Reflection Questions for Quality Area 7: Governance and Leadership
Whether you are reflecting on yourself or reflecting on others, reflective practices provide you with an opportunity to learn and draw open diverse knowledge, views, experiences, views and attitudes within yourself and others.
The following questions are to be used as a guide for reflecting on each of the standards within Quality Area 7. Use the information from these questions to recognize good practice or to change and improve what is not working well. It can also be used as part of Self-Assessment or Quality Improvement Plan.
Standard 7.1 Governance Governance supports the operation of a quality service.
Element 7.1.1 Service philosophy and purpose: A statement of philosophy guides all aspects of the service’s operations.
Element 7.1.2 Management systems: Systems are in place to manage risk and enable the effective management and operation of a quality service.
Element 7.1.3 Roles and responsibilities: Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, and understood, and support effective decision-making and operation of the service.
Questions to guide reflection on practice for Standard 7.1
- What are the strengths of our management and administration systems that contribute to delivering a quality service for children and their families?
- How does our service’s governance contribute to the development of a service vision and purpose?
- How do we determine the appropriate management and governance structure at our service?
- How do we support the development of effective leaders at the service?
- What is the process for making decisions within the service and is this process fair and equitable?
- How can we improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our systems and processes?
- Does our management of confidential information meet requirements?
- To what extent does our statement of philosophy reflect our purpose, guide our practice and show a commitment to continuous improvement?
- How and when is our statement of philosophy reviewed?
- How do we address complaints? How is the complaints management process used to identify strategies for quality improvement?
- Is our complaints management system/process effective in supporting quality improvement and empowering families to express their concerns and suggestions?
- How can we ensure that families are able to contact the appropriate person when making a complaint?
- What systems are in place to ensure the service’s compliance with the National Law and Regulations?
- What systems are in place to regularly check the currency and validity of working with children checks, teaching registrations, first aid qualifications, and anaphylaxis and asthma management training?
- How and when are our policies and procedures reviewed?
- What systems are in place to ensure policies and procedures are being used to inform practice and is this information being communicated to families in respectful ways?
- How does the service involve stakeholders in consultation, evaluation and advisory processes?
- What information is provided to families about our governance structures?
Standard 7.2 Leadership Effective leadership builds and promotes a positive organisational culture and professional learning community.
Element 7.2.1 Continuous improvement There is an effective self-assessment and quality improvement process in place.
Element 7.2.2 Educational leadership The educational leader is supported and leads the development and implementation of the educational program and assessment and planning cycle.
Element 7.2.3 Development of professionals Educators, co-ordinators and staff members’ performance is regularly evaluated and individual plans are in place to support learning and development.
Questions to guide reflection on practice for Standard 7.2
- How is the leadership in our service contributing to the development of a positive organisational culture?
- How can we develop the skills and capacity of team members in a way that leads to improved shared leadership?
- How are we creating opportunities for professional conversations?
- How do our performance management processes support continuous improvement?
- How can we share the collective knowledge of the team?
- What do we know about the rate of, and reasons for, turnover of educators, coordinators and staff members at this service?
- How can we structure our staffing arrangements to improve continuity of care for children?
- How does the evidence/data we collect inform our self-assessment and quality improvement processes? Do we need to collect additional or different data?
- How are children, families and communities included in evaluating the quality of our service?
- In what ways does our service analyse feedback, complaints, serious incidents, injuries and illness to drive continuous improvement?
- How are resources allocated and targeted to support our quality improvement plan?
- How do we raise awareness of inclusion amongst service staff, and support educators to promote and reduce the barriers to inclusion for all children and families?
- What strategies are proving successful in building a professional learning community? How do we know they are successful
- How can we use the Assessment and Rating Instrument in our self-assessment process?
- How can the guiding principles of the National Law be considered in our self-assessment process?
References for Quality Area 7: Governance and Leadership + Further Reading
- Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (2019). The Educational Leader Resource, retrieved 22 March 2019 from https://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/educational-leadership#TELR
- Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (2011). National Quality Standard Resource list: Leadership and Service management, retrieved 14 September 2017 from www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf/national-quality-standard/quality-area-7-leadersh…, last updated 2016.
- Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (2016). Occasional Paper 4, retrieved 19 September 2017 from http://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/research#OP, last updated 2017.
- Australian Council for Educational Leaders (2010). ACEL Leadership Capability Framework, Australian Council for Educational Leaders, Sydney, Australia.
- 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.
- Bloom, P. (2011). Circle of influence: Implementing Shared Decision Making and Participative Management (2nd ed.), New Horizons, Far Hills, NJ.
- Bush, T. & Middlewood, D. (2013). Leading and Managing People in Education (3rd ed.), Sage, London, England.
- Carter, M. & Curtis, D. (2009). The Visionary Director: A Handbook for Dreaming, Organizing, and Improvising in Your Center (2nd ed.), Redleaf Press, St. Paul, MN.
- Clarkin-Phillips, J. (2011). Distributed Leadership: Growing Strong Communities of Practice in Early Childhood Centres, Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice, 26(2), 14-25.
- Colmer, K., Waniganayake, M. & Field, L. (2014). Leading Professional Learning in Early Childhood Centres: Who are the Educational leaders? Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 39(4), 103-113.
- Diamond, A. (2014). Pre-Service Early Childhood Educators’ Leadership Development through Reflective Engagement with Experiential Service Learning and Leadership Literature, Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 39(4), 12-20.
- Dockett, S. & Perry, B. (2014). Continuity of Learning: A Resource to Support Effective Transition to School and School Age Care, Australian Government Department of Education, Canberra, Australia.
