swims without written permission from parents
  • ensure there is adequate supervision
  • fill wading pools with less than 300mm of water
  • remove any items that could be used to climb into the fenced area of a water hazard
  • display a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation guide
  • cover all water containers or ensure they are inaccessible to children
  • immediately empty all wading pools/water troughs etc. after every use
  • ensure children’s play areas are safely fenced off from water hazards
  • clean and disinfect pools etc in accordance with the instructions on the container.

Educational Leader

The following is an example of a Code of Conduct. These types of codes must be negotiated and agreed upon by the service. Please review your Code of Conduct and compare with the one below. Change or add accordingly to your services needs and requirements.

The Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, educators, staff members, volunteers and students will uphold the following ethical conduct principles at all times, and promote positive interactions within the Service and the local community.

  1. Commitment to our Service philosophy and values, including the promotion of a meaningful connection to the NQF and best practice in early childhood education in partnership with our families
  2. Effective, open and respectful two-way communication and feedback between employees, children, families and management
  3. Honesty and integrity in all interactions between children, families, employees and managers
  4. Consistency and reliability in all exchanges with children, families, employees and managers
  5. Commitment to a workplace which values and promotes the safety, health and wellbeing of employees, volunteers, children and families.

Commitment to an Equal Opportunity workplace and culture which values the knowledge, experience and professionalism of all employees, team members and managers, and the diverse heritage of our families and children.

Why are you doing the checklist?

The practices identified in the checklist are what the assessor needs to see you do so they can check you’re ‘meeting the NQS.’ If you embed all the things in the checklist, then you are meeting the Element. If there’s something on the checklist that you’re not doing, then you need to either adjust your practice to do it, or ask for help and training to do what’s on the checklist ie work with your educational leader or room leader who should teach/coach you how to do it.

Together as a team, use what you do (from your brainstorming session and the checklist) to write 6 short sentence that show “how” you are doing it. We’ve chosen 3 questions from the checklist for you. Why are you doing this? QIP’s need to have personalised stories about your practice so the assessor can ask you about why and how you do things. The sentences below can be used for Friday’s QIP writing section.

  1. Do you contribute to making the environments attractive and welcoming eg display children’s projects and art work, keep environments clean and tidy?
  2. Do you set up the environment to minimise the risk of injury and conflict?
  3. Do you follow a playground supervision plan for any hard to see areas?

Step 1 Critical Reflection
The EYLF and MTOP say “Critical reflection involves closely examining all  aspects of events and experiences from different perspectives.” There is no checklist for critical reflection, it is all about other peoples perspectives.

Select one or more from below or from the checklist to critically reflect upon:

  • Would families agree you’re always vigilant supervising children?
  • Would team members agree you consider how the available space will affect children’s interactions and learning?
  • Would families and staff agree the learning environment always minimises the risk of injury?
  • Would families agree you make sure sleep and rest areas are quite and comfortable?

You have discovered where your practice is compared to the NQS Guide (comparing what you currently do and the checklist). This is the process of self-assessment. If you have discovered practices, processes, checklist areas you need to improve upon, write them below. This section will be copied into your QIP.

We’ve got this great sandpit with lots of plastic toys. I’m not sure why children aren’t using it? Guess they’ll come back to it when they get tired of playing elsewhere.


The green text is directly related to the meeting indicators for Element 3.1.1 on pages 181-183 of the NQS Guide.

At our staff meeting on 6_4_20 educators from the Hippo room/group mentioned that children seemed to be avoiding the sandpit. Other educators agreed and all staff reflected on why this may be happening. Miss Danni suggested we include more natural elements in the sandpit eg large rocks to sit on and more natural loose parts like sticks and pine cones. Miss Millie said we could build a path to and around the sandpit to encourage sandpit play. Miss Samantha suggested the sand was too wet and cold and they needed to consider removing the shade covering for longer periods so the sand had a chance to dry out. She noted this would also help keep the sand clean and hygienic. Educators agreed these were all good ideas. They decided to source more natural materials and to remove the shade covering when it was fine and children were not using the sandpit. The NS committed to reviewing if it was feasible to redesign access to the sandpit. We’ve already seen a dramatic increase in use since introducing the natural materials and ensuring the sand is dry eg see photos and learning stories for week commencing 20_4_20.


Below is a case study that demonstrates how the Exceeding themes 1 Embedded Practice, 2 Critical Reflection and 3 Meaningful engagement with families and communities link into practice. The blue text is based on or directly quotes the exceeding indicators in the NQS Guide pages 186-187.

