Are you having trouble meeting certain NQS Elements?
An Evaluation of the Assessment and Rating Process under the National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care and School Age Care was recently released. One of the interesting findings was that four of the 58 NQS elements were met less often by services than other elements. If you had to guess which elements are the hardest for services to implement, do you think you would pick the same four?
There may be lots of different reasons why certain elements are harder to meet than others. A lot may relate to the experience, number and qualifications of educators but there is another possible explanation that is often overlooked by many services. What you are doing is only one side of an assessment. The experience, skills and knowledge of authorised officers will also affect the assessment outcome. According to the evaluation report, it’s not just educators that need to improve practices or procedures in order to meet these elements but authorised officers that need to improve the way they assess them. The report notes that authorised officers believe they need more training to accurately assess these elements.
So which four elements were highlighted in the Evaluation?
Element 1.2.1 Each child’s learning and development is assessed as part of an ongoing cycle of planning, documenting and evaluation.
Element 1.2.3 Critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, is regularly used to implement the program.
Element 3.3.1 Sustainable practices are embedded in service operations.
Element 3.3.2 Children are supported to become environmentally responsible and show respect for the environment.
We were not surprised that the report found environmental elements difficult to meet. A lot of services that we speak to across the country have provided feedback that the assessor focussed on environmental sustainability and often wanted them to extend what they were already achieving in this area. The NQS isn’t prescriptive about how services contribute to sustainable futures. There is so much services can do in this area and so many resources available.
We were, however, surprised about the other two elements relating to educational program and practice, but then there mustn’t have been too many Centre Support customers included in the review. They have a wonderful package of EYLF resources and online resources to help them achieve exceeding in these elements!
Are there any NQS elements that you find difficult to meet?