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Exceeding Guidance For Quality Area 4

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Quality Area 4 has two standards that focus on the organisation and professionalism of educators, staff and management.

There are three Exceeding themes that services will need to demonstrate for a standard to be rated Exceeding NQS. A rating of Exceeding NQS means going above and beyond what is expected at the Meeting NQS level for a standard.

The following three themes must be demonstrated in service practice for a standard to be rated as Exceeding NQS:

Theme 1: Practice is embedded in service operations
Theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection
Theme 3: Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community

The following guidance is provided to assist services and assessors to consider if practice demonstrates the Exceeding themes at the level required for a rating of Exceeding NQS. The indicators provided are not exhaustive, and services may demonstrate Exceeding level practice for Quality Area 4 in a variety of ways that suit their particular operating environment and approach to practice.

Standard 4.1 Staffing Arrangements

Exceeding theme 1: Practice is embedded in service operations

• Educators, the educational leader, and co-ordinators demonstrate a deep understanding of the requirements of the standard, concepts and the component elements, and a commitment to high-quality practice at all times.
• 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.
• All educators and coordinators are able to explain how the organisation and continuity of educators enhance children’s well-being, learning and development; demonstrate awareness of how decisions are made about the organisation of educators across the service
• Educators understand and implement effective processes to support organisation and continuity of educators to enable the establishment and maintenance of secure relationships with children.
• The observed and discussed approach to organisation and continuity of ducators, including relief educators, consistently aligns with the service’s philosophy, policies and procedures.

Exceeding theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection

• 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, is informed by current recognised guidance.
• Any change to the service’s approach to organisation and continuity of educators is understood by all and implemented appropriately.
• 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.
• The service works together to implement agreed changes across the service where necessary.

Exceeding theme 3: Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community

• The organisation and continuity of educators reflect 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 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.

Standard 4.2 - Professional 

Exceeding theme 1: Practice is embedded in service operations

• Educators, the educational leader, and the co-ordinator demonstrate a deep understanding of the requirements of the standard, concept and the component elements, and a commitment to high quality practice at all times.
• All interactions between educators and others in the service community are respectful and promote a positive atmosphere within the service.
• 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.
• 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, consistently aligns with the service’s philosophy, policies and procedures.

Exceeding theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection

• The service’s approach to professional collaboration and standards reflects robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and is informed by critical reflection and past incidents, 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, is informed by current recognised guidance and the service’s chosen code of conduct and code of ethics.
• The service team reflects together on the role and application of professional ethics and standards across the service, on ethical issues that arise in the service, to consistently identify and implement opportunities to strengthen ethical practice.
• Educators reflect collaboratively on pedagogical knowledge and curriculum delivery.
• Educator’s discussions and notes demonstrate self-awareness of the ethical and professional standards underpinning their own practice, ongoing reflection on opportunities for improvement.
• Decision-making processes are informed by professional standards, including the service’s chosen code of conduct and code of ethics.
• Changes to the application of professional standards within the service, including the chosen code of conduct and code of ethics, are clearly understood by all.

Exceeding theme 3 - Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community

• The approach to professional collaboration and standards 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 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, including cultivating a deep respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
• 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.

Reference: 
New Guide To The National Quality Framework, Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority

Last modified on Saturday, February 17, 2018

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