Reflection Questions for Quality Area 4

Reflection helps us understand where we are, where we've come from and helps us clarify where we'd like to go... 

The aim of Quality Area 4 under the National Quality Standard is to ensure the provision of qualified and experienced educators, coordinators and nominated supervisors who are able to develop warm, respectful relationships with children, create safe and predictable environments and encourage children’s active engagement in the learning program.

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

  • Element 4.1.1 - Organisation of educators: The organisation of educators across the service supports children's learning and development.
  • Element 4.1.2 - Continuity of staff: Every effort is made for children to experience continuity of educators at the service.

Questions to guide reflection on practice for Standard 4.1

• How do our staffing arrangements support each child’s learning and development?
• How do our staffing arrangements support educators to direct their full attention to their work with children, including getting to know each child?
• How do our staffing arrangements support the consistent practice, including staff members’ and children’s transitions?
• How does our staffing roster support continuity of care and positive experiences for children on a day-to-day basis?
• How do we inform children and families when an educator is on leave and who will be working with them instead?
• How do we facilitate children’s and families’ familiarity with relief staff?
• How do we support relief staff to learn about and understand the service’s policies, processes?
• How do our staffing arrangements support educators to develop positive and respectful relationships with families?
• How do we provide feedback and support to educators so that they continue to learn and feel fulfilled, resulting in continuity of educators over time?
• How do we engage in reflective practice to support and encourage each other, support ongoing learning and focus on quality improvement?
• Do our service’s procedures support families to access alternative care when their usual educator is unavailable at short notice?
• What arrangements are in place to ensure that our principal office can support educators and families when children are in care overnight and at weekends?
• How do we communicate with educators and with families when there is a change of coordinator(s) at the service?

Questions to guide reflection on practice for Standard 4.2

• How do we ensure that the service’s statement of philosophy reflects the different views, beliefs and values of the team?
• How do we acknowledge the personal strengths, professional experiences and diversity that our colleagues bring to our work?
• What beliefs about relationships between management, educators, coordinators and other staff are reflected in our statement of philosophy?
• How do we promote professionalism, confidentiality and ethical conduct?
• What strategies have we developed to ensure information is appropriately shared between management and service staff?
• How do we use critical reflection to challenge our beliefs?
• How do we promote the personal and collective strengths of our team?
• How do we share the successes of our team with families?
• What opportunities do we provide for educators, co-ordinators and other staff to have conversations and discussions to further develop their skills, or to improve practice and relationships? How do we ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and considered?
• What makes our service a positive place to work?
• What strategies do we use to find out how staff members feel about/within our team?
• How effective are the processes we have implemented to resolve any ethical issues that may arise?
• How regularly do we review Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics (2016) and our own service’s code of conduct and service philosophy to ensure that our practices and policies align with current recognised approaches?


References for Quality Area 4: Staffing arrangements + Further Reading

The Guide to the NQS chapter, within the Guide to the NQF, draws from a number of useful resources and publications. These are listed below for further reading.  

Quality Area 4: Staffing arrangements

  • Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (2011). National Quality Standard Resource List, retrieved 14 September 2017 from http://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf/national-quality-standard/quality-area-4-s… last updated 2016. 
  • Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2009). Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.
  • Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2010). Educators Belonging, Being and Becoming: Educators’ Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.
  • Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2011). My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia.
  • Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2012). Educators My Time, Our Place: Educators’ Guide to the Framework for School Age Care in Australia.
  • Baptiste, N., & Reyes, L.V. (2005). Understanding Ethics in Early Care and Education, Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Chan, M., Chng, A., Wong, D. & Waniganayake, M. (2010). Developing Inclusive Relationships Among Early Childhood Staff, retrieved 17 August 2017 from www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/our-publications/every-child-magazin… 
  • Community Child Care Victoria (2012). Creating positive workplace relations: Self-guided learning package, retrieved 5 January 2021 from https://www.acecqa.gov.au/media/31421 
  • Dali, C., & Urban, M. (Eds.) (2010). Professionalism in Early Childhood Education and Care: International Perspectives, Routledge, New York, NY.
  • Early Childhood Australia (2016). The Code of Ethics, Canberra, Australia.
  • Early Childhood Australia (2017). A Voice for Young Children, retrieved 19 September 2017 from http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/ 
  • Jorde Bloom, P. (2015). Blueprint for Action: Achieving Center-Based Change through Staff Development (3rd ed.), New Horizons, Far Hills, NJ.

Want to learn more? Head over to our next blog: Reflection Questions for Quality Area 5

References for this Publication:

Quality Area 4 – Staffing arrangements | ACECQA

The Guide to the National Quality Standard

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