NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD

Concept Descriptor
QA1 Educational program and practice
1.1 Program The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.
1.1.1 Approved learning framework Curriculum decision making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators.
1.1.2 Child-centred Each child’s current knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests are the foundation of the program.
1.1.3 Program learning opportunities All aspects of the program, including routines, are organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning.
1.2 Practice Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development.
1.2.1 Intentional teaching Educators are deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful in their decisions and actions.
1.2.2 Responsive teaching and scaffolding Educators respond to children’s ideas and play and extend children’s learning through open-ended questions, interactions and feedback.
1.2.3 Child directed learning Each child's agency is promoted, enabling them to make choices and decisions that influence events and their world.
1.3 Assessment and planning Educators and co-ordinators take a planned and reflective approach to implementing the program for each child.
1.3.1 Assessment and planning cycle Each child’s learning and development is assessed or evaluated as part of an ongoing cycle of observation, analysing learning, documentation, planning, implementation and reflection.
1.3.2 Critical reflection Critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, drives program planning and implementation.
1.3.3 Information for families Families are informed about the program and their child's progress.
QA2 Children’s health and safety
2.1 Health Each child’s health and physical activity is supported and promoted.
2.1.1 Wellbeing and comfort Each child’s wellbeing and comfort is provided for, including appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation.
2.1.2 Health practices and procedures Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.
2.1.3 Healthy lifestyle Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child.
2.2 Safety Each child is protected.
2.2.1 Supervision At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard.
2.2.2 Incident and emergency management Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practised and implemented.
2.2.3 Child protection Management, educators and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities to identify and respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect.
QA3 Physical environment
3.1 Design The design of the facilities is appropriate for the operation of a service.
3.1.1 Fit for purpose Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures and fittings are suitable for their purpose, including supporting the access of every child.
3.1.2 Upkeep Premises, furniture and equipment are safe, clean and well maintained.
3.2 Use The service environment is inclusive, promotes competence and supports exploration and play-based learning.
3.2.1 Inclusive environment Outdoor and indoor spaces are organised and adapted to support every child's participation and to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments.
3.2.2 Resources support play-based learning Resources, materials and equipment allow for multiple uses, are sufficient in number, and enable every child to engage in play-based learning.
3.2.3 Environmentally responsible The service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible.
QA4 Staffing arrangements
4.1 Staffing arrangements Staffing arrangements enhance children's learning and development.
4.1.1 Organisation of educators The organisation of educators across the service supports children's learning and development.
4.1.2 Continuity of staff Every effort is made for children to experience continuity of educators at the service.
4.2 Professionalism Management, educators and staff are collaborative, respectful and ethical.
4.2.1 Professional collaboration Management, educators and staff work with mutual respect and collaboratively, and challenge and learn from each other, recognising each other’s strengths and skills.
4.2.2 Professional standards Professional standards guide practice, interactions and relationships.
QA5 Relationships with children
5.1 Relationships between educators and children Respectful and equitable relationships are maintained with each child.
5.1.1 Positive educator to child interactions Responsive and meaningful interactions build trusting relationships which engage and support each child to feel secure, confident and included.
5.1.2 Dignity and rights of the child The dignity and rights of every child are maintained.
5.2 Relationships between children Each child is supported to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships.
5.2.1 Collaborative learning Children are supported to collaborate, learn from and help each other.
5.2.2 Self-regulation Each child is supported to regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflicts.
QA6 Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
6.1 Supportive relationships with families Respectful relationships with families are developed and maintained and families are supported in their parenting role.
6.1.1 Engagement with the service Families are supported from enrolment to be involved in the service and contribute to service decisions.
6.1.2 Parent views are respected The expertise, culture, values and beliefs of families are respected and families share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.
6.1.3 Families are supported Current information is available to families about the service and relevant community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.
6.2 Collaborative partnerships Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning and wellbeing.
6.2.1 Transitions Continuity of learning and transitions for each child are supported by sharing information and clarifying responsibilities.
6.2.2 Access and participation Effective partnerships support children's access, inclusion and participation in the program.
6.2.3 Community engagement The service builds relationships and engages with its community
QA7 Governance and Leadership
7.1 Governance Governance supports the operation of a quality service.
7.1.1 Service philosophy and purpose A statement of philosophy guides all aspects of the service’s operations.
7.1.2 Management systems Systems are in place to manage risk and enable the effective management and operation of a quality service.
7.1.3 Roles and responsibilities Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, and understood, and support effective decision making and operation of the service.
7.2 Leadership Effective leadership builds and promotes a positive organisational culture and professional learning community.
7.2.1 Continuous improvement There is an effective self-assessment and quality improvement process in place.
7.2.2 Educational leadership The educational leader is supported and leads the development and implementation of the educational program and assessment and planning cycle.
7.2.3 Development of professionals Educators, co-ordinators and staff members’ performance is regularly evaluated and individual plans are in place to support learning and development.

Approved learning framework

Element 1.1.1

Approved learning framework

Curriculum decision-making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators

Key improvements sought for QA 1 Educational program and practice

Strengths

This year we have discovered that we have families who spend their days working with the animals at Dubbo Zoo. Elijah’s Mum and Dad both work closely with the elephants and tigers.

Haley has recently noticed the children’s developing interest with the few animals we have floating around the room and found a story to relate to promoting a sense of community within the early childhood setting.
During a quiet time throughout our busy day, Haley invited Elijah and our new friend Leo over to the mat for a story. This particular story was about a boy who writes letters to the Zoo, asking for a pet. The Zoo sends all kinds of animals to the boy in ‘flip the flap’ cages which Haley sees as a way to test the children’s skills and abilities in participating in a group game. On each page, there was a new cage to open. Haley encouraged Elijah and Leo to open the cages, taking turns to reveal the new ‘pet’. Elijah and Leo revealed the animals with surprise as Haley explained the names of the animals, what they eat and where they live.
Perhaps at a later date we could reflect back on this and use a world map to explore where the animals of the world live.
As we continued to read the story, Elijah found the Lion before displaying a smile and letting out a quiet “rah” to indicate his knowledge of the lion’s roar. “That’s right Elijah, the lion does roar.” “Does Daddy hear the lions roar at work?” asked Haley.
It wasn’t long after that Leo discovered the Giraffe and then the Elephant. “Ooo what about the elephants’ sound?” “Elijah’s Mum sees all the elephants at the Zoo. Maybe we could get some photos of some elephants and research the noise they make” explained Haley.
This was a great opportunity for the children to broaden their understandings of the world they live in and is something we could build on from here as the opportunities are endless.
Learning outcome: 2.1

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
1.1.1 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified we need to find out more about families’ expertise. More realistic environments that mimic parents’ work environments H Step 1 – make a list of parents’ occupations
Step 2 – ask families their occupations at drop off/pick up if we don’t know their occupations
Step 3 – post Facebook message to closed room groups inviting families in to talk about their jobs
Step 4 – ask families that come in for help setting up more realistic environments
Step 5 – Reflect on changes
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators work collaboratively with the educational leader, and regularly engage with families and the community, to consistently make curriculum decisions which maximise learning and development outcomes for every child in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators. All educators regularly reflect on practices to ensure they support the rights of every child to participate and achieve learning outcomes.
May and ongoing 7_5_19 had at least 3 families from each room offer to come in and talk about their jobs. One dad is a mechanic and suggested he bring in an old motorbike for the children. Wow!

9_5_19 The children pulled the motorbike apart and the room now looks and smells like a mechanic shop. Children are much more engaged, and it’s interesting to watch the co-construction of learning that’s happening between them.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 1.1 – Program: The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include all educators:

All educators:

  • work collaboratively with the educational leader to consistently develop and implement a purposeful and responsive educational program that reflects and builds on the knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests of each child
  • confidently make curriculum decisions throughout the day, week or month to ensure each child’s learning and development is maximised.

In this example we can see how educator Haley confidently built on the knowledge children had about wild animals using the centre location near Dubbo Zoo and the connections many families have with the Zoo. She sourced relevant resources to support the learning, engaged children in meaningful activities eg flipping the cages in the book open and making animal sounds, and notes there are endless ways to extend the learning eg looking at where wild animals live in the world.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include educators

All educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators regularly reflect, individually and with each other on:

  • the evolving knowledge, strengths, ideas, cultures, abilities and interests of children at the service, and how these inform the educational program
  • opportunities to strengthen the educational program

In our example we can see how educator Haley used family connections to strengthen children’s learning not just about wild animals, but also skills like co-operation and collaborative learning. Haley also says “Perhaps at a later date we could reflect back on this and use a world map to explore where the animals of the world live.” showing that she is looking for opportunities to extend the learning based on the children’s evolving knowledge.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include educators:

The service’s approach to curriculum decision-making:

  • welcomes, respects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service
  • reflects a strong commitment to meaningful, regular engagement with families and the community to promote strong connections between each child’s various learning environments
  • reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service

All educators draw inspiration from the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service to enhance children’s learning and development

In this example we can see how educator Haley was inspired and used the unique community asset of Dubbo Zoo to connect children with and extend their learning about wild animals. Haley engaged children with their community and also with their families in the cases of children whose parents work at the zoo.  She set the groundwork for further information sharing between these families and the children.

Child Centered

Element 1.1.2

Child-centred

Each child’s current knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests are the foundation of the program.

Key improvements sought for QA 1 Educational program and practice

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves against the outcomes and are confident all educators deliver a child- centred program. For example, preschool educator Eliza begins each day with a group time where she asks all children what activities they wish to do for the day. This valuable knowledge is combined with what parents want their child to learn and it is written on the whiteboard and implemented during the day (embedded practices and engagement with families). For example, on the (13.2.19) Stella mentioned she would enjoy dancing, Aria wanted to play with playdough and Alex wanted to draw. Ella’s Mum mentioned Ella had been practicing her name writing at home, to begin getting ready for school. Miss Eliza set the program for the day to include all children extending and working on their writing skills.

This daily practice was developed after Eliza reflected on what she called a great day and wondered what made it great. (Critical reflection See reflection 13.2.19) She noticed these great days included large amounts of time where the children had decided what they wanted to do, which in turn saw the children engaged for longer. Children would often ask to return to an experience so they could practice.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
1.1.2 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified there are some areas where educators struggle to include children’s knowledge, interests and culture into the program Educators can confidently talk with families to gather information about children’s interests etc and are supported by the Educational leader and Room Leader to use and extend this information H Step 1 Discover the areas you and your educators are struggling to include children’s knowledge, interests and culture into the program.
Step 2 Identify ways to overcome the struggle of gathering information and extending on it.
Step 3 Have all educators participate in discussions with families to gather the information required about each family.
Step 4 Ensure educators are taught what to do with this information and how to include it in the program.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators consistently and respectfully respond to each child’s ideas and play, for example through open-ended questions and feedback, to extend each child’s participation, learning and development. All educators consistently draw on families’ or communities’ understanding of each child’s strengths, ideas, culture and interests to extend their learning and development, and regularly reflect, individually and with each other, on their educational practice.
March and ongoing 12_3_19
Room Leader and educators had small meeting to discuss why they were not including this information into the program. Some educators noted they were unsure of how to gain information about the children’s home lives. Others were unsure of what to do next with the information.

13_3_19
Room Leader and Educational Leader sat down with the educators, helping them create simple questions to ask families about their child’s home life and interests.

15_3_19
After educators had time to engage with families and ask questions, they passed their information to the Room Leader. The Room Leader and Educational Leader began supporting the educators in extending on the information by providing ideas and feedback.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 1.1 – Program: The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include

All educators:

  • work collaboratively with the educational leader to consistently make curriculum decisions, including the organisation of daily routines, that maximise learning and development outcomes for every child in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators
  • work collaboratively with the educational leader to consistently develop and implement a purposeful and responsive educational program that reflects and builds on the knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests of each child
  • confidently make curriculum decisions throughout the day, week or month to ensure each child’s learning and development is maximised

See our strength for element 1.1.2 dated 15.3.19

Preschool teacher Eliza confidently planned activities which maximised children’s learning and development and increased their confidence as learners because she sought input from the children about their preferred activities and then implemented this which increased children’s engagement with learning. She also promoted their communication skills by working with them on their writing, building on their existing knowledge.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include

All educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators regularly reflect, individually and with each other on the evolving knowledge, strengths, ideas, cultures, abilities and interests of children at the service, and how these inform the educational program.

See our strength for element 1.1.2 dated 15.3.19

This example shows how Eliza changed her curriculum practices after reflecting on the fact educators and children had a great day when there was lots of time devoted to children’s suggested activities.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include

The service’s approach to curriculum decision-making welcomes, respects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service and reflects a strong commitment to meaningful, regular engagement with families and the community to promote strong connections between each child’s various learning environments.

All educators draw on family and/or community understanding of each child’s knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities, interests and learning and development in order to develop a child-centred educational program, for example Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s ways of knowing and being.

See our strength for element 1.1.2 dated 15.3.19

Because preschool teacher Eliza and has established a strong and friendly relationship with Ella’s mum, she found out from mum that Ella had been practicing her writing skills at home. Eliza drew on this information from Mum about Ella’s interest and included writing activities in the daily program.

Program learning opportunities

Element 1.1.3

Program learning opportunities

All aspects of the program, including routines, are organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning.

Key improvements sought for QA 1 Educational program and practice

Strengths

Today Miss Natasha gathered the children on the mat for group time and asked the children “What would we like to learn about today?” “I would like to learn about germs” said Xavier. “That’s a great idea Xavier. Why would you like to learn more about germs?” asked Miss Natasha “To make sure we all stay healthy” replied Xavier. Miss Natasha built upon and extended on Xavier’s ideas (LO 3.1) by asking the children “what are germs?” “Germs make you sick Miss Tash” replied Xavier. “They are yucky, and they live on your hands” answered Izzy. “Germs can give you a cold,” said Ruby. “Where do germs come from?” “They are in your saliva” added Heath. “They even live on your teeth,” said Brandon. “What do germs do to your body?” “They make you feel sick” replied Lucy. “They make your teeth feel funny” said Brandon. “They make our hands and skin feel dirty” said Ruby and Heath. Miss Natasha provided the children with an educational video reflecting current recognised guidelines on what germs are and infection control,  and once the children had finished watching the video, Miss Natasha asked “Who remembers how we stop germs from spreading?” “Always wash your hands” answered Brandon. “When you cough you cover your mouth and then you wash your hands” said Jake and Heath. “You sneeze in your arm not in the air” added Xavier. “We drink out of our own drink bottles,” said Lucy and Olivia. The children showed they are enthusiastic learners (LO4.1) by answering the questions. “Can anyone remember what surfaces germs can live on?” “They are on your hands” said Izzy, Ruby and Olivia. “They are also on your phone,” said Jake. “They even live on your animals” replied Heath and Jake. “They are also on our cupboards and door handles” answered Xavier and Izzy. Miss Natasha displayed delight, encouragement and enthusiasm for the children’s attempts. Reflecting on ways to enhance children’s learning, Miss Natasha then created a list with the children to identify all the ways we can improve our hygiene through our routines in the preschool. The list identified all the great ideas for personal hygiene, room cleaning and preparation before mealtime. The children extended the learning further by drawing their representations of germs and how to stop them spreading in our room.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
1.1.3 Some educators forgetting about reflecting part of assessment cycle All educators regularly reflect on children’s learning H Step 1. EL and NS hold staff training night on assessment cycle and create template to help educators reflect more often
Step 2 EL observes practice after training to assess need for any further action
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators work collaboratively with the educational leader, and regularly engage with families and the community, to consistently make curriculum decisions, including the organisation of daily routines, which maximise learning and development outcomes for every child. All educators regularly reflect on changes to the program which would enhance learning outcomes, including through the organisation of daily routines. August and ongoing 13_8_19 Training night held. Educators really liked template

16_8_19 EL can see how educators now trying their hardest to reflect regularly

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 1.1 – Program: The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators confidently make curriculum decisions throughout the day, week or month to ensure each child’s learning and development is maximised.

The observed and discussed approach to curriculum decision-making consistently demonstrates a strong commitment to the principles and practices of the approved learning framework/s

We can see how Miss Natasha is using Xavier’s interest in germs to maximise children’s learning and development. Using children’s interest, and intentionally teaching children about germs and infection control is consistent with the EYLF.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to curriculum decision-making is informed by current recognised guidance

All educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators regularly reflect, individually and with each other on opportunities to strengthen the educational program

Miss Natasha reflects on the best way to teach children about germs  and chooses an educational video that is based on current recognised guidance about germs and infection control to strengthen learning and the educational program.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

All educators draw inspiration from the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service to enhance children’s learning and development

Many children have a farming background so it was interesting to see 2 children learn germs can love on animals. There has also been a flu and gastro outbreak in the local community and Miss Natasha has used this local context when deciding to include learning about germs in the program.

Intentional teaching

Element 1.2.1

Intentional teaching

Educators are deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful in their decisions and actions.

