A Guide For Educational Leaders In Early Childhood Settings

A Guide For Educational Leaders In Early Childhood Settings US Army

Congratulations! You have just been appointed the Educational Leader of the service. In the National Regulations it states “As educational leader, your role at the service to lead the development of educational programs in the service”. So, where do you start, what do you do?

Supporting Educators

As an Educational Leader it enables you to mentor educators and provide curriculum direction and to ensure the children achieve the outcomes of the approved learning framework. To do this, it’s best to start your role by having a discussion with the room leaders and educators in each room and become familiar with their planning and documenting. This will give you an understanding on how the room leaders document children’s learning and their understanding of implementing the curriculum. Going through the room leader’s documentation (programming, daily diary, observations, portfolios) will enable you to focus on areas that may need to be improved on or what needs to be changed or added to support the room leader in their planning and documenting. It’s important that you work with each educator on the team to achieve best learning outcomes for children and to effectively work on current strengths and address weaknesses and concerns relating to the curriculum.

When supporting educators it important to:

  • Motivate educators to achieve the best learning outcomes for children.
  • Affirm what educators are already doing.
  • Motivate educators to take on new challenges.
  • Support educators in their practice.
  • Encouraging educators to reflect on their practice.
  • Support educators understanding of how the Principles, Practices and Outcomes contributes to high quality learning experiences.
  • Support educators in their goals.
  • Guide and support the team in implementing the framework.
  • Assist educators to work towards shared goals for children and their learning.
  • Assist educators in providing the best educational outcomes for children.
  • Use the following to assist educators meet planning requirements - Educational Leader Checklist

Lead and Develop the Educational Program

One of your main purposes of being an Educational Leader is to provide curriculum direction and to ensure children achieve outcomes of the approved learning framework. This means that you need to have a thorough understanding of the framework and to be able to guide your team in their planning and reflection and mentor educators in implementing best practices.

When leading and developing the educational program it’s important to:

  • Keep up to date with current research/resources and sharing them with the team.
  • Promote understanding of the approved learning framework.
  • Embed the EYLF, MTOP into all aspects of the centres planning and documentation.
  • Support educators to make connection between the EYLF and evidence of children’s learning through their documentation.
  • Work with educators to observe, support and extend on children’s learning.
  • Document goals for teaching and learning.
  • Provide strategies and processes to lead the development of the curriculum.
  • Make decisions that support quality outcomes for children and families.
  • Assist with documenting children’s learning and how these assessments can inform curriculum decision.
  • Talk to parents about the educational program.
  • Ensure the continuity of learning when children change room, attend others services, during transition to school.
  • Mentor educators by leading quality practice.
  • Consider how program can be linked to the community by working with community services.

Supporting Continuous Improvement of the Service

As the Educational Leader, you need to work collaboratively with your team to provide high quality care and a vision for children’s learning development. Look at what your service is doing well and identify the areas that require attention to promote continuous improvement in the quality of education and care services.

When supporting continuous improvement of the service, it’s important to:

  • Record goals of teaching and learning that educators are focusing on.
  • Explore opportunities for professional development.
  • Keep track of conversations and decision (journal/ diary of spontaneous conversations or formal meeting decisions.
  • Discussing ways to demonstrate the service is meeting the standards.
  • Set goals for teaching and learning with educators.
  • Discuss routines and how to make them more effective learning experiences
  • Observe children and educator interaction and make suggestions on how to improve interactions and intentional teaching
  • Ensure the establishment of clear goals and expectations for teaching and learning.
  • Ensure the continuity of learning when children change room, attend others services, during transition to school.
  • Work with other early childhood specialists such as maternal, child health nurses and early childhood intervention specialists.
  • Keep educators/families informed on how the service is progressing towards identified goals.
  • Use team meetings to reflect on current practices.

You have been chosen as the Educational Leader because you can coach, mentor and support your team on working together to achieve the best outcomes for children. This guide will hopefully inspire you in your role and provide you with strategies on how you can have a significant impact as the educational leader at your service.

References:
The Role of the Educational Leader, ACECQA
The Educational Leader, Early Childhood Australia
Guide To The NQS, ACECQA

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