Exceeding theme three is causing some problems

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The new 2018 Assessment and Rating introduced the three exceeding themes and today we are going to focus on community section of exceeding theme 3 by starting with the element that looks for quality community engagement, 6.2.3.

Standard – 6.2 Collaborative partnerships Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning and wellbeing.

Element – 6.2.3 Community engagement
The service builds relationships and engages with its community.

Our focus for today is Standard 6.2. The Snapshot Report shows that 6% of services are rated as Working Towards for this Standard, 67% as meeting and 27% as Exceeding. How can you achieve and maintain an Exceeding rating in this area?
Discussion
You have visits from the local fire brigade, police and you go on a quarterly visit to the nursing home. Are you exceeding the element 6.2.3 Community engagement, the service builds relationships and engages with its community?

What are you doing in relation to 6.2.3 Community engagement?

What does an assessor think we need?

Many ‘meeting’ reports come back with improvement suggestions for element 6.2.3 community engagement. The following have been copied from “Meeting” reports that show a general theme as to why the service was rated meeting.

The service may wish to:

  • consider how community links can enhance the educational program for each child currently enrolled at the service, as there are many highlighted past events within the Quality Improvement Plan and through discussions with educators
  • strengthen practices in regard to consistently maintaining effective partnerships with other early childhood professionals and the community, to enhance each child’s learning, wellbeing and inclusion.

What does it mean to enhance the educational program for each child with the community?

What does it mean to consistently maintain effective partnerships with other early childhood professionals and the community to enhance each child’s learning, wellbeing and inclusion?

National Regulations underpinning
Element 6.2.3

Regulation 3 Definition of Regular Outing
Regulation 100 Risk assessment must be conducted before excursion
Regulation 101 Conduct of risk assessment for excursion
Regulation 102 Authorisation for excursions
Plain English Versions
Regulation 3 Definition of Regular Outing
Regular outings are walks, drives or trips to and from a place the service visits regularly and where the risks identified and managed in the original risk assessment don’t change.

Reg 100
You must complete a risk assessment before asking parents/guardians to authorise an excursion.
Risk assessments aren’t required if the excursion is a regular outing and a risk assessment has been completed for it less than 12 months ago.
Reg 101
Risk assessments must identify and assess excursion risks and say how they’ll be eliminated or reduced.
Risk assessments must include:
• where children are going
• route children will take
• type of transport or if children will walk
• how long the excursion will last
• any water hazards
• number of adults and children going
• whether extra adults are going to provide extra supervision
• whether any adults with specialised skills are going
• what children will be doing including any water activities
• any items educators will take including mobile phone, emergency kit and children’s emergency contact numbers

Reg 102
You can’t take a child on an excursion unless a parent or someone else authorised on the enrolment form has authorised this. You only need to get authorisation once every 12 months for regular outings. Authorisations must include:
• child’s name
• that you’re getting approval to take child on an excursion
• date of excursion (unless it’s a regular outing)
• explanation about where children are going and what they’ll be doing
• type of transport or if children will walk
• how long the excursion will last

  • how many children will be going
  • educator to child ratio
  • number of any extra adults going to provide extra supervision
  • advice parents can view the risk assessment

  • How to build connections with the community
  • How to use community resources to provide experiences and support for children and families
  • Where your parents work so you can consider conducting an excursion to their workplace

Walk around the block

The Department calls you and says ‘I want your educators to take the children on a walking excursion around the block. Your educators conduct the excursion and they return. You ask, “what did you learn on the excursion”? The educators say, “not much, it was a waste of time. Jackson played up the whole time. I’m not doing that again.”

List all the potential learning experiences that could occur by walking around the block.

What do you need to teach your educators before they go on an excursion so you never hear “not much, never doing that again?”

Question
Within walking distance of your service, you have a shop/local business that you drive by to get to work. You have never been there, don’t know what they do, but today you have been directed by the ‘Department’ to consistently maintain effective partnerships with them as they are a part of your community. This shop sells electrically meters for new houses. As a group, list the steps to build a relationship with this shop/local business, and then consistently maintain an effective partnership.

How are you going to use this shop/local business to ‘enhance the learning’ for the children?

Before any community engagement your educators must develop a learning plan that can guide learning when coming into contact with the community. If these learning plans are not developed beforehand the excursions usually turns into a superficial experience where there is no enhancement of learning with the children.

Learning plans need to include:

  • Who are the people you will meet during the excursion?
  • What do they do?
  • What connection do they have with the children?
  • What can we learn from them?

Are you, the Nominated Supervisor,
the problem?

Have you stopped educators taking children on excursions? Why? What are your concerns, fears, worries? List your concerns.

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