Strengths

Continuing to learn how to manage our emotions, Chelsea decided to extend the tigers group learning and established a partnership with local community member Pamma, a Buddhist Monk. Chelsea discussed with Pamma the need to teach the children meditation techniques to assist with self-regulation. Pamma explained to the children” all monks meditate, sometimes it’s to make negative feelings go away and sometimes to keep the happy feelings inside.” Pamma then showed everyone a special feelings jar made up of glycerine, oil, water, dishwashing detergent and glitter. “When we are sad or angry or frustrated or scared, we can have lots of things spinning around inside our heads like this jar. And when that happens there are things you can do to help you feel better.”  Next, we read a book called ‘Moody Cow Meditates’ by Kerry Lee Maclean. It was about a cow named Peter who was having a really bad day. Having started his day missing the bus, wiping out his bike, losing his temper and getting into trouble, his school friends started calling him a moody cow. His day got worse until his grandad came over to his house and showed him the magic jar and then all his bad feelings went away. Ella, reflecting on her emotions LO 3.1 said, “I feel happy, ”Aria and Maddy said “I feel excited, ”Torah said “I feel ok, ”Landon said “cranky,” Xavier said “I feel bored.” Using this information Pamma taught the first meditation technique. “Can we all pretend we are holding a cup of hot chocolate? Now, when you’re feeling unhappy breathe into your pretend cup like your cooling it down to drink. Can everyone do that?” Now does everyone feel better?” asked Pamma. Everyone said yes. The next technique learnt was a bubble technique. “Can everyone pretend they are holding bubbles and are trying to make the biggest bubble they can” asked Pamma. “Now, blow that bubble as hard as you can and that will help you to feel happy.” The last technique was listening to the sound of a bell. Chelsea gave Pamma a big bell. Pamma hit the bell and said “now can you all hear the bell? Close your eyes and listen to the bell as the sound fades away. This is like when we watch the magic jar and see the glitter settle, our feelings settle as the bell stops.” “That is so cool” said Lewi. We thanked Pamma for her visit and will use these techniques as part of the program to enable all the children to self-regulate their emotions. See learning story and photos 12_5­_19

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
1.2.1 Educators unsure what is meant by Intentional Teaching Educators jump in and teach intentionally on the spot whenever opportunities arise H Step 1. EL shows educators examples of learning documentation showing intentional teaching.
Step 2. EL shows educators how intentional teaching strategies are under EYLF/MTOP learning outcomes of right hand side.
Step 3. EL helps educators identify and plan intentional teaching
Step 4. EL continues to coach and assess educators until they can confidently implement intentional teaching strategies
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators are consistently deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful in all of their decisions and actions, and confidently make curriculum decisions to ensure each child’s participation, learning and development. All educators consistently draw on families’ or communities’ understanding of each child’s strengths, ideas, culture and interests to extend their learning and development, and regularly reflect, individually and with each other, on their educational practice.
May and ongoing 21_5_19 educators amazed to see how they can use indicators under learning outcomes to help extend learning and teach intentionally.

24_5_19 In the Tigers group Miss Terri knew Tyler’s family had been hosting some German relatives (from Mum). She asked Tyler what they’d been doing. “Eating apple strudel” said Tyler. The children wanted to know more about apple strudel so Miss Terri helped them research this and other types of German food. “Let’s make schnitzel” said Deanna. Miss Terri is planning a cooking experience with Chef Kyle.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 1.2 – Program: The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators:

  • are consistently deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in all of their decisions and actions that impact on children’s learning and development
  • confidently make curriculum decisions throughout the day, week or month to ensure each child’s participation, learning and development is facilitated and extended.

All educators and the educational leader are able to explain how their educational practice connects to the approved learning framework/s and facilitates and extends each child’s learning and development

Educator Chelsea planned to extend children’s learning using intentional teaching strategies which come straight from the approved learning framework eg  talk with children about their emotions and responses to events with a view to supporting their understandings of emotional regulation and self-control ( in this case arranging for Buddhist monk Pamma to do so) Outcome 3.1

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

All educators and the educational leader regularly reflect, individually and with each other on:

  • opportunities to cultivate deep respect for, and knowledge of, the cultural diversity of the broader community in educational practice, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • theoretical and philosophical influences on their practice, including the theoretical perspectives identified in the approved learning framework/s

We can see how educator Chelsea has reflected on the suitability of the Buddhist monk Pamma to extend children learning about their emotions. Chelsea could explain how children’s connecting with community underpins the relationship based curriculum promoted in the EYLF and MTOP.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s educational practice approach to facilitating and extending children’s learning and development reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service.

All educators:

  • consistently and meaningfully engage with children’s families and/or the community to draw on family and/or community understanding of each child’s knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities, interests and learning and development in order to facilitate and extend children’s learning and development
  • draw inspiration from the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service to facilitate and extend on children’s learning and development

In this example we can see the unique geographical context of the service through its partnership with the Buddhist monk which helped extend children’s understanding and respect for cultural diversity. This partnership was an inspirational way to help children learn more about self-regulating their behaviour.

Responsive teaching and scaffolding

Element 1.2.2

Responsive teaching and scaffolding

Educators respond to children’s ideas and play and extend children’s learning through open-ended questions, interactions and feedback.

Strengths

Ruby arrived in the cub’s room this morning with the request to do show and tell to show off her ballerina costume. Chelsea began reflecting on her educational practice approach to facilitating and extending children’s learning and development. So as Ruby asked if she could wear her outfit, Chelsea acknowledged Ruby’s uniqueness in a positive way LO 1.1 “Ruby you look so awesome! Would you like to learn about ballet and then do some ballet dancing with your friends?” and Ruby happily replied “yes please”. Chelsea decided to take the opportunity to extend the children’s learning through interactions and the provision of resources. Chelsea encouraged collaborative learning through technology between Children and Educators LO 5.5 using a video to provide background information on the origins of ballet. Chelsea actively sought Ruby’s views throughout the day, and drew on this input to facilitate and extend children’s learning and development. Chelsea asked Ruby “What is ballet Rubes? and Ruby replied “it’s dancing I do that.”From the video we learnt that ballet originated from the word balleto meaning little dance and came from Italy during the Renaissance. It was a social choreographed dance that was mostly performed at aristocratic functions. Ella “asked what does aristocratic mean?” and Chelsea replied “aristocratic means high society like really important people.”We continued with the video and discovered that ballet was used in court settings as a way to control people that were in trouble, for example how they sat, bowed, walked and held out their hands. In the sixteenth century we learnt that ballet progressed to France from Italy by a lady named Catherine de “Medici who was Henry II of France’s second wife. It was during this time that ballet began to be performed on stages with special curtains. Ruby shared, “I want to dance on stage because I like dancing” and Chelsea said “that’s awesome Ruby. I am going to give you the opportunity to dance here in a few minutes” and Ruby laughed. In the seventeenth century we discovered that Louis fourteenth founded the first ballet academy. Louis wore a gold costume and it provided the trend for the costumes the ballerinas wear today. Once the video finished Ruby and some friends danced to Frozen, Swan Lake and the Nutcracker

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
1.2.2 Educators don’t understand what teachable moments are Educators use teachable moments to extend children’s learning H Step 1 Discuss at next staff meeting
Step 2 Educational Leader starts helping and guiding educators on this topic
Step 3 EL and Room Leader coach and assess educators until they’re competent
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators consistently and respectfully respond to each child’s ideas and play, for example through open-ended questions and feedback, to extend each child’s participation, learning and development. All educators consistently draw on families’ or communities’ understanding of each child’s strengths, ideas, culture and interests to extend their learning and development, and regularly reflect, individually and with each other, on their educational practice.
May and ongoing 25_5_19 At staff meeting educators said they preferred to teach children things they knew about (so weren’t always picking up ion children’s interests). The EL and NS encouraged them to learn with the children eg through books, Google or YouTube

27_5_19 Many educators feeling more confident and some have said the day’s much more interesting now that children are more engaged (leading to less behaviour issues). Today the cubs group learnt how cranes work

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 1.2 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators:

  • are consistently deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in all of their decisions and actions that impact on children’s learning and development
  • consistently and respectfully respond to each child’s ideas and play to facilitate and extend each child’s participation, learning and development
  • consistently take every opportunity to extend each child’s learning through open-ended questions, interactions, feedback and the provision of resources
  • confidently make curriculum decisions throughout the day, week or month to ensure each child’s participation, learning and development is facilitated and extended.

In this example we can see how Tara started with Ruby’s interest in ballet, then purposefully engaged the children in a video about the origins of ballet to extend learning through open-ended questioning about ballet and different communities around the world, including people and places from the past. She also made decisions which expanded the children’s language.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

All educators and the educational leader regularly reflect, individually and with each other on:

  • their educational practice approach to facilitating and extending children’s learning and development
  • theoretical and philosophical influences on their practice, including the theoretical perspectives identified in the approved learning framework/s
  • how they draw on theoretical and philosophical influences and how they have influenced practice over time.

Tara can explain that the development of Ruby’s interest in ballet, and her connection to places, events, history in the community has extended her knowledge and that of other children. This type of learning is a great example of the social constructivist theory that underpins the EYLF and MTOP  – relationships with families and community are very important.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s educational practice approach to facilitating and extending children’s learning and development welcomes, respects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service.

All educators consistently and meaningfully engage with children’s families and/or the community to draw on family and/or community understanding of each child’s knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities, interests and learning and development in order to facilitate and extend children’s learning and development

We can see how educator Tara extended on Ruby’s interest in ballet by involving Ruby and the other children in learning more about this dance style, about ballet’s origins and how it moved to different countries. Tara not only developed Ruby’s family life, she also connected Ruby and other children with the global community, and gave them a taste of history.

Child directed learning

Element 1.2.3

Child directed learning

Each child’s agency is promoted, enabling them to make choices and decisions that influence events and their world.

Strengths

Miss Tehanna conducts daily mini meeting with the children to discover what the children would like to do and how to plan and implement their ideas. This valuable information which supports each child to make a range of choices and decisions to influence events and their world is written on a whiteboard. Mini meetings are conducted many times a day to seek out the voices, perspectives, and views of children throughout the day.

For example, Miss Tehanna consistently considered and promoted the agency of each child through asking the children “what would we like to do today?” Alexis L answered, “learn about my lasso.” Torah added “learn about horses.” To facilitate and extend children’s learning Miss Tehanna asked Alexis L to come up the front of the class and show the class what a lasso looks like. All the children were excited as Alexis did this. Miss Tehanna turned on the smartboard. She continued her daily practice of extending children’s learning and development while looking for information about lassos. The children and Miss Tehanna learnt the lasso has several proper names. Nearly all cowboys simply call it a “rope,” and the use of lassos “roping.” Sophia answered, “they are used for throwing.” Lila replied, “the rope is meant to tighten when pulled.” Connecting the use of a lasso and horses, Alice replied, “to catch calves you have to tie the rope to the saddle on the horse.” Aseri said, “it’s used in rodeos and it’s easier to manage animals.” The children’s voices, perspectives, and views were confidently shared when learning about the lasso.  Miss Tehanna extended children’s learning by asked the children “who knows what a rodeo is?” Alexis L said “my dad rides in rodeos all over in different towns on the weekends.” Miss Tehanna said, “great job guys. Would we like to go outside and see if we can throw it?” All the children replied, “Yes!!” and found the perfect spot to use the lasso but first we had to practice. Georgia and Aseri retrieved a bike from the shed and asked, “could we use this as our fake cow?” Alexis L and Lilliana replied, “Yes!” Miss Tehanna encouraged each child as they were throwing the lasso. All the children were able to hook the bike. This experience welcomed and respected the priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
1.2.3 Educators unaware of all the chores/jobs/events children participate in at home Educators extend children’s learning around their capability and competence to assist educators H Step 1 As parents to send photos of their child helping complete tasks
Step 2 Start of display in the room using the photos
Step 3 Educators plan to extend children’s learning around these activities
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators consistently and respectfully support children to make choices and decisions throughout the day, and incorporate children’s ideas and views into the program to promote and extend learning. All educators regularly reflect, individually and with each other, on how they ensure the agency of every child at the service
June and ongoing 3_6_19 Request for photos sent to families via closed room FB groups

4_6_19 Already getting photos from families eg children helping to wash cars and set tables

7_6_19 Display looking really good and prompting parents who haven’t contributed to do so. Today we investigated why engines need oil after we got a photo of Aron helping to carefully pour new oil into the car engine.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 1.2 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators:

  • are consistently deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in all of their decisions and actions that impact on children’s learning and development
  • consistently and respectfully respond to each child’s ideas and play to facilitate and extend each child’s participation, learning and development
  • consistently take every opportunity to extend each child’s learning through open-ended questions, interactions, feedback and the provision of resources
  • confidently make curriculum decisions throughout the day, week or month to ensure each child’s participation, learning and development is facilitated and extended
  • consistently consider and promote the agency of each child, and support each child to make a range of choices and decisions to influence events and their world.

All educators and the educational leader are able to explain how their educational practice connects to the approved learning framework/s and facilitates and extends each child’s learning and development

We can see how educator Tehanna met all the exceeding theme indicators above in this example. For example, she responded to Alexis’ wish to learn more about her lasso, extended children’s learning through the use of technology, asked open-ended questions to further the learning, and confidently engaged all children in the practical activity.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to curriculum decision-making reflects robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and is informed by critical reflection and past incidents

All educators and the educational leader regularly reflect, individually and with each other on:

  • social justice and equity implications of their educational practice to ensure that practice considers the circumstances and rights of every child at the service
  • opportunities to cultivate deep respect for, and knowledge of, the cultural diversity of the broader community in educational practice, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

 In this example we can see how Tehanna, through on the spot reflection, extended children’s connection to the local culture and way of life (farming, rodeos), and how these promoted each child’s participation in the program.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

All educators actively seek out the voices, perspectives, and views of children throughout the day, and draw on this input to facilitate and extend children’s learning and development.

The service’s educational practice approach to facilitating and extending children’s learning and development:

  • reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service
  • welcomes, respects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service.

All educators:

  • consistently and meaningfully engage with children’s families and/or the community to draw on family and/or community understanding of each child’s knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities, interests and learning and development in order to facilitate and extend children’s learning and development
  • draw inspiration from the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service to facilitate and extend on children’s learning and development.

Tehanna meaningfully engaged children with their community and culture, and drew on their knowledge, strengths and interests when exploring the lasso and implementing the rodeo activity

Assessment and planning cycle

Element 1.3.1

Assessment and planning cycle

Each child’s learning and development is assessed or evaluated as part of an ongoing cycle of observation, analysing learning, documentation, planning, implementation and reflection.

Strengths

Today Miss Natasha gathered the children on the mat for group and supported children to participate in assessing and planning their own learning and development by asking “what would we like to learn about today?” “Can we learn about the rain Miss Tash” replied Brandon. Miss Natasha built upon and extended on Brandon ideas and asked the children “does anyone know what rain is?” “It’s little drops of water” said Aria and Hunter.  “Raindrops happen before the thunder comes” answered Brandon. “Why does it rain? asked Miss Natasha.” “Because it has to” said Hunter. “It waters our food” said Aria. “Because the clouds get heavy” replied Ruby and Izzy. “It rains when it is cold” said Xavier.

“Does anyone know how it rains?” asked Miss Natasha. “It rains when it thunders” answered Hunter. “It’s because of the sun and clouds Miss Tash” said Xavier. Miss Natasha provided the children with an educational video (LO5.5) on rain. After the video Miss Natasha asked the children “why do we need rain?” “It helps our flowers to grow” answered Izzy and Aria. “Makes our lawns nice and green” replied Heath. “We need rain for the plants and trees to grow” replied Brandon.

“What does rain do to our environment?” “It gives the animals water and food said Lucy, Maddi and Hunter. “It helps our farmers to grow food so we don’t go hungry” answered Ruby, Jake and Rayyan. “It makes everything nice and green” replied Izzy, Nicholas and Lucy. “It gives us water” replied Harrison.

We haven’t had much rain lately and are in drought, and our town has been placed under water restrictions” said Miss Natasha. Reflecting our unique geographical, cultural and community context Miss Natasha planned to work collaboratively to assess children’s learning, getting the families involved with the learning by creating a list of questions the children and families could discover the answers for. They included:

  1. What is the role of the sun in creating rain?
  2. How are clouds formed?
  3. How do water restrictions affect the way you use water in your home?

This practice shows how Miss Natasha consistently engages with families and the community to ensure that children’s learning and development outside of the service is incorporated into the assessment and planning cycle. Future planning demonstrated a strong commitment to the principles and practices by using family knowledge and current community issues to enhance the children’s learning.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
1.3.1 Educators are forgetting to reflect as part of the planning cycle Educators reflect and implement changes to the program as a result. H Step 1 – EL and NS develop new reflection template to help educators
Step 2 – EL and NS hold staff training night on planning cycle and show staff how to use the
Step 2 – Assess educators’ practices and make changes as required.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators can explain how their approach to assessment and planning links to the service philosophy and learning framework, and how this extends each child’s learning and development, including in relation to the unique community context of the service. All educators engage in robust discussion about the assessment and planning cycle, and consider whether alternate assessment and planning processes will improve learning outcomes.
June and ongoing 19_6_19 Training night went well with EL and NS providing lots of clarification about reflection. Staff eager to use template as they think it will help them a lot.

21_6_19 Learning occurring in rooms now more closely related to children’s interests and community connections. Noticeable change in children’s engagement in learning

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 1.3 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

The observed and discussed approach to assessment and planning:

  • consistently aligns with the service philosophy
  • consistently demonstrates a strong commitment to the principles and practices of the approved learning frameworks/s
  • is consistently reflected in the service’s program documentation and required assessment or evaluation documentation

We can see how Miss Tash uses Brandon’s interests and knowledge to plan and implement learning about rain. EYLF/MTOP is based on social constructivist theories that recognise learning comes from children’s interests, knowledge etc and their relationships with their families and communities.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

All educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators regularly reflect, individually and with each other on:

  • social justice and equity implications of their assessment and planning to ensure that practice considers the circumstances and rights of every child at the service
  • theoretical and philosophical influences on their assessment and planning, including the theoretical perspectives identified in the approved learning framework/s

The learning includes recognising the impact the drought has had on the local community and gives each child an opportunity to feel connected to the learning in a meaningful way. Using children’s relationships and interests, whether they live on a local farm or in the township to promote learning, underpins the EYLF/MTOP.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to assessment and planning:

  • reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service
  • welcomes, respects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service.

All educators consistently:

  • seek out the voices, perspectives, and views of children throughout the day, and draw on this input in ongoing assessment and planning
  • support children to participate in assessing and planning their own learning and development.

All educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators consistently engage with families and the community to ensure that children’s learning and development outside of the service is incorporated into the assessment and planning cycle.

