What happens once we have the policies in place? How do we know if they are “lived out” in practice, if they are being understood, and quite simply - if they are even being read?
In our last blog post, we talked about how to lighten the load when it comes to reviewing and implementing policies. But what happens once we have the policies in place? How do we know if they are “lived out” in practice, if they are being understood, and quite simply - if they are even being read?
As an educator, your time is best spent with the children. They are the reason that you do what you do, and so educators often get so caught up in the day-to-day of what they do, that they might not have time to read through the policy manual - particularly if that manual is a large binder containing 100+ documents.
So what happens then? While the general gist of many policies is similar from one service to another, particularly those that directly relate to the Education and Care Services National Regulations, there are bound to be key aspects of the implementation of these policies that are unique to the individual service. When educators are not comfortable with the policies, when they don’t understand what is expected, and how it should be implemented, we leave ourselves open to a poorer quality of service, to the inconsistency of care, and in the handling of various situations. We also run the risk of not being compliant or putting a child, a family, a colleague, or a visitor in danger.
Reflect on these questions:
Families typically have a lot to juggle. They are often coordinating work or study and care responsibilities, and spend short periods of time in our service during drop off and pick up. How often have you told parents about the policy manual knowing that it likely won’t be read? It becomes a challenge. We want families to know and understand our policies and procedures - particularly when it impacts the way in which we care for their children, or how they interact with us as a service provider. But, we need to be mindful of the sheer volume of policies and how we make these available to families in meaningful ways.
Reflect on these questions:
What if you could store your policies in one easy place? Somewhere that is accessible for educators, families, and management. What if the parent who “just wanted to check something” could log on at home after they’d done the dinner, bath, and bedtime routine and view the service policies? What if the educator who was new to the service could see just what was expected of them without wading through a heavy binder?
Sprout makes the policy review and implementation process simpler and gives families and educators easy access via iOS, Android and Web Apps.
You can learn more about the benefits of having Sprout take care of your policies HERE
It's not simply enough to record that there is a hazard - there needs to be a process to report that hazard.
The terms "hazard" and "risk" are used quite a lot in early childhood. But what do they really mean, and what is the difference?
Risk assessments can sometimes feel onerous. There are a multitude of experiences, hazards and events that require risk assessing in our early education and care services and the paperwork can feel a little overwhelming at times. But, we want you to think about risk assessments as being a positive thing.