The National Quality Framework
The National Quality Framework (NQF) for early childhood education and care, introduced across Australia in 2012 sets a strong foundation for early childhood educators to embrace cultural diversity, build cultural competence and include principles that advance the rights of the children within their services. Under the NQF all services are assessed against the National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care and School Age Care.
The National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care and School Age Care consists of seven quality areas, 18 standards and 58 elements.
The seven quality areas in the National Quality Standard are:
1. Educational program and practice;
2. Children's health and safety;
3. Physical environment;
4. Staffing arrangements;
5. Relationships with children;
6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities;
7.Leadership and service management.
The quality areas are aspects of service provision which are critical to quality to making early education and care services and outside school hours care services as high a quality as possible.
The standards under each quality area outline what services have to do to meet the standard. These are the essential requirements your service has to meet.
Each standard has a number of elements. The elements demonstrate how the standard is expressed in quality practice.
Quality area six is the key to this module. it focuses on collaborative relationships with families that are fundamental to achieving quality outcomes for children and community partnerships that are based on active communication, consultation and collaboration.
Quality Area 6: Standards and elements
Standard 6.1 Respectful and supportive relationships with families are developed and maintained.
Element 6.1.1 There is an effective enrolment and orientation process for families.
Element 6.1.2 Families have opportunities to be involved in the service and contribute to service decisions.
Element 6.1.3 Current information about the service is available to families.
Standard 6.2 Families are supported in their parenting role and their values and beliefs about childrearing are respected.
Element 6.2.1 The expertise of families is recognised and they share in decision making about their child's learning and wellbeing.
Element 6.2.2 Current information is available to families about community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.
Standard 6.3 The service collaborates with other organisations and service providers to enhance children's learning and wellbeing.
Element 6.3.1 Links with relevant community and support agencies are established and maintained.
Element 6.3.2 Continuity of learning and transitions for each child are supported by sharing relevant information and clarifying responsibilities.
Element 6.3.3 Access to inclusion and support assistance is facilitated.
Element 6.3.4 The service builds relationships and engages with the local community.