Miss Tash listens to the children’s voices and ideas, and supports them in planning their own learning, when deciding to learn more about rain. She demonstrated a strong commitment to the principles and practices of the EYLF/MTOP by using family knowledge and the current community issues eg drought and farming to enhance the children’s learning. Miss Tash also draws families into the assessment and planning cycle as well through the list of questions.

Critical reflection

Element 1.3.2

Critical reflection

Critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, drives program planning and implementation.

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves against the outcomes and can see how we regularly change practice after reflecting critically. For example, Josh in our Kangaroos room sometimes has a lot of trouble regulating his behaviour. Recently he picked up a chair and threw it against a glass sliding door which now has several cracks (see incident record and photos 20.1.19 Josh’s file). All educators in the room said they felt a mixture of anger at this behaviour and guilt that somehow they couldn’t do their job properly. The Educational Leader Miss Georgie helped them reflect on the situation from a different perspective – that of the child (embedded practice, critical reflection and engagement with families.) They started to think more about why the child might be behaving this way. The more they found out about Josh’s home life, the more they understood he might be looking for love and affection, and trying to express his emotional distress in the only way he knew how.

Educators decided not to tell Josh’s mother about the incident with the sliding door because they felt this would only make Josh’s home life worse. The educators started giving Josh big hugs in the morning when he arrived, and regularly during the day when he went outside or came inside. There has been a gradual change in Josh’s behaviour. At first Josh tried pull away when educators gave him a hug, but now he often comes up to educators looking for a cuddle. After reflecting again as a team educators plan to include more learning about our different emotions, and what we can do for example, if we’re feeling frustrated.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
1.3.2 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified that we often implement improvements after reflecting but sometimes forget to reflect again on the effectiveness of the changes. All educators regularly reflect from different perspectives, implement changes and evaluate whether changes have improved practice. H Step 1 Ensure all educators are completing the weekly template to critically reflect on their practices.
Step 2 Next have all educators sit together during a staff or room meeting, discuss their reflections and ways to further improve their practices.
Step 3 After the meeting is held, put in place timeframes for the changes to be completed and then discuss again to evaluate the effectiveness of the change of practice.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators regularly engage in planned and spontaneous critical reflection on children’s learning and development, as individuals and in groups, and make identified changes to the design and implementation of the program. Critical reflection includes social justice and equity considerations, theoretical and philosophical influence, and how well all educators include the views and input of children, families and the community.
February and ongoing 29_1_19 – Educators are currently completing the weekly tasks in Centre Support, reflecting on their rooms, practices and programs.

30_1_19 – Staff meeting is planned for next week to encourage staff members to discuss their findings and work together as a team to provide ideas and areas for improvement.

8_2_19 – Staff meeting held. Educators are currently implementing changes to the programs and daily practices.

Information for families

Element 1.3.3

Information for families

Families are informed about the program and their child’s progress.

Strengths

Today Miss Kerrie provided learning environments that were flexible and open-ended (LO 4:1) by placing saucepans, spoons, lids and bowls onto a mat. Miss Kerrie provided this equipment for the children to revisit their ideas and to extend their thinking (LO 4:1) about music, sound and how to ‘start’ learning about rhythm. Leo and Hamish were enthusiastic learners (LO 4:1) when they discovered the wooden spoon and started to hit the tin with it. Miss Kerrie listened for a while before modelling curiosity and to try new ideas (LO 4:1) by asking Hamish ”What sort of sounds would you make if you banged the tin and then the pan? Would you be able to make a tune?” Hamish showed that he was actively listening and understanding what Miss Kerrie had asked (LO 5:1) by banging the tin and then the pan. Hamish looked at Miss Kerrie and smiled. Miss Kerrie engaged in enjoyable interactions with the children as they made and played with sounds (LO 5:1) by remarking “This is great. Would you and Leo like to sing ‘twinkle, twinkle while you play the music?” Leo and Hamish then joined Miss Kerrie to sing, with Leo doing the actions. Hamish then handed the spoon to Leo. Leo copied Hamish’s actions and we started the song again. Leo concentrated on the sounds of the words (LO 5:2) as he attempted to ‘play’ his instruments in tune to the song. Miss Kerrie acknowledged and affirmed both Leo and Hamish’s effort and growth (LO 3:1) by responding “ Wow….. Miss Kerrie is so impressed with your learning. Leo you were really concentrating on beating the music in tune with the words. You are learning things very quickly.”

Miss Kerrie recognised Matilda’s, Sophie’s and Savanna’s individual achievements (LO 3:1) when the girls had a turn at making sounds on the drums by responding, “ You girls are beating the drum very, very fast and then very, ve….ry slow.” That’s a really nice sound.” Matilda was able to work independently (LO 3:1) with Miss Fatema showing affection and respect for Matilda (LO 3:1) while she gently looked at her for reassurance. Miss Fatema promoted Matilda’s sense of belonging, connectedness and wellbeing ( LO 1:1) by taking up the second drum stick and quietly showing Matilda how to beat the sticks individually to make a sound. Matilda acknowledged Miss Fatema with a smile.

Both Sophie and Savanna celebrated their achievements (LO 1:2) with each other when they giggled as they both stood on the pans and made a sound by tapping their feet onto them. Sophie and Savanna explored their imagination through play (LO – 4:4) by Sophie tapping one foot and Savanna tapping her foot after. The sounds they were making made Miss Kerrie giggle. Miss Kerrie sung and hummed the jingle (LO 5:2) the children were playing and both Sophie and Savanna actively responded to both their peers and educators (LO 1:1) by using verbal communication of giggling.

We had lots of positive comments from parents in our Facebook group after we engaged meaningfully with families  by posting photo/videos and explained how the children’s learning was tied to the EYLF learning outcomes. We could see from the comments that our communication with families about the education program and children’s participation, learning and development was easy to understand and engaging. Our parents have indicated how much they love our Facebook group because they can access information in a fun environment at a time that suits them, showing how we’ve tailored our communication to individual families’ circumstances and ways of connecting.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
1.3.3 Children are progressing at very different rates. The skill gaps between children reduces. H Step1 _ Organise parent discussion night where parents can discuss with educators one on one about their child’s progress developmentally and where they require extra support.
Step 2_Reflect on outcome
Step 3_ Make any required adjustments to practices and communication with families.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators consistently engage meaningfully with children’s families in culturally sensitive ways that meet each family’s needs to inform them about the educational program & their child’s participation, learning & development, & regularly reflect, individually & with each other, on whether families can understand & easily access information. End June 26_6_19 About 70% of parents attended discussion night..

28_6_10 Phone call organised with parents of children falling behind and Educational Leader

5_5_19 Parents now working on required areas at home and skill gap between children has reduced.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 1.3 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

Embedded practices

The observed and discussed approach to assessment and planning:

  • consistently demonstrates a strong commitment to the principles and practices of the approved learning frameworks/s
  • is consistently reflected in the service’s program documentation and required assessment or evaluation documentation
  • consistently reflects meaningful engagement and communication with families.

We can see how educators engage meaningfully with families by providing detailed and relevant information about children’s learning activities and progress toward learning outcomes through Facebook groups. This example demonstrates a strong commitment to the learning framework  – there are many examples of children’s progress towards the learning outcomes, together with examples of children’s individual and collaborative learning achievements.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

All educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators regularly reflect, individually and with each other on:

  • their approach to assessment and planning to consider whether it supports the best outcomes for children and families
  • social justice and equity implications of their assessment and planning to ensure that practice considers the circumstances and rights of every child at the service

Miss Kerrie and Miss Fatema can explain how their reflections ensure they respond to each child’s verbal and non-verbal communication  so that all children can participate meaningfully in the activities and achieve the best outcomes eg in this example

  • Miss Fatema “quietly showed Matilda how to beat the drumsticks individually to make a sound..”
  • Miss Kerrie provided this equipment for the children to revisit their ideas and to extend their thinking (LO 4:1) about music, sound and how to ‘start’ learning about rhythm.
  • Miss Kerrie listened for a while before modelling curiosity

Miss Kerrie recognised Matilda’s, Sophie’s and Savanna’s individual achievements (LO 3:1) when the girls had a turn at making sounds on the drums by responding, “ You girls are beating the drum very, very fast and then very, ve….ry slow.” That’s a really nice sound.”

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to assessment and planning welcomes, respects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service.

All educators consistently:

  • seek out the voices, perspectives, and views of children throughout the day, and draw on this input in ongoing assessment and planning
  • support children to participate in assessing and planning their own learning and development.

All educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators consistently engage with families about their child’s progress in ways that are tailored to individual families’ circumstances and ways of connecting, for example engaging with families using respectful and culturally safe practices.

In this example educators are guided by children’s voices and ideas eg “would you like to sing Twinkle, Twinkle” and “Leo you were really concentrating on beating the music in tune with the words and educators support children to assess and plan their own learning eg . What sort of sounds would you make if you banged the tin and then the pan? Would you be able to make a tune?”

As discussed above the Facebook groups are one way educators tailor communication to individual families’ circumstances and ways of connecting.

Wellbeing and comfort

Element 2.1.1

Wellbeing and comfort

Each child’s wellbeing and comfort is provided for, including appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation.

Strengths

To continue with our sewing and making our own juggling bean bags Miss Tamara set up a planned physical exercise activity. The children needed to balance on the beam while holding their juggling bean bags. The activity progressively became harder with the final move including hopping over the beam with the juggling bean bag on the child’s head.

This is where Miss Tamara became concerned about Harry. Normally he wouldn’t have a problem completing this activity. He stopped doing it and said he didn’t feel good and his tummy hurt. Miss Tamara responded to this event as it impacted on Harry’s health and activity needs. She contacted Harry’s mum again and described the situation and held a meeting later that day. Harry was taken to the doctor and it was discovered he was constipated and had faecal impaction of the colon. He was prescribed a laxative.

The following day there was still no movement and educators systematically reflected on this situation to try and enhance Harry’s health outcomes. They started a reflective discussion with other educators (confidentially of course). Mary, an experienced educator asked, what did Harry take the laxative with? Miss Tamara said fruit juice because of the taste and Mary said that could be a problem because the laxative packaging said it should only be taken with water. When it was time to administer another dose the other children were taken outside for the delivery of the educational program so he could have some privacy while using the toilet. Mary suggested they give Harry a balloon to blow up while sitting on the toilet.  Soon there was success. Working directly with Harry’s family, Mary passed her knowledge and technique on to the parent later that day and Harry started to feel better immediately.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
2.1.1 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified we need more information about children’s care routines at home. Educators using the information about children’s care routines at home to change practice and better meet children’s needs. H Step 1 – Identify children who seem tired, out of sorts, showing unusual behaviour etc.
Step 2 – Have conversation with parent at drop off or pick up, ( or schedule meeting time), about care routines at home
Step 3 – Compare practice at service and at home
Step 4 – Identify potential changes to practice
Step 5 – Discuss with other staff if necessary and implement
Step 6 – Reflect on changes
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators consistently meet each child’s needs for sleep, rest and relaxation individually and in groups, taking into consideration information from children, families and the community. All educators can explain how children’s changing activity needs are considered in the program design and the guidelines that underpin their practice.
April and ongoing 29_4_19 Identified Chloe who has become less engaged at group time

30_4_19 Chloe’s Nan said Chloe’s naptime was at 1 pm which is a lot earlier than here.

1_5_19 After discussion with the NS and cook we trialled bringing lunch out earlier for Chloe and some of the children. We set up a small rest space too. Chloe and the children ate earlier and rested earlier.

3_5_19 These changes in practice are working well and Chloe is a lot more engaged now at group time.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 2.1 – Program: The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include all educators:

  • manage and support children’s health and medical needs in line with established best practice at all times
  • respond confidently to the daily events that impact on children’s health and activity needs

In this example we can see how educator Tamara manages, support’s and responds confidently to Harry’s discomfort by firstly understanding his behaviour was unusual, then organising a meeting with his mother where she encouraged mum to take Harry to the doctor leading to a diagnosis of constipation which required a prescribed laxative.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include educators

  • systematically and regularly reflect on opportunities to enhance each child’s health outcomes with children and families
  • seek out and consider alternate ways of supporting each child’s health and activity needs

In our example we can see how educator Tamara systematically reflected on Harry’s health situation with other educators including Mary to try and work out what else they could do and why the laxative didn’t seem to be working. This led to giving Harry the laxative with water rather than fruit juice. This had the desired result leading to almost immediate improvement in Harry’s health.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include educators:

  • engage meaningfully and regularly with families to discuss children’s changing health requirements , including their interests, preferences and strengths, and incorporate these into the program
  • work directly with children, families, and professionals as appropriate to develop targeted practices that are responsive to children’s evolving health and activities needs

In this example  we can see how Tamara’s interactions with Harry’s mum led to her visiting the doctor and getting professional advice targeted at Harry’s health condition.

Health practices and procedures

Element 2.1.2

Health practices and procedures

Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.

Strengths

The educators became attuned to and responded to children’s changing health requirements throughout the day as they started to notice children becoming unwell. Educator Eliza checked Staying Healthy 5th edition in line with established best practice. As part of managing the situation some families were called to collect their child. Then Miss Eliza and Miss Tamara responded confidently and promoted hygiene practices by sharing ownership of the cleaning with the children (L.O 3.2). Miss Eliza retrieved a bucket and added warm soapy water and some cloths for the children to wipe the shelves. The children showed independence with these hygiene practices (L.O 3.2) as they decided that they were going to scrub the tables as well as the shelves. After they cleaned the shelves and tables, they folded all the sheets up and stacked them nicely on the shelves. Then the children cleaned all the equipment that was exposed to the sick children and placed it in the sun light to further disinfect it.

Upon reflection between educators, nominated supervisor and parents about the illness outbreaks it was decided parents need to know more information regarding infectious illness that can enter the centre and especially the exclusion periods and how to stop the spread of disease with good cleaning and exclusion practices.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
2.1.2 Cleaning procedures implemented but not often enough Cleaning procedures implemented at frequency that prevents illness outbreaks H Step 1 – NS creates checklist for hygiene and cleaning procedures with daily and weekly requirements
Step 2 – Implement
Step 3 – Reflect on outcome to see if further changes required
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators consistently implement effective hygiene practices, and manage and support children’s health and medical needs in line with recognised best practice which they can discuss. All educators reflect on health and illness-related incidents, and help to implement identified changes. All educators build partnerships with families and community members/organisations to enhance children’s health outcomes
June and ongoing 11_6_19 Checklist provided to all staff and new cleaning schedule started.

11_7_19 Less children have been falling ill

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 2.1 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators:

  • are consistently attuned to and respond to children’s changing health requirements throughout the day
  • manage and support children’s health and medical needs in line with established best practice at all times
  • actively promote effective hygiene practices in the delivery of the daily program
  • respond confidently to the daily events that impact on children’s health needs

In the example we can see educators Tamara and Eliza responding to the illness outbreak, managing the situation in line with the best practice Guide Staying Healthy, and confidently including children in the cleaning processes to remove germs

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

Educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators reflect together on health and illness-related incidents, and support the service to make changes to practices, policies and procedures where opportunities are identified to strengthen the approach

We can see that educators reflected on ways to improve outcomes so incidents of infectious disease and illness at the service reduced.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

Educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators work directly with children, families, and professionals as appropriate to develop targeted practices that are responsive to children’s evolving health and activities needs

We can see that educators reflected with parents to improve children’s health outcomes by providing more information to parents about infectious disease and hygiene practices

Healthy lifestyle

Element 2.1.3

Healthy lifestyle

Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child.

Strengths

On Tuesday (10.4.19), Torah opened a conversation with Chelsea LO 1.1 sharing “I really like chicken. When we cook in our room can we cook some chicken?” Recognising Torah’s interest and actively responding to Torah’s question LO 1.1 Chelsea said “I think we can do that. I will have a think and see what I can come up with to cook on Thursday.” After some discussion with the children the decision was made to make Smokey BBQ kebabs and salad from scratch in order to actively promote healthy eating! Using 1kg of skinless chicken breast, smokey BBQ marinade sauce, onions, yellow, red and green capsicum, cherry tomatoes and zucchini, we set to work using our master chef skills, as we began the process of dicing up the chicken. Heath, Ella, Lucy, Jake and Zoe all co-operated and collaboratively worked together LO 1.2 as they took turns using the large knife to dice up the chicken. Next, using a separate chopping board, we cut up the capsicum, onion, tomatoes and zucchini into quarters. Chelsea used mathematical terminology to encourage learning in ways that are relevant to each child LO 4.2 by explaining that four quarters of something makes a whole piece. Jake applied the mathematical knowledge as he cut a whole tomato into four equal quarters LO 4.2 and said, “look I made these into quarters, didn’t I?” Once everything was cut up each child had a turn threading the food onto the skewers using trial and error methods to overcome problems LO 4.2. When lunch was cooked everyone sat eagerly waiting for their turn and used their life skills to serve themselves the kebabs and salad consisting of tomato, cucumber and iceberg lettuce. “It was scrumptious” said Xavier, “yummy” said Patrick and “Can we have it again?” asked Lewi. “I’m going to ask mum if we can make this at home” said Ella. “Great idea” said Chelsea. “I’ll put the recipe on our Facebook page.”

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
2.1.3 Children’s physical skills falling behind Children’s physical skills appropriate for their age H Step 1. Implement more planned physical activities
Step 2 Share information about suitable physical activities children can participate in at home
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators consistently promote healthy eating and physical activity in line with current recognised guidelines which they can discuss, actively engage with families about their child’s healthy eating and physical activity needs, strengths and preferences and include these in the educational program, and build partnerships with the community to enhance children’s health and activity outcomes. All educators regularly reflect on opportunities to enhance health and activity outcomes, and make identified changes. August and ongoing 6_8_19 Educators implemented planned dance activities where they also explored different types of dance. Children loved practising the different styles!

