The organisation of educators across the service supports children’s learning and development
Case Study – Meeting ratios in a crisis
Your Nominated Supervisor is responsible for providing enough staff to meet ratios, but educators need to assist time to time to ensure all educators are supported across the service in times of need or crisis. For example, Jason the educator was required to support Chloe as she had a meltdown. Chloe’s meltdowns left everyone stressed and it was decided to remove the children from the room while Jason helped Chloe regulate her behaviour. Removing the children into the outside play area left educator Kate with a group that wasn’t easy to adequately supervise.
It was decided that the doors would be open, so that Kate could communicate with Jason. Assistance was provided by the room next door. They opened their doors to the playground and placed one of their educators at the door to communicate with Kate and support her and Jason as well as supervising their children. Sometimes it was easier for both rooms to move outside as a group when these situations with Chloe occurred. Technically the room wasn’t out of ratio with Jason supporting Chloe, but Kate needed a little more support with her group when it came to adequate supervision. Usually these situations needed no more than twenty minutes of support from the other educators.
Identifying educators’ strengths has led to careful planning, and adjustments are continually made to create rosters which meet children’s needs.
Educators’ room location and shift times are carefully planned. For example, some people work best with certain ages, some people have strengths gained from outside early childhood, some people work best in the morning and some don’t.
Cody has recently moved back to the preschool room to ensure a group of active boys have their physical needs met. Cody is a football player in the local team and is often running many physical activities for the children. This includes using his football coaching skills and drills with the children to assist with concentration and physical co-ordination.
Tara’s strengths include extending and enhancing learning with meaningful community connection, her artistic ability and her ability to help children express their creativity across many areas of the arts, especially fine art and music.
Cherie was a cartographer (map maker) for 14 years before entering ECEC. She integrates her past career as a cartographer into learning with the children’s interests.
Below is a case study that demonstrates all the exceeding themes.
The blue text is directly from the NQS Guide, page 213-216, showing exactly how Exceeding theme 1 Embedded, 2 Critical Reflection and 3 Meaningful engagement with families and communities and how it links into practice.
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 next staff meeting to ensure any changes are understood by all.