At our staff meeting on 6_4_20 educators from the Hippo room/group mentioned that children seemed to be avoiding the sandpit. Other educators agreed and all staff reflected on why this may be happening. Miss Danni suggested we include more natural elements in the sandpit eg large rocks to sit on and more natural loose parts like sticks and pine cones. Miss Millie said we could build a path to and around the sandpit to encourage sandpit play. Miss Samantha suggested the sand was too wet and cold and they needed to consider removing the shade covering for longer periods so the sand had a chance to dry out. She noted this would also help keep the sand clean and hygienic. Educators agreed these were all good ideas. They decided to source more natural materials and to remove the shade covering when it was fine and children were not using the sandpit. They referred to Kidsafe Fact Sheets for guidance and ideas eg Kidsafe NSW Fact Sheet says:

  • “A 700mm wide paved edge surrounding the sandpit provides an easy to sweep surface that helps keep the sand in place. Making two 700 mm wide ledges adds to the play experience as children are inevitably drawn to placing their masterpiece on a ledge to dry”
  • The incorporation of natural elements such as boulders, dry creek beds and strappy plantings with sandpit design are popular and aid in establishing a special “sense of place”. …Boulders should be large enough to sit on or to be used as small building decks and should measure from 300-700mm across and 300- 450mm high. The boulders should be positioned so they are stable ….any sharp edges …must be rounded off.
  • “Introduce plantings to at least one edge of the sandpit and include groundcovers, strappy plants, plumed grasses and shade trees.”

The NS committed to reviewing if it was feasible to redesign access to the sandpit. On 13_4_20 the NS posted in our closed Facebook groups asking families for ideas on improvements we could make to the design of the sandpit and surrounding areas. She also discussed this in person with one family who runs a landscaping business. We ended up engaging this business to build a 700mm wide paved edge around the sandpit. We saw a dramatic increase in use after introducing the natural materials and ensuring the sand was dry eg see photos and learning stories for week commencing 20_4_20. The addition of the paved area has further increased use and opportunities for learning (see photos 3_8_20).

Use the below points to analyse your above exceeding example to see if you have included everything.

1. Write the room location into the strength. This will ensure the assessor knows where to look for your strengths.
2. Write the educator’s name into the strength. This will ensure the assessor knows who to ask about your strengths.
3. Include the child/children’s names in your strength. This will give educators confidence to talk about a subject they know about (the child/ren).
4. Evidence eg learning story, photo that’s easy to access.
5. Write how you are achieving the exceeding themes.
Embedded Practice
Critical Reflection
Engagement with families/community
6. Tell the assessor exactly where to find the location of other evidence they need to see to show how you’re exceeding.
7. Show the assessor the location and time of other practice they need to observe to show how you’re exceeding.

Nominated Supervisor

The following is an example of a Code of Conduct. These types of codes must be negotiated and agreed upon by the service. Please review your Code of Conduct and compare with the one below. Change or add accordingly to your services needs and requirements.

The Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, educators, staff members, volunteers and students will uphold the following ethical conduct principles at all times, and promote positive interactions within the Service and the local community.

  1. Commitment to our Service philosophy and values, including the promotion of a meaningful connection to the NQF and best practice in early childhood education in partnership with our families
  2. Effective, open and respectful two-way communication and feedback between employees, children, families and management
  3. Honesty and integrity in all interactions between children, families, employees and managers
  4. Consistency and reliability in all exchanges with children, families, employees and managers
  5. Commitment to a workplace which values and promotes the safety, health and wellbeing of employees, volunteers, children and families.

Commitment to an Equal Opportunity workplace and culture which values the knowledge, experience and professionalism of all employees, team members and managers, and the diverse heritage of our families and children.

Why are you doing the checklist?

The practices identified in the checklist are what the assessor needs to see you do so they can check you’re ‘meeting the NQS.’ If you embed all the things in the checklist, then you are meeting the Element. If there’s something on the checklist that you’re not doing, then you need to either adjust your practice to do it, or ask for help and training to do what’s on the checklist ie work with your educational leader or room leader who should teach/coach you how to do it.

Step 1 Critical Reflection
The EYLF and MTOP say “Critical reflection involves closely examining all  aspects of events and experiences from different perspectives.” There is no checklist for critical reflection, it is all about other peoples perspectives.

Select one or more from below or from the checklist to critically reflect upon:

  • Would families agree you’re always vigilant supervising children?
  • Would team members agree you consider how the available space will affect children’s interactions and learning?
  • Would families and staff agree the learning environment always minimises the risk of injury?
  • Would families agree you make sure sleep and rest areas are quite and comfortable?