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 2.1 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators:

  • actively promote healthy eating in the delivery of the daily program
  • provide regular opportunities for explicit learning about health and wellbeing

We know that healthy cooking is a regular part of the curriculum as Torah says “when we cook in our room” indicating it’s something they often do.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

Educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators systematically and regularly reflect on opportunities to enhance each child’s health outcomes

The service’s approach to supporting and promoting children’s health and physical activity, including nutrition, is informed by current recognised guidelines and up-to-date information.

We can see how Chelsea reflected on Torah’s request to cook chicken and decided they could cook healthy chicken and vegetable kebabs with salad which is consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

Educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators:

  • proactively promote children’s health and physical activity with families and the community
  • incorporate children’s changing health and activity needs, interests, preferences and strengths into the design and delivery of the educational program

Chelsea recognised Torah’s interest in cooking chicken and suggested they cook healthy chicken kebabs. She then responded to Ella’s idea of cooking the kebabs at home, shared the cooking activity on Facebook promoting healthy eating.

Supervision

Element 2.2.1

Supervision

At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard.

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves against the outcomes and can see how we always take steps to supervise children and reduce their exposure to hazards. Throughout the month of September, Miss Cherie provided an experience for the children while they helped build the tepee. This experience required the preschool children to use a saw to cut the timber (September 2018 Curriculums).  To resource the materials for this project, Miss Cherie involved the families and community to donate the timber, tools, PPE and building knowledge. Once the materials had been collected Miss Cherie and Miss Eliza had to sit down and critically reflected on how they could ensure this experience was adequately supervised to ensure everyone’s safety. To follow the centre policies and procedures, there was a risk assessment completed beforehand (embedded practice).

After reflecting again we can see how this experience increased the educators confidence in providing risky activities (critical reflection). Tools are now being used more frequently during children’s experiences. (Check curriculum records)

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
2.2.1 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified that there are some areas of the environment where we can improve our supervision. Educators constantly adjust supervision practices to take into account environmental risks, children’s ages, group sizes etc H Step 1 Discover the areas where staff are supervising more than others and areas that are left unsupervised.
Step 2 Use the incident reports to identify the areas that require higher supervision.
Step 3 Have all educators sit down together to create a supervision plan for each individual area.
Step 4 Ensure the supervision plan is actioned throughout the centre and areas are altered during practice if needed.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators reflect upon their practice and families’ concerns to ensure children’s safety is always met. They do this by being consistently attuned to children and applying risk assessment. Educators can confidently explain and adjust the environment, program, practice, policies and procedures when required.
March and ongoing 5_3_19 – Nominated Supervisor visited all areas of the centre to document how adequately staff were supervising and where.
6_3_19 – Educators and Nominated Supervisor sorted through the incident reports to take into consideration the areas containing more hazards for incidents. These areas have been factored as higher risk areas for constant supervision.
7_3_19 – A supervision plan was created during a room leaders meeting. Co-operation and discussions ensured everyone understood the plan. Plan is now actioned throughout the centre and areas updated if needed.

Incident and emergency management

Element 2.2.2

Incident and emergency management

Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practised and implemented.

Strengths

Educators have systematically reflected recently individually and as a team, against the element 2.2.2 Incident and Emergency Management and decided the emergency rehearsal needed to be more specific to the centre and to the new children, families and educators they have recently gained to strengthen emergency risk management.

The centre brainstormed things that could be considered a risk that required a rehearsal for their services and their context. These included a lockdown for snakes as a neighbour had recently sighted a snake, and a lockdown for a dust storm as the area had recently experienced dust storms due to the drought. This lockdown was enhanced with a simulation of a child having an asthma attack. Each time the rehearsal was conducted a different child was selected to have the asthma attack, some with asthma plans and some without.

Another potential emergency related to a mother’s car which had moved in the car park while nobody was in it. Thankfully nobody was in the carpark and nobody was injured, but it was a good stimulus to think about a rehearsal and what would happen if a child or children were to witness a death of a person in the car park.

The final new emergency involved a new building under construction next door using a very large crane.  Therefore an emergency rehearsal was conducted for the situation where the crane crashed into the back play area.

For all scenarios, further information was obtained from real situations that were similar. For example NSW Health Fact Sheet – Dust Storms was used to identify the rehearsal strategies of asthma, hives, breathing difficulties, lightning strikes etc. The crane story was enhanced from a newspaper story about a crane falling onto a property to give examples of things to consider.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
2.2.2 Families being contacted about minor injuries Contact with families about children’s injuries meets their expectations H Step 1 Educators asks families for thoughts on current notification procedures via Facebook groups
Step 2 Edit current procedures based on response
Step 3 Review and amend if needed
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. Managers develop partnerships with key emergency service organisations and ensure emergency plans are practised regularly. All educators actively engage with families about their safety concerns, and critically reflect individually and as a team on emergency management practices, taking into account responses to past incidents and advice from recognised authorities, making identified changes to improve safety outcomes October and ongoing 30_10_19 Families said they would much prefer to only get calls if the incident was more severe or if their child wasn’t well, so they always knew the phone calls were important and needed to be answered.

1_11_19 New procedure drafted and will be tested.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 2.2 Safety – Each child is protected.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

The observed and discussed approach to supporting and promoting children’s safety consistently aligns with the design and delivery of the educational program and service philosophy and demonstrates a strong commitment to the priorities, principles and practices of the approved learning framework.

The new emergency rehearsals aligns with the service philosophy of ‘Keeping Children Safe’ and ‘Improving Always’ and the learning framework principles and practices like ‘Intentional Teaching’ and ‘Partnerships with Families.’

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

Educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators:

  • systematically and regularly reflect, individually and as a team, on practices to support child safety, including risk assessment and emergency management procedures and practices, and make changes when opportunities to further enhance children’s outcomes are identified
  • reflect together on safety-related incidents, and support the service to make changes to practices, policies and procedures where opportunities are identified to strengthen the approach

The new emergency rehearsals were the outcome of systematic reflections by educators to strengthen children’s safety through enhanced risk management procedures.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to managing risks and supporting child safety:

  • is informed by meaningful and ongoing partnerships with the broader community, for example local community and emergency services
  • considers the geographical context of the service and is responsive to changes in the environment throughout the year.

The new emergency procedures were informed by community information resources (eg NSW Fact Sheets and newspapers) and based on the unique geographical and community context eg weather conditions leading to dust storms, snake sighting and building site leading to risk of crane falling.

Child protection

Element 2.2.3

Child protection

Management, educators and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities to identify and respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect.

Strengths

Miss Rosa was concerned a five-year-old girl consistently had an itchy bottom and often had an unpleasant smell. The girl said she didn’t have a bath at home because there was rubbish in it and she didn’t have showers either. Miss Rosa also suspected her clothes weren’t being washed and asked herself, ‘what is the effect of the abuse on the child?’ She then worked through our child protection reporting guidelines which are based on current recognised guidance. Miss Rosa spoke with the Nominated Supervisor and then decided to actively raise awareness of the hygiene issues with the parents, stating that they may need to take the child to the doctor if her bottom worsened, and that it may be necessary to supervise the girl while she washed, which of course was necessary every day, to ensure adequate hygiene was being maintained.

Actively engaging with the family about their priorities for the child’s wellbeing, the Nominated Supervisor and Room Leader asked if there was anything they could do to assist the parents. The service then monitored the situation which thankfully improved. The parents’ working arrangements had impacted on the situation at home but improved when Mum changed jobs.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
2.2.3 Educators unsure how to support child and family in need Educators can confidently connect family with support services and implement practices at centre to support family. H Step 1 Update family support resources in parent information area
Step 2 RL and NS speak privately with mother
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators act on and can discuss their responsibilities under current child protection laws, regularly reflect on practices to support children’s safety and make identified changes, and actively raise awareness of child protection issues with families and community members in a culturally sensitive manner. September and ongoing 3_9_19 Mum said her washing machine broke a couple of months ago and she can’t afford to get a new one because her partner’s out of work, so she’s stopped washing as much. RL referred her to local support service. NS offered to wash child’s clothes and linen in service washing machine.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 2.2 Supportive relationships with families – Respectful relationships with families are developed and maintained and families are supported in their parenting role.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators are aware of and act on their responsibilities for ensuring children’s safety at all times, including in relation to child protection, and are able to articulate these responsibilities

Miss Rosa understood she had a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child in question, worked through the child protection guidelines to ensure she took appropriate action.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to child protection reflects current recognised guidelines and up-to-date information from trusted sources

The centre’s child protection policy and guidelines are based on current recognised child protection information/requirements.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

Educators actively engage with families about their concerns and priorities for their children’s safety

The service’s approach to managing risks and supporting child safety reflects the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service

Educators actively raise awareness of issues impacting on child safety with families and the community, including in the context of child protection

Miss Rosa actively raised awareness of the hygiene issues with the parents, and then engaged with the family to support their priorities for their child’s wellbeing ie good personal hygiene.

Fit for purpose

Element 3.1.1

Fit for purpose

Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures and fittings are suitable for their purpose, including supporting the access of every child.

Strengths

After reflecting and documenting individually and together on the changes we could make to the outdoor environment to ensure our outdoor environment is stimulating, engaging and enhances children’s learning and participation, we got to work with getting the supplies and organising parent and child support to help with the construction process of our new climbing pyramid for the yard. This piece of equipment recognises the importance of risky play which allows children to test limits, explore boundaries, and learn about risk. Our pyramid encourages children to do this in the context of ‘height’ in a safe and supported environment.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
3.1.1 Only 1 room has family photo wall All educators consider how they can make children and families feel welcome. H Step 1 NS discusses success of photo wall at staff meeting and why this is important
Step 2 Other educators brainstorm ways to make children and families feel welcome
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators ensure, and can explain, how the physical environment, including furniture, equipment and resources, supports each child’s participation, reflects the unique community context and includes the ideas and support of service families and community partners. All educators reflect individually and together, and adjust the environment as needed to enhance learning outcomes and ensure the participation and safety of each child. November and ongoing 2_11_19 One room suggested they make a photo tree rather than a photo wall. The tree will have branches with photos of each child and their family

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 3.1 Safety – Each child is protected Design The design of the facilities is appropriate for the operation of a service.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures and fittings:

  • support the access and full participation of every child
  • promote and positively support children’s interaction with space, materials and each other
  • contribute to a flexible and stimulating environment that enhances each child’s development and learning

All educators are able to explain how the design of the physical environment, including selection of furniture, equipment and resources, supports safe and inclusive access by all children and promotes each child’s full engagement with the program.

There has been a lot of research which shows that children love engaging in risky play in a safe supportive environment. The pyramid construction supports this approach through the risk of height, encourages children to participate in something they find stimulating and engaging, therefore strengthening the learning  program

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

Educators, the educational leader and co-ordinators reflect, individually and together, on the design of the physical environment, and consider opportunities to make changes to strengthen inclusion and participation, and to enhance children’s safety, learning and development outcomes

This theme is evident in the example “After reflecting and documenting individually and together on the changes we could make to the outdoor environment to ensure our outdoor environment is stimulating, engaging and enhances children’s learning and participation…

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The design of the physical environment:

  • reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service
  • welcomes, reflects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service

Opportunities for collaboration with family and community partners are built into the service’s approach to designing and making changes to the physical environment.

Children were heavily involved in the design and construction of our pyramid as educators held high expectations for children’s capabilities. Many children regularly help their families with these types of activities too, at home or on local farms. We engaged with our families in the construction process eg getting advice from several dads who are carpenters and borrowing some tools to assist.

Upkeep

THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. COMPLETE  YOUR QIP TEMPLATE LIKE THIS USING YOUR OWN STRENGTHS AND IMPROVEMENTS.

Week 30 16 September 2019 to 20 September 2019 – QIP Suggestions – complete and copy this into your QIP

Key improvements sought for QA 3 Physical environment

Strengths

To ensure indoor fixtures are safe, clean and well-maintained, Miss Bek introduced appropriate tools, technologies and provided the skills and knowledge to enhance children’s learning (LO 4.4) as she brought out the electric sander and demonstrated it to the children while consistently aligning with safety practices. Anabel, Ella Mc, Finley, Tilly, Bella, Connor and Alaina explored and safely experimented with various technologies and tools (LO 4.4) when Miss Bek encouraged the children to use the electric sander. After each of the children had a turn, Miss Bek modelled language and encouraged children to express themselves through verbal communication (LO 5.1) Miss Bek would ask “did that feel funny?” Anabel, Ella Mc, Finley, Tilly, Bella, Connor and Alaina were confident in responding with verbal and non-verbal communication (LO5.1). Throughout the experience the children responded with a range of communication skills. “That funny” Anabel replied. Ella Mc nodded her head. Finley shook her hand and replied “like this.” Tilly and Bella replied “yeah.” Connor replied “I did.” Alaina smiled. Bek demonstrated a strong commitment to the principle High expectations and equity of the EYLF by ensuring her young toddlers were using tools that they see and use with their families.

After the children had finished sanding Miss Bek touched the bookcase and encouraged the children to touch their work. “It’s so smooth” Miss Bek said. Ella Mu lifted her hand out to Miss Bek and showed the white powder that was leftover from sanding. Miss Bek explained, “that’s from sanding. We will need to wash our hands.” Ella Mu went and washed her hands.

Element 3.1.2

Upkeep

Premises, furniture and equipment are safe, clean and well maintained.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
3.1.2 Educators not seeking help to maintain or build equipment from parents or local businesses. Educators can confidently approach families and local businesses to ask for help with building or upkeep. H Step 1 Educators discuss with EL
Step 2 EL supports RL to ask parent for help during drop off
Step 3 Reflect on need for any further support
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators ensure outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures and fittings are safe, clean and well-maintained at all times. All educators reflect upon the best ways to include children, families and local community to assist in maintaining a safe and clean environment. Sept and ongoing 17_9_19 EL and RL spoke to parent who was happy to help and knew a local business who could donate tools to assist

20_9_19 Room educators reflected and now feel more confident asking for help

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 3.1 Design – The design of the facilities is appropriate for the operation of a service.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

The observed and discussed approach to the design and maintenance of the physical environment:

  • consistently aligns with the design and delivery of the educational program and service philosophy
  • demonstrates a strong commitment to the principles and practices of the approved learning framework

All outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures and fittings are safe, clean and well-maintained at all times

We can see how Miss Bek had high expectations about children’s capabilities (EYLF Principle 3) by allowing the children to safely use the sander. This contributed to a curriculum that was based on children interests (NQS 1.1.2) and promoted their communication and problem solving skills (outcomes 4 and 5.) See for example Ella’s exploration of the sanding residue. The activity aligned with our philosophy of ‘keeping children safe’ and is an example of how the service ensures wooden furniture is safe clean and well-maintained.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to design and maintenance of the physical environment reflects robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and is informed by critical reflection and past incidents

We can see Miss Bek’s critical reflection in the words “ensuring her young toddlers were using tools that they see and use with their families.” Miss Bek reflected through the eyes of the children and families and asked “why can’t I use tools I know about and see often (child)” and “why don’t they let children participate in some real work for a change – they could learn so much (parents)”

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s use and organisation of space and resources reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service welcomes, respects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service

The sanding activity directly connects to our local community which is heavily based on trades and farming. Many of the children regularly see maintenance type activities so using the sander is meaningful to them and as discussed under critical reflection, is based on the priorities of our families.

Inclusive environment

Element 3.2.1

Inclusive environment

Outdoor and indoor spaces are organised and adapted to support every child’s participation and to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments.

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves against the outcomes and know we engage children engage in quality, inclusive experiences. For example, Junior Preschool room educator Eliza has expanded the concept of indoor and outdoor space to include the local community (embedded practices and community engagement).  She does this by planning weekly excursions like the regular walking excursion to Anytime Fitness to meet up with Lilliana’s Mum who is a professional power lifter (family engagement). Lilliana often goes with Mum to train and discusses her love for exercise and healthy eating. The children learnt how to keep their bodies healthy after a detailed talk with Instructor Jack (see March 1, 2019 Learning Story). After the first excursion, the educators continued teaching the children about staying healthy. A few weeks later, on 14 March, the children extended on what they learnt at Anytime Fitness and returned with a new set of exercises to practice. Thanks Jack! Eliza reflected and believes these excursions provide the children with opportunities to enhance their learning and participation in the wider community. This is particularly the case where their family experiences and everyday lives are integrated into the excursions. (Critical reflection see reflection sheets week 11 to 14 March). Other weekly excursions into the community can be found in the learning documentation folder.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
3.2.1 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified not all environments are inclusive or flexible. There are changes we can make to promote children’s participation and engagement. All children have opportunities to participate in activities and experiences based on their interests and abilities. Activities promote children’s creativity, imagination and problem solving. H Step 1 Discuss whether the indoor and outdoor environments are inclusive and have flexible materials with all educators.
Step 2 If the environments are not (very) inclusive and flexible, discuss how you can begin to slowly alter or improve this.
Step 3 Work together as a team to slowly implement these ideas. Make little changes to the environments to start meeting this element.
Step 4 Document the changes in all areas of behaviour, development and engagement.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators confidently organise and adapt spaces to promote each child’s participation in a high quality learning program which reflects the diverse cultures and context of the community. All educators, both individually and as a team, regularly reflect on ways to enhance learning outcomes and participation through the creative and flexible use of space, including community spaces accessed during excursions.
March and ongoing 19_3_19 During discussions with all educators we discovered multiple areas of the indoor and outdoor environments that need changes.
20_3_19 We created a list of all areas that need changing to meet this element. We decided as a team to begin changing the smallest areas first. Today we removed all plastic ‘one-use’ toys and included loose parts.
22_3_19 After this small change, educators have noted how all children seem to be more engaged and cooperative. The educators are excited to continue changing the environment and documenting the ongoing changes in children’s behaviour, development and engagement

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 3.2 – Program: The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include

Observed practice and discussions demonstrate a whole-of-service approach to the use of space and resources that is inclusive, purposeful, creative, and flexible, and enhances learning and development outcomes for all children. All educators confidently organise and adapt spaces and resources as needed throughout the day, week, and month to ensure a consistently inclusive and flexible play-based learning environment for all children.

