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Exceeding Guidance For Quality Area 7

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Exceeding Guidance For Quality Area 7

Quality Area 7 has two standards that focus on governance and leadership at the service.

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 7 in a variety of ways that suit their particular operating environment and approach to practice.

Standard 7.1  Governance

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.
• Well established governance arrangements and administrative systems consistently support the operation of a high-quality service and drive continuous quality improvement.
• Educators, coordinators and those with management responsibilities are able to discuss and demonstrate how the service’s management systems support proactive risk management and drive continuous improvement, for example in relation to Recruitment and staff selection, responding to and learning from incidents, complaints and feedback from families, maintaining up-to-date records that support effective service provision. 
• Educators, coordinators and those with management responsibilities are able to discuss and demonstrate how their daily practice is underpinned by the service’s statement of philosophy and how they are involved in reviewing the statement regularly. 
• Persons with management responsibilities are able to discuss and demonstrate how the statement of philosophy underpins service operations, and explain how it was developed and how and when it is reviewed.
• The guiding principles of the National Law (see section 3 of the Law) are reflected in and consistently enacted through the service’s statement of philosophy.
• The service’s policies and practices on recruitment and retention of staff reflect the diversity of the local community.
• 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.
• Across the service, observed and discussed governance and administrative arrangements align with systems, documented policies, procedures and records.

Exceeding theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection

• Any change to the service’s approach to governance is understood by all and implemented appropriately.
• Educators, coordinators and those with management responsibilities critically reflect on the statement of philosophy, individually and together, to ensure it aligns with the service’s current purpose, priorities, and approach to practice, and make changes where required to strengthen alignment and drive continuous improvement, 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.
• Educators are aware of and able to discuss the service’s governance and decisionmaking processes and how these align with professional standards and contribute to continuous quality improvement.
• 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.
• Change processes are managed sensibly and collaboratively with key stakeholders and the rationale for change is clearly communicated.

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

• Governance of 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.
• Educators, co-ordinators and those with management responsibilities, actively support families and the community to meaningfully engage with the service philosophy, policies and procedures, and to provide feedback and contribute to regular reviews.
•Educators 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.
• The service supports and enables families and the community to provide feedback on governance arrangements and administrative systems, including decision-making and feedback processes.
• 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.

Standard 7.2  Leadership

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.
• 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, builds educator capacity by supporting educators through ongoing professional development opportunities, for example mentoring.
• 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, are able to discuss and demonstrate how they actively participate in the service’s ongoing self-assessment and quality improvement process, and how this process drives continuous improvement in service quality and enhances outcomes for children and families.
• 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.
• Across the service, observed and discussed quality improvement processes align with the service’s Quality Improvement Plan and with other supporting documentation, including individual professional development plans for staff members.

Exceeding theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection

• The service’s approach to leadership reflects robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and is informed by critical reflection and past incidents is informed by current recognised guidance on leadership that supports the operation of a quality service.
• Any changes to the service’s approach to leadership is understood by all and implemented appropriately.
• 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.
• All members of the service 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.
• Change processes are managed sensitively and collaboratively with key stakeholders and the rationale for change is clearly communicated.

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

• 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.
• Educators, co-ordinators and those with management responsibilities support families and the community to participate meaningfully in the service’s quality improvement processes, including the development and review of the Quality Improvement Plan.
• Educators 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.
• 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.
• Quality improvement processes contribute to a culture of inclusiveness and a sense of belonging at the service, and suit the unique context of the service. 

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

Last modified on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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