Your team crave feedback on their weekly Centre Support professional development.

Getting appropriate feedback and seeing actions which come from their comments and reflections inspires them to keep on completing the professional development. It’s important therefore that you read the Educators’ section and make sure you and/or the Educational Leader:

  • action the checklist results eg if educators ask for help by answering ‘T’ they get the help they need
  • follow up their critical reflection ie help implement outcomes
  • use their QIP contributions and celebrate them with your educators.

We’ve got this great sandpit with lots of plastic toys. I’m not sure why children aren’t using it? Guess they’ll come back to it when they get tired of playing elsewhere.


The green text is directly related to the meeting indicators for Element 3.1.1 on pages 181-183 of the NQS Guide.

At our staff meeting on 6_4_20 educators from the Hippo room/group mentioned that children seemed to be avoiding the sandpit. Other educators agreed and all staff reflected on why this may be happening. Miss Danni suggested we include more natural elements in the sandpit eg large rocks to sit on and more natural loose parts like sticks and pine cones. Miss Millie said we could build a path to and around the sandpit to encourage sandpit play. Miss Samantha suggested the sand was too wet and cold and they needed to consider removing the shade covering for longer periods so the sand had a chance to dry out. She noted this would also help keep the sand clean and hygienic. Educators agreed these were all good ideas. They decided to source more natural materials and to remove the shade covering when it was fine and children were not using the sandpit. The NS committed to reviewing if it was feasible to redesign access to the sandpit. We’ve already seen a dramatic increase in use since introducing the natural materials and ensuring the sand is dry eg see photos and learning stories for week commencing 20_4_20.


Below is a case study that demonstrates how the Exceeding themes 1 Embedded Practice, 2 Critical Reflection and 3 Meaningful engagement with families and communities link into practice. The blue text is based on or directly quotes the exceeding indicators in the NQS Guide pages 186-187.

At our staff meeting on 6_4_20 educators from the Hippo room/group mentioned that children seemed to be avoiding the sandpit. Other educators agreed and all staff reflected on why this may be happening. Miss Danni suggested we include more natural elements in the sandpit eg large rocks to sit on and more natural loose parts like sticks and pine cones. Miss Millie said we could build a path to and around the sandpit to encourage sandpit play. Miss Samantha suggested the sand was too wet and cold and they needed to consider removing the shade covering for longer periods so the sand had a chance to dry out. She noted this would also help keep the sand clean and hygienic. Educators agreed these were all good ideas. They decided to source more natural materials and to remove the shade covering when it was fine and children were not using the sandpit. They referred to Kidsafe Fact Sheets for guidance and ideas eg Kidsafe NSW Fact Sheet says:

  • “A 700mm wide paved edge surrounding the sandpit provides an easy to sweep surface that helps keep the sand in place. Making two 700 mm wide ledges adds to the play experience as children are inevitably drawn to placing their masterpiece on a ledge to dry”
  • The incorporation of natural elements such as boulders, dry creek beds and strappy plantings with sandpit design are popular and aid in establishing a special “sense of place”. …Boulders should be large enough to sit on or to be used as small building decks and should measure from 300-700mm across and 300- 450mm high. The boulders should be positioned so they are stable ….any sharp edges …must be rounded off.
  • “Introduce plantings to at least one edge of the sandpit and include groundcovers, strappy plants, plumed grasses and shade trees.”

The NS committed to reviewing if it was feasible to redesign access to the sandpit. On 13_4_20 the NS posted in our closed Facebook groups asking families for ideas on improvements we could make to the design of the sandpit and surrounding areas. She also discussed this in person with one family who runs a landscaping business. We ended up engaging this business to build a 700mm wide paved edge around the sandpit. We saw a dramatic increase in use after introducing the natural materials and ensuring the sand was dry eg see photos and learning stories for week commencing 20_4_20. The addition of the paved area has further increased use and opportunities for learning (see photos 3_8_20).

Use the below points to analyse your above exceeding example to see if you have included everything.

1. Write the room location into the strength. This will ensure the assessor knows where to look for your strengths.
2. Write the educator’s name into the strength. This will ensure the assessor knows who to ask about your strengths.
3. Include the child/children’s names in your strength. This will give educators confidence to talk about a subject they know about (the child/ren).
4. Evidence eg learning story, photo that’s easy to access.
5. Write how you are achieving the exceeding themes.
Embedded Practice
Critical Reflection
Engagement with families/community
6. Tell the assessor exactly where to find the location of other evidence they need to see to show how you’re exceeding.
7. Show the assessor the location and time of other practice they need to observe to show how you’re exceeding.