In our example educator Eliza doesn’t just use the indoor and outdoor spaces to create inclusive environments, she regularly uses community spaces to promote each child’s participation and learning by taking children on excursions. Destinations often have particular meaning for one or more children whose families or daily lives are connected to the business, activity or location.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include

All educators regularly reflect on opportunities to support every child’s participation and to further enhance children’s learning and development through the creative and flexible use of space, equipment and resources.

We can see how educator Eliza reflected on the regular excursions she organises, and believes children particularly benefit where their family experiences and everyday lives are integrated into the excursions. In this case Lilliana’s mother trains at the gym they visited because she’s a professional power lifter.  Lilliana had opportunities to share her interests and knowledge with educators and the other children, and to extend her learning about exercise and healthy eating with the other children. This reflection encouraged Eliza to continue connecting children with their families or interests in the community.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include

The service collaborates with family and/or community partners to foster an inclusive, welcoming and flexible play-based learning environment.

Educator Eliza develops strong professional relationships with families, and gets to know about parents’ jobs and family connections with the community. She uses that knowledge to expand the concept of indoor and outdoor space to include the local community by taking children on excursions to a range of different venues (in this example the gym) which offer opportunities for each child to participate and engage in learning.

Resources support play-based learning

Element 3.2.2

Resources support play-based learning

Resources, materials and equipment allow for multiple uses, are sufficient in number, and enable every child to engage in play-based learning.

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves against the outcomes and we have incorporated resources, materials and equipment that has multiple uses to ensure we maximise the opportunities for play based learning. This material was sourced with the help of our families and local community (exceeding theme 3 families and community). Please see request letters, emails and Facebook pages for request to families (25/3/19).  For example, Miss Eliza and Miss Cherie split all the donations between both outdoor play environments. They were not sure how the open-ended material would work, so they used the EYLF to explore how the word play was used in the document as well as learning more about Simon Nicholson, the person who came up with the term ‘Loose Parts Play’. Miss Eliza and Miss Cherie started small by adding only small amounts to the environment then reflected upon how the children played and implemented it (exceeding theme 2 critical reflection.) The loose parts open ended material led to a change in the children’s behaviour. They were calmer, more engaged and were really excited to incorporate the material into their play, especially our energetic hands on boys. Since they incorporated this new idea the entire room feels calmer, more relaxed and more enjoyable for all. This then encouraged the whole centre to incorporate open-ended resources (exceeding theme 1 embedded practice).

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
3.2.2 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified we need understand better how important play is in the EYLF. Children are engaged in long episodes of play where they use the resources to help spark their creativity, imagination, problem-solving skills etc. H Step 1 - Ensure educators know what play based learning is by looking at the EYLF/MTOP, finding the word play in the document and understanding how it’s used.
Step 2 – Explore where we could improve practice using the identified ways EYLF/MTOP uses play.
Step 3 – Discuss with other educators and compare how they have used the concepts of play from the EYLF/MTOP.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators confidently organise and adapt resources to promote an inclusive, safe and flexible play-based learning environment which reflects the diverse cultures and context of the community. All educators, both individually and as a team, regularly reflect on ways to enhance learning outcomes and participation through the creative and flexible use of resources.
April and ongoing 2_4_19 Educators explore the ways play is used in the EYLF and noted any particular areas of interest

3_4_19 Educators each considered how they could improve practice using the information about play in the EYLF

4_4_19 Educators discussed their ideas about play after reviewing the EYLF. One common theme is the need to source more loose part type resources which can be used in many different ways. Educators discussed how they could do this.

5_4_19 Miss Eliza asked about getting boxes when she went shopping at the local supermarket. They said we could have as many as we like!

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 3.2 – Program: The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include

Observed practice and discussions demonstrate a whole-of-service approach to the use of space and resources that is inclusive, purposeful, creative, and flexible, and enhances learning and development outcomes for all children

In our example we can see how educators Cherie and Eliza introduced resources that encouraged children to be purposeful, creative, and flexible, and because of their flexibility, encouraged all children to participate in play activities.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include

All educators regularly reflect on opportunities to support every child’s participation and to further enhance children’s learning and development through the creative and flexible use of space, equipment and resources

In our example we can see how educators Cherie and Eliza reflected on the way children’s behaviour and engagement changed with the introduction of more flexible learning resources, and how this led to these types of resources being introduced across the whole service.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include

The service collaborates with family and/or community partners to foster an inclusive, welcoming and flexible play-based learning environment

In this example we mention that material was sourced with the help of families and the local community. For example, many families brought in all the loose parts from their houses. The amount of pots and pans, pipes, kitchen utensils etc. was outstanding. Then parents used their community connections to help. A parent who worked at Mitre 10 organised for them to donate a heap of planks. Mitre 10 then donated lots of tools and PPE for the children to use and wear as well. A parent with connections to a dairy farm organised a donation of milk crates and bottle lids.

Environmentally responsible

Element 3.2.3

Environmentally responsible

The service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible.

Strengths

Chelsea arranged a visit to the ICaN Indigenous nursery today to extend our knowledge of Aboriginal culture, continue embedding sustainable practices, and engage in excursions that utilize community environments, support child-directed exploration and discovery LO 1.3 and reflect the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service. We were met by Damien, the nursery manager. He and Chelsea had discussed what he was going to teach over the phone. He promoted respect for diversity and valuing the local environment as he introduced himself and began explaining some bush tucker plants, starting with a saltbush.

Damien explained “the Aboriginal people use saltbush seeds in cooking, in particular stir-fries, but saltbush is also used to help treat burns, sores and rashes. Damien then asked “would anyone like to try some?” and Patrick, Marlee and Jake tasted a small amount. There were mixed reviews with Marlee pulling some wonderful faces in disgust as she shared “yuck that’s really salty.”

Next Damien taught us about the Old Emu bush. “This bush can be eaten but it’s not very nice. We mostly use it for medicine. It can help with coughs and colds and stomach aches, and its smoke is used for making a healing environment.” Again, we taste tested the bush but this time it was well received by everyone that tried it.

The last bush tucker plant we learnt about was Pigface. Damien said, “this bush grows low to the ground and comes in different colours like orange, yellow and purple.” He said “you can eat every part of the plant and its inside is good for treating burns and stings.” Damien passed the Pigface around to the children who nearly all sampled the plant. Nate asked “can I take some home?” and Chelsea said “we are taking some back to the centre to grow.” Landon and Casey held the plant. They didn’t want to eat it but were happy to learn all about it. Patrick asked “where is the water in them?” and Damien said “the water is inside the plant because they are a succulent which is why you don’t need to water them very much.”

Chelsea then asked “how did you come to run and work here at the nursery?” and Damien explained “Robert Riley my boss created this place to help the less fortunate in our community. People that haven’t had a job in twenty years can come here and learn skills to take somewhere else. I started here because I didn’t have a job and I was on the work for the dole program and now I have a full time job.” That’s awesome” said Chelsea. “Are there any qualifications needed to work with plants or do you learn on the job?” Damien said “No, it’s pretty much on the job. People can get qualifications to do this sort of work but even when they do, they don’t always know how to look after the plants.”

We then selected some bush tucker plants to take back to the centre to put in both yards and use in our cooking where children will be actively engaged in learning experiences that demonstrate environmental awareness and responsibility. We also made contact with Nathen, Robert’s son, who is willing to come to our Service and teach us about the medicinal side of using plants to heal ourselves when we are sick. Damien also invited us back with the children to help pot the plants.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
3.2.3 Worms in worm farm not being feed food scraps Children involved in feeding worms in worm farm to help promote environmental responsibility H Step 1 NS to discuss worm farm and compost bins with all educators
Step 2 evaluate educators’ responses and implement appropriate actions
Step 3 Reflect on need for any further action
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators reflect upon the best ways to use the local community and families to identify ways to teach children about caring for the environment. This in turn sees children gain an interest in the environment and take their learning to implement with their peers, families and community October and ongoing 8_10_19 Many educators said they didn’t regularly feed worms or empty compost bins, and didn’t understand why it must be done daily

9_10_19 NS revised and printed Sustainability Policy for all educators to read and attached links to relevant info.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 3.2 Use The service environment is inclusive, promotes competence and supports exploration and play-based learning.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

Children actively engaged in child-directed learning experiences that demonstrate environmental awareness and/or responsibility

The trip to iCaN Nursery provided lots of opportunities for children to learn more about plants that have adapted to local environmental conditions, and how Indigenous Australians used the plants in a sustainable way.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to supporting environmental responsibility is informed by current recognised guidance.

Current recognised guidance is to plant drought tolerant vegetation that is adapted to the local environment. This is exactly what the children learnt at the iCaN nursery and they will be involved in planting and caring for these plants at the Service.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to environmentally sustainable practice and support of environmental responsibility:

  • reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service
  • welcomes, respects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service

Children engaged in excursions that utilise community environments and support child-directed exploration and discovery

The trip to the iCaN community nursery not only reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service, but it’s also strongly linked to children’s and families concerns about the impact of the drought, and ways of coping with the drought eg planting native vegetation.

Organisation of educators

Element 4.1.1

Organisation of educators

The organisation of educators across the service supports children’s learning and development.

Strengths

As it comes up to the start of a new year, we’re already thinking about how to allocate our staff for next year. Part of our consideration is to ensure we use the strengths and interests of our educators the best way we possibly can. We have gained insight into these strengths and interests through things like performance appraisals, feedback from Room leaders and the Educational Leader and regular one on one meetings between individual staff members and the Director.  At a recent staff meeting the Director suggested we should also try and get feedback from our families about the way educators were organised. There was debate, discussion and opportunities for input by all educators.  Most educators said they were unsure how to do this, and the Educational Leader suggested we post a few questions through our closed Facebook groups. eg “How could we organise our educators to help your child feel more secure or more inclined to participate in centre activities?” Are there any particular educators that you feel have special skills or talents? Many parents responded positively and we learnt a few things we didn’t know about educators’  hobbies outside the centre. We’re also considering a parent’s request that we have at least 2 educators present with children remaining at the end of the day, even where this is not required to meet ratios. Further discussion will occur at the nest staff meeting to ensure any changes are understood by all.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
4.1.1 Parents may not know which educators are working on the day and who will greet their child All parents are aware of staff rosters H Step 1 NS and EL discuss problem with all educators
Step 2 Implement best suggestion
Step 3 Evaluate effectiveness and adjust if required
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators can explain how educators are purposefully organised to ensure continuity for children and a high quality learning environment, taking into account each educator’s qualifications, strengths and priorities. All educators encourage families and community members to provide feedback about the organisation of educators, and reflect together on possible changes to improve staff continuity. November and ongoing 18_11_19 Educators suggested placing a roster on each classroom door which could be altered each week, with each staff members’ daily shift times.

22_11_19 Positive feedback received from families about the roster displays.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 4.1 Staffing arrangements Staffing arrangements enhance children’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

At all times, purposeful consideration is given to organisation of educators to ensure familiarity and continuity for children and a high quality learning and care environment.

We have shown how we’ll allocate staff after considering their strengths and interests. This promotes a high quality learning and care environment.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to organisation and continuity of educators:

  • reflects robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and is informed by critical reflection and past incidents
  • is informed by the qualifications, strengths, priorities and professional development goals of educators

The service team reflects together on opportunities to further enhance children’s wellbeing, learning and development through possible changes to the organisation of educators or improvement in staff continuity

We take steps to ascertain educators’ individual strengths and skills as discussed, and use this to inform the organisation of educators. Staff meetings are an opportunity for our team to reflect together about the organisation of educators and how we could improve children’s wellbeing, learning and development through possible changes to the organisation.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The organisation and continuity of educators reflects welcomes, reflects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service and, in particular, family input on ways to support familiarity and continuity of their child’s learning and development at the service.

Opportunities for collaboration with family and community partners are built into the service’s approach to organisation and continuity of educators.

The service’s approach to organisation and continuity of educators supports all children to participate fully in the service program at all times.

Opportunities for collaboration with family are built into the service’s approach to organisation of educators through our closed Facebook groups. The information gained reflects the voices, priorities and strengths of our families and will be used to inform staffing changes

Continuity of staff

Element 4.1.2

Continuity of staff

Every effort is made for children to experience continuity of educators at the service.

Strengths

Eleanor left our service in June 2018 and gave us 12 months’ notice before leaving. The Nominated Supervisor Mel worked with her to identify why she was leaving and what she wanted to achieve by leaving. Eleanor needed to leave to as her partner’s contract was ending in 12 months and he was to be moved to a new city in Queensland. However she also indicated she wanted to be placed in a leadership position. Eleanor reminded us nearly every month as a countdown that she was leaving on the set date.

Discovering Eleanor’s ambitions led to her being placed in a shared room leaders’ role in the preschool room to assist with her CV and job prospects. She was also encouraged to start her ECT degree which she did as Queensland regulations requiring an extra ECT were coming in 2020 and this would improve her prospects of getting a job. Of course her ECT training also contributed to a high quality learning environment for children. When the time finally came to leave, the centre organised a weeklong celebration with a different event each day to celebrate her leaving. Please see the week of learning documentation and celebration for the leaving party. Eleanor used centre staff as referees and we were contacted by her new employer.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
4.1.2 Families not advised of reasons for staff movements Families advised of reasons before or during staff movements H Step 1 NS to ensure families advised of staff movements and reasons before or during move via email and/or closed Facebook groups We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators and management staff work with families and community to reflect upon the best ways to provide continuity of education that enables the best for children in relation to their wellbeing, learning and development. November and ongoing

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 4.1 Staffing arrangements Staffing arrangements enhance children’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators and co-ordinators

  • are able to explain how the organisation and continuity of educators enhances children’s wellbeing, learning and development
  • demonstrate awareness of how decisions are made about the organisation of educators across the service

At all times, purposeful consideration is given to organisation of educators to ensure familiarity and continuity for children and a high quality learning and care environment.

Encouraging Eleanor to start ECT studies contributed to a high quality learning environment. The reasons for Eleanor’s promotion to a shared leadership role were discussed with and understood by all educators.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to organisation and continuity of educators is informed by the qualifications, strengths, priorities and professional development goals of educators.

Any change to the service’s approach to organisation and continuity of educators is understood by all and implemented appropriately.

Eleanor’s promotion to Room Leader supported her priorities and professional development goals, and the reason for the move was discussed with and understood by all educators.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to organisation and continuity of educators supports all children to participate fully in the service program at all times.

Eleanor advised she was leaving and this could have led to reduced motivation to provide high quality education and care.  By allowing her to share a Room Leader role her motivation and enthusiasm remained high which supported all children to participate in the program.

Professional collaboration

Element 4.2.1

Professional collaboration

Management, educators and staff work with mutual respect and collaboratively, and challenge and learn from each other, recognising each other’s strengths and skills

Strengths

By creating a goal wall in our staff room to find out more interests and strengths of our educators, we discovered one of our educators has a love for all things science. Emma now works collaboratively to share her existing strength with the children and educators while continuing to develop her skills. She conducts daily science experiments with her children and shines as an educator! Through our wall our educators have begun consistently demonstrating a high level of collaboration, affirming, challenging, supporting and learning from each other.

Chemical Reactions! (Emma’s strength is conducting science experiments)
This afternoon Emma provided Eli, Olivia, Aria, Lucy, Brandon,  Heath, Hunter, and Natasha with resources that offered  challenge, intrigue and surprise, supported their investigation and enabled them to share their enjoyment while participating in a science experiment (L.O:4.2). As Emma engaged the children in the experiment, she explained to each child step by step how the experiment will work. Firstly, Emma encouraged the children to place four cups on the table and she placed some dry ingredients into the cups: salt, sugar, bicarbonate soda and baking powder. She labelled them and explained to each child that they then had to place some liquid into the ice cube container: lemon juice, vinegar and water. She then explained, “I’m going to give you each a cup. You can choose one liquid and dry ingredient each and place them into your cup. We’ll see if it makes a chemical reaction.” Eli was the first to try the experiment. “Can I have this one?” asked Eli pointing to the sugar and lemon juice. “The salt has gone” said Olivia. Emma explained to Olivia and the others that the salt has dissolved into the water. “My turn please Emma” said Aria. As they were picking out their ingredients to place into the cups, Brandon, Nicholas and Natasha all used bicarbonate soda and vinegar and found out that it made bubbles. “Look bubbles” said Nicholas. “It’s making funny sounds “said Brandon. “It’s fizzing” said Natasha. Xavier and Hunter used the equipment with increasing confidence and skills (L.O:3.2) when using the spoons to place the liquid into the dry ingredients. “LOOK I did it” replied Hunter. “Can I try?” asked Xavier as he used the spoon to try and pick up the water.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
4.2.1 RL having problems managing relief staff Room runs smoothly H Step 1 RL and EL discuss issues and come up with some suggestions for improvements
Step 2 Implement chosen suggestion
Step 3 Review and amend if needed
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators are respectful, share information, work collaboratively, critically reflect and acknowledge each other’s strengths to create an environment that has a positive inclusive atmosphere for both the service and families. October and ongoing 18_10_19 EL suggested she and RL create a room routine with daily activities and times jobs need to be completed

20_10_19 RL says this working well. She just needs to quickly remind relief staff to look at routine.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 4.2 Professionalism- Management, educators and staff are collaborative, respectful and ethical.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators show a willingness to share information or ask for assistance from others and acknowledge the strengths and skills of others

All members of the service team consistently demonstrate a high level of collaboration, affirming, challenging, supporting and learning from each other.