- Education Council (2017). Decision Regulation Impact Statement for Changes to the National Quality Framework, COAG Education Council, Melbourne, VIC. Retrieved 20 September 2017 from http://scseec.edu.au/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/documents/Reports%20an…
- Fenech, S. (2013). Leadership Development during Times of Reform, Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(1), 89-94.
- Fleet, A., Soper, R., Semann, A. & Madden, L. (2015). The Role of the Educational Leader: Perceptions and Expectations in a Period of Change, Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 40(3), 29-37.
- Gibbs, L. (2008). Policy Development in Early Childhood Settings: From Idea to Evaluation, Pademelon Press, Kiama, Australia.
- Grarock, M. & Morrissey, A.M. (2013). Teachers’ Perceptions of their Abilities to be Educational Leaders in Victorian Childcare Settings, Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(2), 4-12.
- Hadley, F., Waniganayake, M. & Shepherd, W. (2015). Contemporary Practice in Professional Learning and Development of Early Childhood Educators in Australia: Reflections on What Works and Why, Professional Development in Education. Special issue: The Professional Development of Early Years Educators, 41(2), 187-202, doi: 10.1080/19415257.2014.9868182700.
- Harris, A. (2004). Distributed Leadership and School Improvement: Leading or Misleading? Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 32(1), 11-24.
- Heikka, J., & Waniganayake, M. (2011). Pedagogical Leadership from a Distributed Perspective within the Context of Early Childhood Education, International Journal of Leadership in Education, 14(4), 499-512.
- Jor’dan, J., Muñoz, M., Figlar, M. & O’Connell Rust, F. (2013). Creating Space: Leader Development in Early Childhood Education. Young Children, 62-66.
- Krieg, S., Davis, K, & Smith, K.A. (2014). Exploring the Dance of Early Childhood Educational Leadership, Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 39(1), 73-80.
- Leithwood, K., Day, C., Sammons, P., Harris, A., & Hopkins, D. (2006). Successful School Leadership. What it is and How it Influences Pupil Learning, National College for School Leadership, Nottingham, England.
- Lewis, J. & Hill, J. (2012). What Does Leadership Look Like in Early Childhood Settings? Every Child, 18(4), 10-11.
- Macfarlane, K., Cartmel, J. & Nolan, A. (2012). Developing and Sustaining Pedagogical Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care Professionals, Australian Learning and Teaching Council, Melbourne, Australia.
- McCrea, N.L. (2015). Leading and Managing Early Childhood Settings: Inspiring People, Places and Practices, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Australia.
- Melbourne Graduate School of Education (2016). The E4Kids study: Assessing the effectiveness of Australian Early Childhood Education and Care programs – Overview of Findings at 2016, p.32, retrieved 20 September 2017 from https://education.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/2929452/E4…
- Muijs, D., Aubrey, C., Harris, A. & Briggs, M. (2004). How Do They Manage? A Review of the Research on Leadership in Early Childhood, Journal of Early Childhood Research, 2(2), 157-169.
- Organisation for Economic Control and Development (2011). Starting Strong III: A Quality Toolbox for Early Childhood Education and Care, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France.
- Organisation for Economic Control and Development (2015). Starting Strong IV: Monitoring Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France.
- Organisation for Economic Control and Development (2017). Starting Strong V: Transitions from Early Childhood Education and Care to Primary Education, Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France.
- Page, J., Pilsworth, N., Pupillo, G., Russell, A. & Sabo, R. (2017). Educational Leadership: Making a Difference to Children’s Learning and Development, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Melbourne, Australia.
- Rodd, J. (2015). Leadership in Early Childhood: The Pathway to Professionalism (4th ed.), Allen & Unwin, Sydney, Australia.
- Simoncini, K. & Lasen, M. (2012). Support for Quality Delivery of Outside School Hours Care: A Case Study, Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(2), 82-94.
- Sims, M., Forrest, R., Semann, A. & Slattery, C. (2015). Conceptions of Early Childhood Leadership: Driving New Professionalism? International Journal of Leadership and Education, 18(2), 149-166.
- Sims, M. & Waniganayake, M. (2015). The Role of Staff in Quality Improvement in Early Childhood, Journal of Education and Training Studies, 3(5): 187 -194. doi:10.11114/jets.v3i5.942
- Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Taggart, B. (Eds.) (2010). Evidence from the Effective Pre-school and Primary Education Project, Early Childhood Matters, 8, 149-164, Routledge, Oxford, England.
- Stamopoulus, E. (2012). Reframing Early Childhood Leadership. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(2), 42-48.
- Sylva, L., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Taggart, B. (2004). The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education, Project Technical Paper 12: The Final Report, Effective Pre-School Education, Institute of Education, University of London, London, England.
- Taylor, C. (2016). E4Kids Research Program, Overview of Findings, retrieved 18 August 2017 from http://education.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/2310907/E4K…
- Waniganayake, M. (2014). Being and Becoming Early Childhood Leaders: Reflections on Leadership Studies in Early Childhood Education and Future Leadership Research Agenda. Journal of Early Childhood Education Research, 3(1), 65-81.
- Waniganayake, M., Cheeseman, S., Fenech, M., Hadley, F. & Shepherd, W. (2017). Leadership: Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood Education (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Australia.
- Waniganayake, M., Rodd, J., & Gibbs, L. (2015). Thinking and Learning about Leadership: Early Childhood research from Australia, Finland and Norway, Community Child Care Co-operative, Sydney, Australia.