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How To Achieve Quality Area 4

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How To Achieve Quality Area 4

Quality Area 4 of the National Quality Standard focuses on the provision of qualified and experienced educators who develop warm, respectful relationships with children, create predictable environments and encourage children’s active engagement in the learning program. A collaborative and ethical culture where professional standards guide all aspects of practice is critical to a quality service.

A sound philosophy guide’s decision-making, including decisions about the appropriate arrangement of suitably qualified educators and staff members at the service. This helps to promote continuity of staff, which contributes to children’s learning and development.

Each standard and element is represented by outcomes that contribute to the standard being achieved within the service. The following is a list of outcomes under each element within QA4, that can help services identify if they are achieving Quality Area 4. It also includes documentation to support each element. This list can be used as a guide for Self-Assessment purposes and the development of the Quality Improvement Plan.

4.1 - Staffing arrangements enhance children's learning and development.

4.1.1 – The organisation of educators across the service supports children's learning and development.

This can be achieved by:

• how the organisation of educators throughout the day supports children’s learning and development and ensures that educator-to-child ratios are maintained, including during administration and/or programming time
• that the numbers and ratio of educators rostered at the beginning and end of the day are, facilitating effective communication with families at drop off and pick up, times, supporting adequate supervision of children, offering children meaningful opportunities to engage with educators while rooms are set up or packed away.

Documentation to support this includes:

• rosters for nominated supervisors, co-ordinators, educators and other staff
• procedures and supporting documentation to assist relief educators to learn about the service’s processes, routines, families and children
• staff rosters that demonstrate the service is meeting staffing requirements including that a first-aid-qualified staff member is on duty at all times
• staff records that demonstrate educators, co-ordinators and family day care educator assistants hold first aid qualifications
• records of co-ordinator qualifications

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

This can be achieved by:

• children demonstrating their trust and comfort with educators by happily responding to them, having conversations and initiating interactions with them, and seeking their company
• educators, including relief educators, addressing children and families by name and demonstrating in these interactions that they are familiar with how the service operates

Documentation to support this include:

• rosters and staffing arrangements that reflect the importance of educator
• continuity on a day-to-day basis
• exit data and documentation that provides information about the reasons for educators leaving the service.

4.2 – Management, educators and staff are collaborative, respectful and ethical.

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

This can be achieved by:

• positive working relationships within the service and an atmosphere of openness
• new educators, co-ordinators and staff members being supported by other team members
• educators, co-ordinators and staff members using strategies that assist casual and relief educators to feel a sense of belonging to the team and service
• information about current recognised approaches and research on education and care is shared among management, educators and staff members
• educators sharing their knowledge and discussing and reflecting on the needs of particular children and families
• educators, co-ordinators and staff members, sharing tasks and responsibilities, offering assistance to each other, responding promptly to support other team members in difficult situations
• the educational leader, nominated supervisor, co-ordinators and educators, working collaboratively to affirm and challenge their practice through supportive relationships with their colleagues, discussing and adopting inclusive practices and strategies that best support each child, demonstrating a commitment to learning more, regardless of their experience and current knowledge and skills.

Documentation to support this includes:

  • evidence recorded in staff meeting minutes or reflective journals that demonstrates that the educational leader, nominated supervisor, coordinators and educators are engaging with their colleagues to reflect on practice, explore new possibilities and record outcomes that have resulted in improved practice so that children and families benefit
  • documented examples of projects or teamwork that recognises and builds on the diverse skills, knowledge and strengths of the team

4.2.2 Professional standards guide practice, interactions and relationships.

This can be achieved by:

  • service staff demonstrating, care, empathy and respect for children, colleagues and families in their everyday practice, professional conduct in interactions and relationships with children, colleagues, families and members of the community
  • the educational leader nominated supervisor, co-ordinators and educators taking responsibility for working in ways that meet the requirements of the National Quality Framework, implementing the approved learning frameworks

Documentation to support this includes:

• the service’s code of conduct and Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics (2016) are accessible to educators and staff members and are displayed and made available to families
• a handbook or resources for new and existing service staff that includes, the statement of philosophy. position descriptions, professional standards and/or code of conduct

Please note that this is to be used as a general guideline only. Please read the Guide To The NQS for more detailed information of what is required for each standard.

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

Last modified on Saturday, February 3, 2018

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