We can see these indicators coming through in the creation of the goal wall which enables each educator to identify their strengths and then use that strength with team members in practice.  This leads to a high level of collaboration and learning from each other.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to professional collaboration enables and promotes regular opportunities for all members of the service team, with special consideration to support newly inducted educators, to work collaboratively and to share and learn from each other’s existing and developing strengths and skills

As discussed, the goal wall facilitates the identification of educators’ strengths and promotes collaboration and learning among all educators.  In this example we see Emma sharing her passion for science with the children.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

All members of the service team recognise diversity as a strength and work together to promote a culture of inclusiveness and sense of belonging for all children, families and the community

Educators support for the goal wall reflects their understanding that diversity is a strength. They enjoy using these strengths in practice, and showing other educators how to improve their practice in these areas.

Professional standards

Element 4.2.2

Professional standards

Professional standards guide practice, interactions and relationships

Strengths

The team of educators have a child who can become a little difficult to manage and has caused a lot of stress in the room. The educators started the reflective process because they were aware the ethical and professional standards underpinning their own practice were coming under pressure and were not sure they could remain composed and treat the child with respect. This led to a discussion about the feeling they felt within the room dealing with the child. With assistance from the Nominated Supervisor they were guided by their Code of Conduct and worked out ways to support each other. This included taking turns when dealing with the child, asking if they needed help and even directing each other to leave the room for a break if one saw the other become too stressed. These new processes created the need to hold further discussions and reflection for improvement. For example, educators built relationships with families and members of the community including the religious institute they practice at to include and exchange ideas and best practice as the child came from a different cultural background and the educators needed to better understand their situation.

After the meeting with the religious leader and family members the educators felt they had a different level of respect from the family as they now had support from people the family trusted in the community. Educators had never thought about getting this level of community support before, but this was achieved by reading their Code of Conduct that pointed them in a new direction and gave new insights and culturally sensitive ways to communicate, support and engage with families and the community they lived in.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
4.2.2 Some staff not using programming time for that purpose Staff are ethical and responsible and plan curriculum in programming time H Step 1 NS to discuss with all staff their responsibility to report staff who are not behaving ethically or meeting Code of Conduct
Step 2 NS to implement performance management plan for these staff
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators interact with colleagues, families and community members in a way which is always respectful, culturally sensitive, inclusive and professional. They reflect critically on their practices in relation to recognised professional standards including the service Code of Conduct/Ethics, and are always looking for ways to improve professional practice, for example by responding to input from families and community. July and ongoing 22_7_19 Some staff expressed concerns about reporting staff they work with. The NS asked them to reflect on the impact the person’s conduct was having on their work and the children’s learning. Was this fair or professional? The NS said the source of the report would be kept confidential.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 4.2 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All interactions between educators and others in the service community are respectful and promote a positive atmosphere within the service.

The observed and discussed approach to professional collaboration and standards consistently:

  • aligns with the approach described in the service’s chosen code of conduct and code of ethics
  • aligns with the service’s philosophy, policies and procedures.

“For example, educators built relationships with families and members of the community including the religious institute they practice at to include and exchange ideas and best practice as the child came from a different cultural background and the educators needed to better understand their situation.”

Educators’ decision to involve the religious institute strengthened the relationship they had with the family and increased educators’ awareness of cultural practices which both helped to manage the child’s behaviour.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

Educator’s discussions and notes demonstrate self-awareness of the ethical and professional standards underpinning their own practice.

Decision-making processes are informed by professional standards, including the service’s chosen code of conduct and code of ethics.

“The educators started the reflective process because they were aware the ethical and professional standards underpinning their own practice were coming under pressure…”

“Educators had never thought about getting this level of community support before, but this was achieved by reading their Code of Conduct that pointed them in a new direction…”

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

All members of the service team consistently identify and implement culturally sensitive ways to communicate, support and engage with families.

Decision-making and problem-solving in regard to ethical issues that emerge within the service environment are informed by the voices of families and the community.

Educators build relationships with families and members of the community that include the exchange of ideas and best practice.

“…educators built relationships with families and members of the community including the religious institute they practice at to include and exchange ideas and best practice as the child came from a different cultural background…”

“After the meeting with the religious leader and family members the educators felt they had a different level of respect from the family as they now had support from people the family trusted in the community.”

Positive educator to child interactions

Element 5.1.1

Positive educator to child interactions

Responsive and meaningful interactions build trusting relationships which engage and support each child to feel secure, confident and included.

Key improvements sought for QA 5 Relationships with children

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves against the outcomes and always engage in positive interactions with children. For example, this morning 25.3.19 at drop off, Hadley (2 years) freely expressed her emotions, showing she was upset and needing some attention. Miss Tamara in the toddler room recognised that Hadley’s feelings of distress and discomfort would take some time to resolve and so took her for a wander outside (embedded practice). After seeing the ducks over the fence, Tamara questioned Hadley on what she would like to do next. “Book?” Hadley questioned. Tamara took Hadley to the babies’ room to find her favourite books“When I’m feeling..” Tamara laid them out in front of Hadley and gave her the option of which book to read. Hadley chose “when I’m feeling sad.”Tamara read and shared the book with Hadley, asking Hadley to verbalise her feelings when she felt like it. Hadley was able to confidently construct meaning through verbal communication, stating she was upset because Dad left. Tamara assured Hadley that Dad would come back after work, and offered her a cuddle before she was confident to go off on her own to play.

On reflection, Tamara felt that Hadley may not have always been included due to her older sister’s behaviour (critical reflection).  She is working will all other educators to implement positive interactions with Hadley.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
5.1.1 Write this after completing weekly activities

We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified we may not always helping children feel safe and that they belong.
Write this on Tuesdays when you complete your steps to change practice

All educators are attuned to children’s verbal and non-verbal communication and respond in ways which improve children’s wellbeing.
H Copy what you write from Tuesday’s page

Step 1 Ensure all policies and procedures include information and steps on how educators should create strong relationships through meaningful interactions.

Step 2 Have all educators document the ways they are engaging in meaningful interactions with children and how they are ensuring they feel safe and as though they belong.

Step 3 During a staff meeting have all educators role play together examples of meaningful interactions with children and then provide suggestions and areas for improvement to each other.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators can explain and demonstrate how they have a deep commitment to building and maintaining respectful and equitable relationships with each child which are strengthened by meaningful relationships with families and the community. All educators critically reflect, both individually and as a team, on how their interactions with children build each child’s self-esteem, identity and sense of belonging.
March and ongoing Write this as you complete progress activities

27_3_19 – Today the policies and procedures have been reviewed and altered to ensure the processes are easy to follow for building trusting relationships through meaningful interactions.

28_3_19 – Educators today have reviewed the policies and began documenting the ways they all interact meaningfully with children and how they build trusting and safe relationships.

29_3_19 – Educators and the Nominated Supervisor have planned for a staff meeting next week where all educators will role play interactions with each other. Ideas and support will be given on ways to embed these practices stronger.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 5.1 – Program: The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include

Each educator’s practice reflects a deep commitment to building and maintaining respectful and equitable relationships with each child.

At all times, interactions between educators and children across the service support each child to feel secure, confident, and included.

In our example we can see how Educator Tamara was attuned to Hadley’s upset and took steps to soothe her distress and make her feel safe, secure and included at the centre.  This is an example of practice which Tamara uses to regularly build respectful and equitable relationship with Hadley.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include

All educators systematically reflect on their interactions with children across the service and on opportunities to further enhance children’s lifelong learning and sense of belonging within the service and the child’s world.

In our example we can see how educator Tamara reflects on her interactions with Hadley’s older sister, and recognises how they may have influenced her relationship and that of other educators with Hadley. She is working with other educators to enhance Hadley’s sense of belonging and learning outcomes.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

N/A

Dignity and rights of the child

Element 5.1.2

Dignity and rights of the child

The dignity and rights of every child are maintained.

Strengths

A child’s parents recently separated, and as a result she now lives between two houses. This child has had a change in behaviour. She is quieter, appears more insecure and anxious. She has voiced her concern about having two houses. Miss Eliza felt she needed to help and worked with the Educational Leader, Georgie, who suggested that they have a meeting with the parents one at a time to work together to create strategies, and how best to interact and what answers they should give if the child asks difficult questions.  Eliza and Mel the Nominated Supervisor had the meeting and it was decided to create a shared book with ‘Scenarios and Strategies.’ For example, preparing to stay at the other parent’s, preparing a timeframe to allow the child to think through the emotions that are about to come. This became a part of the curriculum and Eliza created teaching strategies/actions with the book by creating stories to prepare the child. Together they started reading the book days before the child visits the other parent on the weekend. They included things that might happen during the visit along with a time frame – “In three days I’m going to stay with Dad. I wonder what we’re going to do on the weekend. I know – I’ll give him a call and ask, just in case I have to pack something special like my swimmers. I mustn’t forget to pack my bear because I can’t go to sleep without him.”

A conversation started with a group of children about who has two homes and who doesn’t. Reflecting upon their interactions, Miss Eliza and the other educators decided they need to continue this learning about respect and equality when creating their curriculum and ensuring it has meaning to their local families and community. She did this by teaching the children about different families, which encouraged all the children to discuss their different situations. This seemed to be comforting the child and made her feel less upset about her situation as she wasn’t the only one with two houses.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
5.1.2 Lack of culturally diverse activities in curriculum. Curriculum includes activities that reflect ethnicity of service families and broader community. H Step 1 EL supports RL and educators to include culturally diverse activities
Step 2 EL, RL and educators reflect on impact these activities have had on children’s understandings and interactions.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators ensure children’s rights and dignity are always met by working with families, each other and the educational leader to reflect upon their interactions with children. All Educators consider issues of social justice, respect and equality when creating their curriculum and ensuring it has meaning to their local community. July and ongoing 17_7_19 Educators have noticed how these activities lead to further learning about different cultures

19_9_19 A child who’s shown distress interacting with another child with darker skin has become less scared and is crying less.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 5.1 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

At all times, interactions between educators and children across the service maintain each child’s dignity and rights

All educators are able to explain how their relationships with children are guided by an understanding of and commitment to

  • respecting the dignity and worth of each child
  • protecting and ensuring children’s rights.

The NS, EL and educator recognise the child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with each parent and have taken steps to help the child manage their emotions and understand what’s happening so this right is not adversely affected.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to relationships between educators and children reflects robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and is informed by critical reflection and past incidents

Any change to the service’s approach to relationships between educators and children is understood by all and implemented appropriately.

In this example we can see how educator Eliza worked with the EL and the NS to implement strategies to help the child, and how this extended through reflection to practices which all educators discussed and agreed needed to be implemented with all children.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to building and maintaining respectful and equitable relationships with each child:

  • reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service
  • welcomes, reflects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service

Hearing the child’s concerns about having two houses the EL, NS and educator recognised they needed to prioritise helping the child come to terms with their parents’ separation which in turn would also help both the child’s parents maintain loving and equitable relationships with the child.

Collaborative learning

Element 5.2.1

Collaborative learning

Children are supported to collaborate, learn from and help each other.

Strengths

Jayden’s mother shared information and practices from their home culture by explaining that there had been a Corroboree last night in Dubbo as a part of an Aboriginal Men’s Health conference.  Today Jayden was excited to tell everyone about going to dancing. Jayden told all his friends “last night I went to dancing. There is a fire and all the big kids dance around the fire.” We watched a video from the Thikkabilla Vibrations website which showed and explained about the Thikkabilla group. To extend on Jayden’s cultural input we painted our skin and used red material to make traditional dance clothing. We then sat in a circle around the ‘fire’ and Jayden explained what we do. “You kick the dirt and pick it up and throw it.” Jayden demonstrated this and then showed us some dance moves, one of which was the kangaroo. Jayden shared the stories and symbols of his own culture and re-enacted well known stories. He showed us how to do kangaroo ears, jump and crouch down to fossick for food, then hold it to our mouths to eat. Jayden led his friends and teachers around the fire in dance while we listened to traditional aboriginal music.

What a day, what incredible learning. How amazing is it to have such a vibrant culture here in Dubbo. I didn’t know how great it was, and we need to explore this more. Dear parents, don’t forget to tell us about the important events you attend in the community so we can extend and further your child’s and our own learning.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
5.2.1 Tyler’s educators don’t know how to help children with autism join groups. Tyler is supported to join groups, learn from other children and develop friendships H Step 1 The educational leader develops a training program for Tyler’s educators
Step 2 The educational leader teaches educators how to implement program
Step 3 The educational leader supports educators to implement program
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators confidently and effectively create supportive environments, for example appropriately sized groups, that enable children to collaborate, learn from and help each other. All educators reflect critically on how these environments challenge stereotypes and biases, enable each child to feel a sense of belonging, and participate in an inclusive way. August and ongoing 23_8_19 We noticed that the groups cannot be in a loud room and it works best when the groups are outside. When in the room Tyler has difficulty with self-regulation and needs to run or bang into heavy things or children to help him regulate down.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 5.1 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All educators confidently and effectively facilitate cooperative and collaborative learning opportunities, in appropriate group sizes, to ensure that every child is consistently supported to collaborate, learn from and help others

All educators are able to explain how their support of children to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships is guided by an understanding of and commitment to creating supportive environments that enable children to collaborate, learn from and help each other

These indicators are well demonstrated in the support educators give Jayden to share his corroboree experience with his friends, and in the way they extended this learning.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

Educators demonstrate self-awareness of the theoretical perspectives that influence their pedagogy, and the practice across the service, and show that they are committed to continuous improvement.

The service team reflect together to consider the social justice and equity implications of educators’ approaches to facilitating active and collaborative learning opportunities

This example shows how educators regularly reflect on opportunities to promote inclusive practices and cultural diversity which demonstrates a deep understanding of the learning framework outcomes.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to supporting children to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships:

  • reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service
  • welcomes, reflects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service
  • contributes to a culture of inclusiveness and sense of belonging at the service
  • encourages all children to challenge stereotypes and biases, and develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the service and the broader community, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

These indicators are reflected in the corroboree example where educators build on Jayden’s Aboriginal heritage, in the context of a strong Indigenous Dubbo community, and extend all children’s understanding of what a corroboree involves. This activity contributed to Jayden’s sense of belonging at the service while also promoting respect for diversity.

Self-regulation

Element 5.2.2

Self-regulation

Each child is supported to regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflicts.

Strengths

Miss Cherie decided it was time to involve the family for support. She organised a meeting with Cooper’s mum and discussed the situation to draw on her knowledge of the family’s strengths and priorities, including behaviour guidance approaches in the home environment, to support Cooper to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships. She asked if he was like this at home. The mother explained how she and his dad work long hours so he spent a lot of time with his Pop (which educators had already noticed) out at the farm reflecting the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service. His mum knew that he had been disruptive at the centre for a while now and didn’t know what to do.

Miss Cherie discussed a referral service, and how Copper might need a hearing test and an eyesight test. During the meeting Miss Cherie told Cooper’s mum she was more than happy to contact the family referral service herself to follow up this suggestion, tailoring her approach to supporting Cooper to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships in response to input from his mother and reflecting and drawing on the voice, priorities and strengths of Cooper and his mum.

After the hearing test Cooper was booked in for grommets. There was a noticeable change in his behaviour after they were installed. Sometimes Cooper still struggles to regulate his behaviour, but educators continued working with his family to find a way to help. Reflecting and drawing on Cooper’s priorities and strengths, educators discovered the best solution was to get Cooper to teach his knowledge about farm machinery to the class and be a helper, as he needed to stay busy and feel important.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
5.2.2 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified we need to work more with families to implement behaviour guidance strategies Effective strategies that help children self-regulate their behaviour H Step 1 – Educators document what may be causing child’s behaviour issues
Step 2 – Educators meet with parents and discuss possible responses and strategies. Consider developing behaviour management plan
Step 3 – Educators provide referral information if necessary and offer to initiate contact
Step 4 – Regularly review strategies/Plan with parents
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators engage in robust discussion about effective behaviour guidance strategies, and demonstrate a consistent approach that helps each child regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to others and communicate effectively to resolve conflict, taking into account each family’s particular context and feedback.
April and ongoing 23_4_19 – Educators identified Cooper may have hearing or eyesight problems

24_4_19 - Cooper’s mum agreed his eyesight and hearing should be tested. Educators provided referral information and made appointment on mum’s behalf.

26_4_19 Cooper needs grommets!

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 5.2 – Program: The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include

All educators demonstrate a consistent approach to behaviour guidance to ensure that each child is supported at all times to regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others, and communicate effectively to resolve conflict.

All educators are able to explain how their support of children to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships is guided by an understanding of and commitment to supporting each child to regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflicts.

In this example we can see how educator Cherie implemented measures after consulting with Cooper’s family to help him regulate his own behaviour, and develop sensitive and responsive relationships with other children by using his farm knowledge and developing his leadership skills.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include

The service’s approach to supporting children to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships is informed by critical reflection and past incidents.

The service team reflect together to engage in robust debate and discussion in which personal, professional and organisational values that support children to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships are identified and discussed

In our example we can see how educator Cherie used her knowledge of Cooper’s behaviour to suggest eye and hearing tests, and reflecting and drawing on Cooper’s strengths used his farm knowledge to extend his learning and build relationships with his peers.  Her commitment to inclusive practices is reflected in our service philosophy.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include

The service’s approach to supporting children to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships:

  • reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service
  • welcomes, reflects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service

All educators:

  • draw on their knowledge of each family’s strengths and priorities, including behaviour guidance approaches in the home environment, to support children to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships
  • tailor their approaches to supporting children to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships in response to input from families and the community.

In this example Cherie:

  • supported Cooper by using his unique relationship with his grandfather and his farm
  • worked in partnership with Cooper’s mum to get professional health support and develop behaviour strategies
  • developed tailored strategies specifically meeting Cooper’s needs.

Engagement with the service.

Element 6.1.1

Engagement with the service.

Families are supported from enrolment to be involved in the service and contribute to service decisions.

