Did you know that according to the Queensland Government Education Department, “r170 Policies and Procedures to be followed” was amongst the top five regulatory breaches in the long daycare sector in the state, over the last three quarters? Why is that? Why is it so tricky to follow the policies and procedures that we have in our services?
Did you know that according to the Queensland Government Education Department, “r170 Policies and Procedures to be followed” was amongst the top five regulatory breaches in the long daycare sector in the state, over the last three quarters?
Why is that? Why is it so tricky to follow the policies and procedures that we have in our services?
When a new educator commences at a service, they should be given substantial time to read and understand the service policies. Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case. Due to workforce shortages, the employment and induction of educators (both permanent and casual) is often a hurried process. We need these people in the room, interacting with children, not holed up in the office with their heads in a policy manual. The challenge arises though when educators respond to situations or engage in practice that contradicts the policies and procedures of the service - not typically because they want to be oppositional, but because they simply do not understand the service policies. While many service policies - particularly those prescribed in the Education and Care Services National Regulations - will contain the same core elements from service to service, the unique context of each service will mean that there will be differences in the way the policy is enacted, and this could become problematic for educators.
As a sector, we need to advocate for time. Time is one of our biggest assets, and one of the things that educators and nominated supervisors say that they lack the most. We need to ensure that adequate time is provided for everyone to be familiar with the specifics of service policies and procedures.
We need to get into the habit of ensuring that our day-to-day practice is what it states in our policies and procedures. If it’s not, why not? Is it that the day-to-day practice has evolved and emerged as a better way of working? If so, then we need to review and amend our policy. If it’s that we’ve become too comfortable or lax and are finding the “shortcuts” but the policy still outlines the appropriate practice, then we need to take a look at our attitudes and work culture. Perhaps some of our educators are experiencing burnout, or need a refresher in training or a little extra support.
It is vital that what we do, is what we say we do!
One of the biggest issues that services face during their compliance checks is that their policy review process has lapsed and that updated information has not been included. This could be as simple as new recognised safety guidance around sleep safety not being included in the sleep and rest policy.
Having a system of policy review in place that can be followed by all staff is often tricky. It requires a lot of organisation and tracking and cross-checking. When we get behind in our policy review, it can be easy to miss an important update.
What if it could be easier to ensure that your policies were always up to date?
What if it could be easier to ensure that educators are familiar with policies and can easily access them when needed?
What if it could be easier to write policies and procedures that ensure compliance with the regulations?
With Sprouts Policies Feature and our new Policies + offering, policy development, review and implementation is about to get a whole lot easier.
We want you to be connecting, playing, exploring, documenting learning, discovering new ways of being with children - so, let us take care of the policies.
Find out more about how Sprout does Policies HERE
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