Quality Area 6 relates to collaborative partnerships with families and communities, but what does it mean to collaborate and how do we collaborate effectively.
A dictionary definition of collaborate is to work jointly on an activity or project. Other terms for collaborate include work together, join forces and act as a team. Do educators at your service work as a team with parents, families and the local community?
To work effectively as a team all team members must share power and authority, and use and act on suggestions, questions and input from other team members. Is this what happens at your service?
The Guide to the NQS says effective collaboration happens when all members of the team can:
- communicate freely in open, two-way communication
- share information and give feedback about children’s strengths, interests and abilities
- share decision making and suggest ways in which policies and procedures can be improved
- contribute to service activities
- contribute to service operations and operations in an advisory or decision-making role.
- value each other’s knowledge, roles, expertise and culture.
Many educators think they are collaborating with families and communities because they share a lot of information with them. However as we can see, simply sharing information does not mean they are collaborating with them.
What sort of arrangements do you have at your service? Do you work as a team with parents?