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves against the NSQ element and have identified many exceeding practices.
Parent Tours
Jenny (Administration Manager) provides families with a complete and comprehensive tour of the centre, showing them every room in detail and providing advice on how to prepare for their child’s first day in care. Jenny asks every family for their top three priorities when deciding on a centre for their child, ensuring that families know how important their needs are to us. On each tour, Jenny shows families our curriculum to help answer parents’ questions about our learning. She also takes families to our outdoor environment and explains that it was designed to help children work collaboratively and develop friendships, which is a top priority for many parents. Jenny assists parents with accessing government subsidies for childcare, and ensures parents are aware of what information they need to provide to both Centrelink and the centre.  Jenny advises parents that they can come for visits to the centre with their child before they start and encourages families to take advantage of our “home visit program”. Parents know they can rely on Jenny during and after the enrolment process to continue supporting them (exceeding themes embedded practice and engagement with families).

We visit our children’s home before they start at our centre to ensure the child has the best transition.
Our Centre offers a “home visit program” so that children can meet and spend time with educators in their own home. Children benefit from meeting educators in their home environment as it is where they feel most safe and secure. They recognise that their parents have let these people into their home, so they can be trusted. When children start at the centre, they have a familiar person to reach out for, which helps with their transition, especially in those first few days and weeks (exceeding theme critical reflection children’s perspective).

It also helps to form a relationship between parents, educators and children before children even start their first day in care. Educators chat and have a coffee with mum and/or dad on home visits, learn what children’s interests and favourite toys are, look at family photos and meet family pets. This helps educators to feel more comfortable with parents. Educators benefit, as the home visits give them something to talk to children about to help strengthen the link between home and the centre (exceeding theme critical reflection educators’ perspective).

Parents realise that they, along with their child are special and important to us, as we have gone to the effort to come to them, and it gives them the time and opportunity to talk on a more involved level with educators. Parents also benefit from home visits as they have someone familiar to leave their child with on their first day – not a complete stranger. As educators and parents have already met, it helps to create a bond from the very first day – paving the way for strong relationships to develop, which encourages parents to be involved in and contribute to service decisions – because they know how valued they are to us (exceeding theme critical reflection family perspective). Mel (Nursery 2 educator/Nominated Supervisor) has been on several home visits, as both an educator and Nominated Supervisor and enjoys meeting children and families in their own environment, and has found that parents seem much more at ease on the first day when they have had a home visit. As Nominated Supervisor, Mel also knows that we are demonstrating our commitment to Learning Outcome 1 of the EYLF (Children have a strong sense of identity) by building secure attachments, and establishing trusting relationships through the implementation of our home visit program.

Educators’ notes about family visits are located in each child’s file. See for example Darcy, Liam and Emma P.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
6.1.1 Enrolment procedures include measures that welcome and settle children and families, and encourage families to contribute to service decisions.

Learning documentation includes examples of how educators work in partnership with families to achieve Learning Outcomes
H Introduce or improve range of measures including:
• encourage families and children to visit the centre before they start
• encourage families to share information about other child-related services accessed by the family
• encourage families to stay for as long as they choose during the settling-in period
• tell families they can contact the service, and their child’s educator/s during the day
• assist families to develop and maintain a routine for saying goodbye to their child
• share honest information with families about how their child is settling in
• describe to families how the settling-in process is tailored to their child
• gather information from families to support continuity of care
• learn about the family’s expertise, culture, values, beliefs and expectations
• develop and implement a ‘Greeting Parents’ Procedure’
• critically reflect by looking through parents’ eyes

EL to help educators include examples of how they work in partnership with families to achieve Learning Outcomes using tips and ideas from Centre Support
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. February and ongoing 19_2_19 – Holding a competition to create great posters and post to encourage parents to contribute.

20_2_19 – Poster competition is going well, and we have great designs and Facebook post ready to go.

21_2_19 – The family feedback has been amazing, especially with the “what pets do you have at home?”

Parent views are respected

Element 6.1.2

Parent views are respected

The expertise, culture, values and beliefs of families are respected and families share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves against the outcomes and know that we regularly use feedback from families to plan our learning experiences. For example, feedback was received from some Middle Eastern families ‘No sandpit, no like, very bad, sand in hair.’ Educators Lizzie and Zahra discussed the importance of sensory play and educational concepts with the families and invited them to curriculum meetings to help them appreciate why sand is used for learning (embedded practices). After the meeting the parents agreed to provide the children with the opportunity to play with sand at a table or trough (critical reflection)to support their family’s ideas and solve the problem of sand in their child’s hair (engagement with families and communities). See photos of meeting and meeting notes in curriculum folder Frogs room.

After reflecting again, we plan to hold regular curriculum meetings with families as this has proven to be a successful way for families to share in decision-making.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
6.1.2 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified that we could improve the way we include families in decision-making. Educators regularly plan curricuklum based on families’ culture, values and beliefs. H Step 1 Discover what educators are doing (practicing) in relationship to families’ expertise, cultures, values and beliefs.
Step 2 Identify where families share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.
Step 3 Ensure all educators are constantly discussing children’s learning, development and wellbeing with families. Set up a parent/teacher night for families who find this time easier for discussions.
Step 4 Have educators document their information and discussions with families through documents, Facebook or emails.
Step 5 Encourage and demonstrate ideas to the educators on how to further extend this information into their daily curriculum planning.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All educators recognise the leading role of families in their child’s wellbeing and development, actively learn about their culture, values and educational priorities, plan for these in the learning program, and engage in robust discussion about the best way to support each family’s contribution to the program.
February and ongoing 25_2_19 – Educators have discussed who will talk to each family to ensure all families are spoken to regularly through all times of the day. Discussions include development goals, physical and emotional needs and current interests.

27_2_19 – Educators have began documenting the information as they discuss these areas with families. Some families have emailed through their responses to these questions. A parent teacher night has been planned for Tuesday 5th of March.

28_2_19 – Staff meeting has been planned for all educators to discuss their ideas on extending this information into the curriculum learning. Ensuring all staff support each other and provide input has given us more opportunities for greater ideas and learning across all rooms of the centre.

Families are supported

Element 6.1.3

Families are supported

Current information is available to families about the service and relevant community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.

Strengths

Shania’s mum Jackie said the family had been awake a lot in the night because their 6 month old was very unsettled. They were all getting very sleep deprived and she hoped baby Isaac soon got over whatever was troubling him.  Educator Shauna took Jackie over to the parent library and gave her a brochure with comprehensive, current and accessible information based on guidance from Better Health Channel on sleep settling techniques to support parenting and family wellbeing and contact details for a local baby sleep clinic. She also suggested a visit to the doctor in case Isaac had something physically wrong eg an ear infection. Jackie collected Shania the next day and said she’d taken Isaac to the GP who found a couple of ulcers in Isaac’s mouth. This would be causing him pain and also affecting his feeding. Doctor prescribed some anaesthetic mouth gel for the ulcers.  In the next couple of days Jackie could see how this interaction contributed to building a strong supportive relationship with Shania’s family, and made it much easier to exchange information about Shania’s progress towards learning outcomes.

Improvement plan (identified through assessment against NQS indicators)

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
6.1.3 Angus may need support for special needs but educators unsure how to proceed. Educators become more confident reviewing resources in family area, speaking with families and then supporting them H Step 1 EL speaks with educators
Step 2 EL assists educators and models processes to review resources and children’s learning documentation, and then speak with families
Step 3 Evaluate if further training by EL or alternative is required
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators consistently consider each family’s particular circumstances and regularly provide them with comprehensive, current information about the service and relevant community services and resources. All educators actively support families to build relationships with other families and community services, and critically reflect on the best way of engaging with each family including how their own biases may impact relationships with families. Ongoing 8_2_20 The EL made an appointment with mum Jacinta and together with Educator Tara referred to documented evidence showing Angus’ behaviour patterns and progress towards the learning outcomes, and the information on SPD. While Jacinta was a bit taken aback at first, she immediately began to recognise some of the other behaviours in the home environment. She said she was relieved that finally she may be able to explain Angus’ clumsiness. She agreed to take him to a local specialist. We’ll provide documentation she can take, and she’s happy for us to work with the specialist if required.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 6.1 Supportive relationships with families.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

Educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader regularly provide families with comprehensive, current and accessible information about the service, relevant community services, and resourcing to support parenting and family wellbeing

Across the service, the observed and discussed approach to building respectful and supportive relationships with families demonstrates a strong commitment to the principles and practices of the approved learning framework/s, and aligns with the educational program, the service’s statement of philosophy, and the enrolment and orientation process.

Educator Shauna took Jackie to the family area and gave her a brochure with comprehensive, current and accessible information based on guidance from Better Health Channel on sleep settling techniques to support parenting and family wellbeing. This interaction also served to strengthen Shaun’s professional relationship with Jackie which in turn made it much easier to exchange information about Shania’s progress towards learning outcomes. We can also see how Shauna’s practice supports our philosophy of ‘meeting families’ needs.’

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

Educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader are aware of and able to discuss how the approach to engaging with families …at the service aligns with practice theory, the approved learning framework/s and the service’s philosophy, policies and procedures

As discussed, Shauna’s practice supports the learning framework practice and principles and our philosophy. All educators and the Educational leader can discuss how her practice achieves this outcome, and give examples of their own.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

Educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader

  • actively support families to build relationships with other families and with relevant community services to strengthen child, parenting and family outcomes
  • build and maintain community partnerships that support and promote parenting and family wellbeing and proactively and respectfully engage with families to support their parenting and family wellbeing circumstances and priorities

The service has with many community services to strengthen child, parenting and family outcomes including the local sleep clinic mentioned here.

Transitions

Element 6.2.1

Transitions

Continuity of learning and transitions for each child are supported by sharing information and clarifying responsibilities.

Strengths

Emily left our service last year in June and gave us 12 months’ notice before leaving. The Nominated Supervisor Mel worked with the educator to identify why they were leaving and what they wanted to achieve by leaving. They wanted to leave their country town for the big city. Emily reminded us nearly every month as a countdown that she was leaving on the set date. Discovering what Emily wanted to achieve led to her being placed in a shared room leaders’ role with Tara in the preschool room to assist with her CV and job prospects in the big city. Emily was encouraged by the Nominated Supervisor to start her ECT degree which she did as Matt knew Queensland regulations requiring an extra ECT were coming and this would improve her prospects of getting a job. When the time finally came to leave, the centre organised a weeklong celebration with a different event each day to celebrate Emily’s leaving. This ensured they were promoting continuity of transitions for the children by sharing these changes and clarifying the new responsibilities.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
6.2.1 Missing belongings and inadequate communication with families at end of day Improved communication between educators during day so this no longer a problem H Step 1 Brain storm solutions with all educators
Step 2 Implement best ideas
Step 3 Evaluate effectiveness of ideas and adjust if required
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators share information and build collaborative strategies with relevant stakeholders in respect of each child’s transitions, discuss how their transitions practices align with the learning framework and service policies and procedures, discuss how their own biases may impact children and families, and engage in robust debate to improve transition practices. November and ongoing 11_11_19 Educators suggested some amazing ideas including:
• day sheets for sleep, meals/bottles and toileting
• a communication book for educators to write any messages they’d like the educators taking over to pass on for each child
• for any major concerns, the educator from the room must call the family before leaving.

15_11_19 Ideas working well and communication much improved.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 6.2 Collaborative partnerships Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning and wellbeing.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

Educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader systematically promote continuity of learning and transitions for each child by sharing relevant information, clarifying responsibilities, and building collaborative strategies with relevant stakeholders

The weeklong celebration of Emily’s move shows how this information was shared in a positive way with children, and reassured them that while Emily was leaving there would be a new educator taking her place who would keep them safe and plan exciting activities.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

As a team, educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader engage in robust debate and discussion about the service’s approach to building community partnerships and supporting inclusion and transitions. As part of this debate and discussion, personal, professional and organisational values that influence practice are identified, discussed and challenged.

After discussions about Emily’s reasons for leaving, she was supported throughout the year to engage in professional development which would support the ECEC community in the QLD locality in which she settled.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

The service’s collaborative partnerships:

  • reflect the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service
  • welcome, reflect and draw on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service

We supported Emily to start an ECT degree which reflects our culture and philosophy of continuous improvement and reflects the expectations of our families.

Access and participation

Element 6.2.2

Access and participation

Effective partnerships support children’s access, inclusion and participation in the program

Strengths

Lucas joined our service at age two as his mother Jane needed to return to work. Jane had planned a family without a partner and has three children which keeps her busy. Lucas’ grandparents play an important care role and they often collect him. At the time of enrolment Lucas was not diagnosed with autism, but Jane and grandparents shared their concerns. Room leader Kim made a list of the indicators from the EYLF Learning Outcomes and worked with Jane and the grandparents to identify the learning outcome indicators they see at home while she did the same at the service. What was identified and not identified assisted with a diagnosis. The room leader attended the meetings with the paediatrician to assist contextualising behaviours and their observations.

Educators were guided by the EYLF/MTOP’s assessment description, “what do children know, can do and understand.” The educators worked with Lucas to discover what he liked which was to be hugged and firmly held on his body. A plan was developed which included lying him down with four classmates to ensure it was inclusive. A rubber ball with spikes was rolled all over his body and the other children’s bodies. He liked it and smiled and when we stopped, he requested more using body language and reaching for the ball.  Educators slowly introduced Lucas to the things he didn’t like which was his hands being touched. Slowly he let educators roll the ball further down his extended arms eventually reaching his hands. At first, he pulled away, but after many times he began to accept the feeling of the ball on his hands. After forty minutes of ball rolling fun, we introduced Lucas to the sand table with a group of five children. Starting slowly, educators demonstrated how to rub the sand across the table. Eventually Lucas wiped the sand when it was his turn and continued watching the other children and educators use and draw in the sand. When it was his turn he joined in. Within ten minutes of rubbing the sand across the table Lucas let Molly the educator hold his hands and squeeze them. That day was a break through. After these events he used soap and washed his hands for the first time.

Lucas continues to request the ball and he will bring it to the educators to roll on him. Every time he does this they include the other children and they have developed plans to introduce something he finds difficult, like language. The educators stop rolling, sit him up and say “more.” They wait until he attempts to say more. When he does, they celebrate with lots of clapping and continue rolling it on him. The love of the ball gives the educators opportunities to introduce new things and teach new skills.

 

Educators did not wait for early invention support. They trusted their professional judgement, trying and attempting new and different ways to work with Lucas.

Lucas’s mother mentioned they have a wedding to attend and he needs to wear a vest as he will be page boy. He didn’t like the vest at first, but the educators purchased many vests and encouraged other children to wear the vest in the room around Lucas. Educators used his love of the ball and laid him down with the other children wearing vests. They rolled the ball on him, and slowly introduced the vest, laying it on top of him then rolling the ball on top of the vest. Within a week Lucas was wearing the vest. In preparation for the weeding, the room was set up and many weddings were conducted, again all for Lucas to achieve his role as page boy.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
6.2.2 Educators unable to effectively manage Gregory who has autism Educators have effective strategies to support Gregory and promote learning H Step 1 Contact Early Childhood Intervention and arrange visit
Step 2 Follow advice of Early Intervention
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators participate in robust debate to ensure all children are supported and included no matter their ability, background or health requirements. The service assists families to make connections with community services and agencies and all educators continually critically reflect to ensure they are creating a culture of inclusion and identifying new ways to support all children and families. September and ongoing 11_9_19 Early Intervention suggested OT and speech assessment, but family doesn’t have NDIS plan. Educator Chris called Mission Australia who offers support to children that do not have a diagnosis and arranged visit.

13_9_19 MA visited and offered strategies such as a quiet area, more sensory play, heavy work activities and puzzles to do one on one with an educator.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 6.2 Collaborative partnerships- Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning and wellbeing.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

Educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader:

  • establish and maintain ongoing collaborative partnerships with the community and link with community and support agencies to enhance children’s learning, wellbeing and participation
  • consistently facilitate inclusion and support assistance to ensure that the educational program enables each child to fully participate

We can see these indicators in the actions of Room Leader Kim who:

  • collaborated with mum Jane and the grandparents to identify the Learning Outcomes indicators seen at home and the service which then assisted with a diagnosis
  • attended the meetings with the paediatrician
  • develop a plan to promote and extend learning using Lucas’ love of the ball.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

  • Educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader are aware of and able to discuss how the service’s approach to inclusion support aligns with practice theory, the approved learning framework/s and the service’s policies and procedures

Educators interactions with Lucas to promote language, hygiene ie washing hands, and his inclusion in community events ie wedding demonstrates a commitment to our Additional Meeds Policy and Inclusion Policy to ensure all children can participate, and that other children are included in activities adjusted for children with additional needs. This aligns with the EYLF/MTOP Principles of Respect for Diversity ad Learning Through Plays

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

Educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader support families to build relationships with relevant community services and agencies that enhance children’s wellbeing, learning and participation in the educational program

The service’s collaborative partnerships welcome, reflect and draw on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service

Apart from the relationships established with Lucas’ paediatrician, educators collaborated with Lucas’ family to improve his participation, learning and development in direct response to the families’ priorities identified at the time of enrolment.

Service philosophy and purpose

Element 7.1.1

Service philosophy and purpose

A statement of philosophy guides all aspects of the service’s operations.

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves and can see how our philosophy of meeting families’ needs is met in daily practice. For example, Katy in the Junior preschool room has additional needs and the family needed to purchase an expensive piece of equipment to assist her to walk, but they struggled to obtain the money.  All educators in the Centre reflected and brainstormed ideas on how to support this family, who were distressed about the cost of the machine. To meet the family’s needs, the educators and other Centre families organised a ‘sausage sizzle’ fundraiser (engagement with families and community). Educators and families worked collaboratively to raise the funds, donating their time, their BBQ and organising donations of food from the local Woolworths store.

