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Spotlight on QA4

Solving staffing struggles

How do I tackle and tame Quality Area 4?

Experienced educators who develop warm relationships with children, create predictable environments and encourage children to be actively involved in the learning program are at the heart of Quality Area Four. 

Our team of education experts at Sprout have created the following helpful hints and tips to help services shine when it comes to working with one another in a collaborative and ethical culture where professional standards guide all aspects of practice - why not print out this article, and walk around your service finding evidence that all these things are in play?

Ten questions to ask yourself for getting your staffing to work at your service

What do you stand for? Do your people reflect that?

Take a look at your philosophy. Are the people in your team in line with what your service believes? Do you use your philosophy when recruiting? How can you find the ‘best fit’ using the philosophy as a tool? 

Are your teams in the right spot?

How your educators are organised during the day isn’t just about ratio being maintained - it’s also about supporting children’s learning and development. Is everyone in the best spot for them? For the children? 

Beginnings and endings

Reflect on who the staff at the start and end of the day are - these are the people creating lasting impressions for your families. Are they your top communicators? 

Remember your relief staff

Do you have procedures and documentation to support your relievers to learn about the service’s processes, routines, families and children. Is it used, consistently, by everyone?

Focus on first aid

Your documentation and rosters should clearly demonstrate that the service is meeting staffing requirements at all times, including having a first-aid-qualified (and confident) staff member on duty at all times.

Keep the continuity

Wherever possible, children should know who to expect when they walk in the room each day. If you’ve experienced high staff turnover, consider the ‘why’. Do you conduct exit interviews, to find out why people are REALLY leaving? 

Mutual respect

One core element of QA 4 centres on management, educators and staff working with mutual respect and collaboratively, challenging and learning from each other, recognising each other’s strengths and skills - how is this demonstrated in your space? 

Onboarding...how does it feel to be new here?

Put yourself in the position of a new employee: what processes and systems do you have in place to make sure they feel welcome, and have what they need to be successful? More than a policy or checklist, what practices say ‘we are happy you are here?

Undercover boss - are your leaders willing to jump in and ‘do the hard yards?’

Sharing tasks and responsibilities is important, but that has to come from the top. When things get rough, are your leaders on the front line? Why/why not? 

What drives practice?

If it’s not notions of care, empathy and respect for children, not just on paper, but shown in daily practice, QA 4 will be hard to meet. Think deeply about how you demonstrate these qualities in the day to day operations of the service. 

Want a guide of all relevant theorists?

Sprout's free guide of Theorists in Early Education takes you and your team through the most relevant theorists in early education in Australia and how they shape our practice.

Download Guide
A guide to theorists in early education

Need Additional Information?

Need more ideas about how to make QA 4 amazing? Check out the Self Assessment tool from ACECQA which will give guidance for success in all 7 quality areas. 

For specific support around QA 4, try this video from the ACECQA YouTube channel, or this article, which demonstrates how one service demonstrated all the exceeding themes during assessment and rating. 

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