Educators began promoting the sausage sizzle fundraiser to the local public via posters and social media without informing the family as they wanted it to be a surprise (see copies of poster in Katy’s file). Katy’s father noticed one of the posters on his way into the Centre and questioned educators who the fundraiser was for. Educators informed the father that the Centre planned this fundraiser for his daughter and their needs. The father cried as he proceeded to tell educators how grateful he and his family were. He stated that he could not believe the Centre had put in so much thought and effort to support his family and their child. This Centre raised over $1000 for this family which went a long way in purchasing the equipment (see financial records in Katy’s file) (embedded practices).

We reflected again as a team and could see what a difference our daily actions can make to families’ lives and our actions align with our philosophy (critical reflection).

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
7.1.1 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified that we need to improve the following to get Exceeding. Some educators don’t reflect on whether their daily practices reflect our service philosophy. Our philosophy is used to guide all educators’ daily practice. H Step 1 All educators reflect critically on the philosophy to ensure it aligns with current priorities and approaches to practice. Educators provide feedback to Nominated Supervisor.
Step 2 Educators ensure their daily practices are aligned with the service philosophy.
Step 3 Regular reflections on the philosophy occur to ensure all staff practices continue to meet the philosophy, and the philosophy remains relevant.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
The service philosophy reflects the guiding principles of the National Law. All educators and managers can discuss and demonstrate how their daily practice is underpinned by the service philosophy, how they reflect critically on the philosophy making changes as required, and how they support families and the community to engage with the philosophy and provide feedback.
January and ongoing 29_1_19 – Educators had robust discussions about their philosophy during a staff meeting. All educators had input into creating a new philosophy that underpins the educators’ practices.

30_1_19 – Educators all reviewed the new philosophy, ensuring their practices reflected this perfectly.

31_3_19 Staff meeting was held to review the philosophy, and ensure it still reflects all daily practices. Educators provided feedback about a proposed change.

Management systems

Element 7.1.2

Management systems

Systems are in place to manage risk and enable the effective management and operation of a quality service.

Strengths

The Nominated Supervisor recently investigated an educator’s complaint there was a lack of effective communication from the Administration Manager/Nominated Supervisor about children’s attendance days, room movements, new enrolments and casual bookings, and this was adversely affecting her ability to meet job requirements and deadlines. Using our documented Complaints Procedure ensured the investigation aligned with our systems, documented policies, procedures and records. Outcomes recognised that some communication strategies were detracting from a culture of inclusiveness and a sense of belonging at the service, and included ensuring all affected educators sign off on written communication from the Administration Manager about children changing attendance days, children leaving the room/centre and new children. Children booked in for casual days are now communicated via main staff communication diary in office and also on the room sign in sheet for the day. We have also included a static agenda item for all staff meetings giving staff opportunities to provide feedback on opportunities to strengthen governance and administrative systems in our quest for continuous quality improvement.

Improvement plan (identified through assessment against NQS indicators)

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
7.1.2 Families not advised about risk assessments for risky activities and measures to keep children safe before risky activity. Families advised about risk assessments for risky activities and measures to keep children safe before risky activity and understand benefits of activity. H Step 1 NS meets with Educational Leader and Room Leader to discuss changes to practice.
Step 2 Changes implemented
Step 3 Evaluate effectiveness and adjust if required
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators can discuss, reflect and engage in regular reviews of systems, policies and procedures to ensure they are effective, align with quality practice, are responsive to feedback identified through the service’s risk management and quality improvement systems, and support consistent, high quality practice across the service. All educators support families and the community to understand the roles and responsibilities of staff members and regularly ask for feedback. December and ongoing 3_12_19 risk assessment posted on Room/Group Facebook page before risky activity. Room Leader also explained how each child’s safety was being managed and benefits of activity.

6_12_19 Many parents commented on Facebook or in person that they were really pleased to see children using real tools and learning life skills in a safe, supervised environment.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 7.1 Governance  – Governance supports the operation of a quality service.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

Well established governance arrangements and administrative systems consistently support the operation of a high quality service and drive continuous quality improvement.

Across the service, observed and discussed governance and administrative arrangements align with systems, documented policies, procedures and records.

Because the Nominated Supervisor used our detailed, written complaints procedure she was able to ensure the investigation aligned with our systems, documented policies, procedures and records. The strategies we implemented to improve communication as a result of the investigation contribute to the operation of a high quality service.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service supports and enables all members of the service team to provide feedback on opportunities to strengthen governance and administrative systems, including decision-making processes, and this feedback is respectfully considered

A strategy we implemented as a result of complaint and investigation was to include a static agenda item for all staff meetings giving staff opportunities to provide feedback on opportunities to strengthen governance and administrative systems.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

Governance and administrative arrangements contribute to a culture of inclusiveness and a sense of belonging at the service and suit the unique context of the service.

Investigation outcomes recognised that some communication strategies were detracting from a culture of inclusiveness and a sense of belonging at the service, and ensured this was not allowed to continue.

Roles and responsibilities

Element 7.1.3

Roles and responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, and understood, and support effective decision-making and operation of the service

Strengths

After discussing educators’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities, we handed out copies of educators’ job descriptions to refresh each educator’s mind on their roles within the centre and their room. This was to ensure all members of the team, including relief staff, were able to understand their roles and responsibilities.

After reflecting critically as a team, we then decided to take this one step further and create a run sheet for the room/group to ensure all educators were involved throughout the day, knew what they were to be doing at all times, and nothing got missed. The run sheet had a brief outline of what was required during the day, the time it needed to take place and the educator who would complete each task.

We also posted the run sheet in our closed Facebook group so our families could understand some of our educators’ responsibilities.  This also gave families a chance to provide feedback on our routine and we ended up adjusting our snack time after considering some parents’ views that there was too long a gap between lunch and afternoon tea.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
7.1.3 One room/group does not have a Leader New Room/Group Leader appointed H Step 1 NS discusses with EL
Step 2 Implement strategies coming out of discussions
Step 3 Review and implement any changes needed.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators, including relief staff, can discuss their roles and responsibilities. All managers promote a positive organisational culture that provides opportunities for all employees to freely discuss effective service operations, collaborate with employees during change processes, and ensure families understand service roles and responsibilities. October and ongoing 14_10_19 EL suggested we ask if any current educators want to take on role on trial. Natalie, Cert III trainee, put her hand up. She has managed people in her previous job. Natalie given job

18_10_10 Natalie is doing well and room/group is running very well. Will continue to follow up weekly for at least 6 weeks.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 7.1 Governance – Governance supports the operation of a quality service.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

All members of the service team, including relief staff, understand and are able to articulate their roles and responsibilities, including in relation to each other, children, and families, and the service’s decision-making processes

We can see how all members of the service team understand and can articulate their responsibilities be referring to their position description and the run sheet.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

Change processes are managed sensibly and collaboratively with key stakeholders and the rationale for change is clearly communicated.

All team members reflected on the room/group operations, and understood a run sheet would help the smooth operation of the room/group.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

Educators, co-ordinators and those with management responsibilities actively support families and the community to understand the roles and responsibilities of members of the service team and how to engage with the service’s feedback processes

By posting the run sheet on the room/group Facebook page, educators gave families the opportunity to provide feedback about roles and responsibilities.

Continuous improvement

Element 7.2.1

Continuous improvement

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

Strengths

We have assessed ourselves against the outcomes and can see that educators regularly self-assess their practices and use feedback from families to improve practices. In the Nursery room educators Karen and Haley used a self-assessment process to identify what real life skills and agency they were allowing or not allowing with children. Firstly, Karen and Haley started by listing what educators were doing for children that they could do themselves. Then they implemented a plan to help the children do these things themselves.  Handwashing was identified as an area for improvement. Educators were using wipes or washing the babies’ hands after a nappy change because this is what they have always done and they thought young babies weren’t ready to wash their own hands. During nappy change (7/1/19) this morning Karen implemented the handwashing routine to promote children’s personal health and hygiene and improve practice. Karen showed Hadley and Sarah the routine of handwashing after their nappies were changed. “Let’s wash our hands Hadley” Karen said as she walked to the sink. Hadley climbed onto the step near the sink and waited for Karen to turn the tap on. Karen demonstrated the procedure of rubbing the soap onto her hands then washing it off. Hadley rubbed the soap onto her hands then washed it off as she smiled at Karen. Karen then passed a piece of paper towel to Hadley. She slowly wiped her hands as she gave Karen a big smile. Sarah was very confident as she put her hands under the water then held her hand under the soap container as she waited for Karen to press it. Sarah rubbed her hands together then placed her hands under the water to wash soap off. Karen then passed Sarah a piece of paper towel. Sarah and Hadley showed independence during this hygiene practice which has made Karen and Haley think more about what children can do themselves. We reflected again as a team to identify what children can do for themselves. Now the children also assemble their own lunches, then take them back to the kitchen to be cooked.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
7.2.1 We assessed ourselves against the outcomes and have identified that educators can improve the way they self-assess their practices Educators regularly use feedback from the community and families to improve practice. H Step 1 Educators discuss to see if they understand how often they do self-assessment and how often they use the feedback from the community and families to assist in quality improvement.
Step 2 Educators start writing down when they have self-assessed to improve. Educators also start listening to others’ feedback and thinking about how they can use it to improve.
Step 3 Once educators have confidence in their self-assessments for improvements and using others’ feedback, Director adds this to the QIP as evidence for continuous improvement.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary.
All managers consistently promote a professional learning community, systematically reflect on performance against set goals, the NQS, learning framework etc, and provide regular opportunities for all employees, families and community members to provide feedback about quality improvement, including the development and review of the Quality Improvement Plan.
February and ongoing 29_1_19 Educators identified their knowledge on self-assessment. Director explained in more detail to expand their knowledge. Educators then discussed the times they have used feedback from others and times that they may have disregarded it. They all agreed to practice their self-assessment and use feedback from others by writing down when they make improvements and showcasing their improvements by displaying when they use others feedback.

30_1_19 Educators were continually writing their improvements down; the Director saw the improvement in them. The Director also started seeing the confidence educators displayed in using others’ feedback in a positive way.

31_3_19 The Director started adding the educators’ information and improvements straight into the QIP.

Educational leadership

Element 7.2.2

Educational leadership

The educational leader is supported and leads the development and implementation of the educational program and assessment and planning cycle.

Strengths

All educators work collaboratively with the Educational Leader to consistently make curriculum decisions. Our Educational Leader is employed two fulltime days per week as the Educational Leader, during which she allocates time to spend in all rooms with educators based upon a) new staff and their requirements for learning the way we create curriculum using the EYLF, b) knowledge or practice requirements for educators to improve upon their curriculum as identified through room leaders either at their weekly room leaders’ meeting or their Friday report that identifies educator training required. When Georgina starts her week, she has mini meetings with the room leaders to identify the individual needs of educators or the rooms as a whole, and allocates her time and support accordingly.

Georgina is allocated time in the rooms so she can observe and assess educators’ knowledge, practice and understanding. She then creates a demonstration practice and shows the educators how to implement it. These include how daily routines can be organised to maximise learning and development outcomes for every child.

Georgina works one on one with educators going through their curriculum and identifying possibilities and teaching practices based upon the EYLF indicators to ensure all educators are planning and documenting how they are promoting the following learning outcomes: identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
7.2.2 An educator in the Junior Preschool room is struggling with implementing engaging experiences with the children. Educator can implement activities based on children’s interests and ideas. H Step 1.EL meets with educator to discuss support required and how this to be achieved
Step 2 Support provided
Step 3 Evaluate effectiveness and adjust if required
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators support families to understand the role of the educational leader, and work collaboratively with the educational leader who leads the development of a quality learning program reflecting the unique context of the service and the voices and strengths of children and families. The educational leader holds high expectations for teaching and learning and provides regular opportunities for educators to share insights, provide feedback and engage in critical reflection to improve learning outcomes. End January 2020 9_12_19 EL meets with educator and together they agree:
• EL will meet with educator daily in the room
• El will help educator with lesson plans
• EL and educator together will discuss children’s interest with families and use this to inform experiences

13_12_19 Children are now more engaged. Educator much more confident

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 7.2 Leadership – Effective leadership builds and promotes a positive organisational culture and professional learning community.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

The educational leader is able to discuss and demonstrate how they are supported by the service’s leadership team and work collaboratively with educators to effectively lead the development of the curriculum and set high expectations for teaching and learning.

Educators are able to discuss and demonstrate how they are supported by the educational leader to learn and grow in their professional practice, and how they work with the educational leader to consistently deliver an educational program that sets high expectations for each child’s learning.

Our discussion shows how the Educational Leader works one on one with educators so they would have no trouble discussing the way they are supported. Likewise the Educational Leader would have no trouble explaining the way she works collaboratively with educators to improve practice.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

The service’s approach to leadership is informed by current recognised guidance on leadership that supports the operation of a quality service.

Current guidance recognises that a dedicated Educational Leader can improve practice more than one fitting the role around other responsibilities.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

Educators, co-ordinators and those with management responsibilities support families and the community to understand the role of the educational leader in relation to their own child’s participation in the service, and regularly invite them to discuss their own goals and expectations for their child’s learning to inform the educational program

Our discussion shows how the Educational Leader helps educators go through their curriculum and identify possibilities and teaching practices based upon the EYLF indicators to ensure all educators are planning and documenting how they are promoting the following learning outcomes: identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators. To achieve many of these it’s essential to form partnerships with families so there is regular feedback about children’s interests, strengths, needs etc

Development of professionals

Element 7.2.3

Development of professionals

Educators, co-ordinators and staff members’ performance is regularly evaluated and individual plans are in place to support learning and development.

Strengths

Educators were regularly reflecting on their own learning and professional development goals and opportunities to strengthen their performance and practice, and it was identified that educators were struggling with their emotions when it came to dealing with certain children. In turn it was becoming difficult for some educators to support trusting relationships with children. As a group in the staff meeting the educators shared their insights through informal performance discussions and sort support to assist them to align to the expectations and goals of the service and the National Quality Standard, especially quality area 5.

The ‘Hope Project’, a local community support organisation was engaged to run monthly after work meeting with the educators to work through the issues identified and teach strategies to the educators to assist with this emotional turmoil that was reflected upon when working with children.

All educators used the skills and techniques taught to them by the ‘Hope Project’. Educators are able to explain how the service’s performance evaluation process supports their learning and development goals and growth as professionals, including how a tailored professional development plan provides a focus for continuous performance improvement. See the Hope Project monthly meeting and goals.  The Nominated Supervisor is constantly looking outside the service and into the community to consistently promote a positive organisational culture and professional learning community that supports all members of the service team to develop as professionals.

Improvement plan

Standard/ element Issue identified during self-assessment What outcome or goal do we seek? Priority (L/M/H) How will we get this outcome? (Steps) Success measure By when? Progress notes
7.2.3 There is a lot of change happening in the rooms as 4 staff have left at once. Families are informed about and comfortable with the staff changes. H Step 1 Ask 1 of our long standing families what they would like to know or see to keep them happy about so many staff leaving.
Step 2 Implement their feedback
Step 3 Evaluate effectiveness of step 2 and reflect on need for any further changes.
We’ve analysed the 3 exceeding themes in relation to the element and have identified the following outcome as a summary. All educators learn new professional skills and gain new knowledge by evaluating and critically reflecting on their practice, work with the educational leader to tailor professional development and enhance the process by building community partnerships and learning communities. August and ongoing 30_7_19 Family said they would like introductions to new staff and information about them before they arrive.

1_8_19 Introduced new staff on our closed FB groups with a little intro from each staff member.

6_8_19 Staff commenced and we made sure they really got to know the families and children.

Summary of Exceeding Themes Standard 7.2 – Practice: Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development.

Exceeding themes

1. Practice is embedded in service operations

Theme indicators include:

  • 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
  • Effective leadership builds and consistently promotes a positive organisational culture and professional learning community that supports all members of the service team to develop as professionals and contribute meaningfully to quality improvement processes.

From our strength

Educators are able to explain how the service’s performance evaluation process supports their learning and development goals and growth as professionals, including how a tailored professional development plan provides a focus for continuous performance improvement.

The Nominated Supervisor is constantly looking outside the service and into the community to consistently promote a positive organisational culture and professional learning community that supports all members of the service team to develop as professionals.

2. Practice is informed by critical reflection

Theme indicators include:

  • The leadership team regularly reflects on the service’s quality improvement processes and makes changes where opportunities are identified to enhance outcomes for the service team, children and families.
  • All members of the service team:
  • regularly reflect on their own learning and professional development goals and opportunities to strengthen their performance and practice, and share their insights through informal and formal performance discussions to support alignment of expectations and goals
  • systematically reflect, individually and as a team, on service performance in relation to the National Quality Standard, focus areas identified in the Quality Improvement Plan, and goals for teaching and learning to ensure the service is meeting its own and the regulatory system’s expectations for high quality and continuous improvement.
  • The service supports and enables all members of the service team to provide feedback on quality improvement processes and this feedback is respectfully considered.

From our strength

Educators were regularly reflecting on their own learning and professional development goals and opportunities to strengthen their performance and practice.

Educators shared their insights through informal performance discussions and sort support to assist them to align to the expectations and goals of the service and the National Quality Standard, especially quality area 5.

This shows how through team reflection educators identified an area of their own learning and professional development goals that would benefit from professional training (ie behaviour management and positive interactions with children NQS QA 5.

3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families, and/or community

Theme indicators include:

  • Leadership at the service:
  • reflects the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service
  • welcomes, reflects and draws on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service.
  • 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 of self-assessment that supports continuous quality improvement.
  • The service builds and maintains community partnerships that strengthen the professional learning community and support continuous quality improvement, enhancing outcomes for children, families, and the service team.

From our strength

The ‘Hope Project’, a local community support organisation was engaged to run monthly after work meeting with the educators to work through the issues identified and teach strategies to the educators to assist with this emotional turmoil that was reflected upon when working with children.

This shows how we used our unique community context to engage a local organisation to work with educators, provide feedback and improve outcomes for children, families and our team of educators.