Exceeding NQS in Quality Area 2: Supervision (Element 2.2.1)

We’ve read over 1,000 pages of ACEQA guides, case studies and content (in September 2023) and have used this information to provide practical steps you can take to attempt to get a rating of Exceeding NQS for your service. We also provide an example weekly schedule for improvement, reflective questions and insights from ACEQA case studies.

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Practical Steps Towards an Exceeding NQS Rating in Quality Area 2: Element 2.2.1

To achieve an Exceeding NQS rating in the National Quality Standard 2.2, specifically for ELEMENT 2.2.1 SUPERVISION, you’ll need to demonstrate that your practices in this area align with the three Exceeding themes provided by ACECQA. Here’s an exhaustive list of practical steps you can take based on each theme:

Theme 1: Embedded in service operations

  1. Consistent Supervision: Ensure that all educators consistently supervise children during all activities, both indoors and outdoors.
  2. Ongoing Training: Regularly train and refresh educators on the importance and methods of effective supervision.
  3. Clear Protocols: Develop and implement clear protocols for supervision, ensuring that all educators are familiar with and adhere to them.
  4. Ratios: Always maintain appropriate educator-to-child ratios to ensure effective supervision.
  5. Risk Management: Regularly assess and update risk management strategies to ensure children are always in a safe environment.
  6. Collaborative Approach: Encourage educators to work collaboratively, supporting each other in their supervisory roles.
  7. Feedback Mechanism: Establish a system for educators to provide feedback on supervision practices, ensuring continuous improvement.

Theme 2: Informed by critical reflection

  1. Regular Reflection Sessions: Schedule regular team meetings where educators can reflect on their supervisory practices.
  2. Document Reflections: Maintain a journal or digital platform where educators can document their reflections on supervision.
  3. Challenge Assumptions: Encourage educators to question and challenge their own assumptions and beliefs about supervision.
  4. Seek External Insights: Invite external experts or consultants to provide insights and feedback on your supervision practices.
  5. Use Incidents as Learning Opportunities: Whenever there’s a supervision-related incident, use it as a learning opportunity. Reflect on what went wrong and how it can be prevented in the future.
  6. Continuous Improvement: Use reflections to drive changes and improvements in supervisory practices.

Theme 3: Shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community

  1. Regular Communication: Keep families informed about your supervision practices and any changes or improvements you’re making.
  2. Seek Feedback: Actively seek feedback from families about their perceptions and expectations regarding supervision.
  3. Community Engagement: Engage with the local community, perhaps by organizing workshops or seminars on child safety and supervision.
  4. Inclusive Practices: Ensure that your supervision practices cater to the diverse needs of all children, including those with additional needs.
  5. Collaborate with Families: Collaborate with families to develop individualized supervision plans for children who might need them.
  6. Open Door Policy: Maintain an open-door policy where families can observe and understand the supervision practices in place.
  7. Community Resources: Utilize community resources, such as local safety organizations, to enhance your supervision practices.

Remember, to be rated Exceeding NQS overall, all Quality Areas must be at least Meeting NQS, and four or more Quality Areas must be Exceeding NQS, with at least two of these being Quality Areas 1, 5, 6, or 7. Always ensure that your practices not only meet but exceed the standards set by ACECQA.

An Example Monthly Schedule

Ready to implement these practical steps in your service? Using the constraints of 4 hours per week to work on improvements, we’ve created an example schedule below.

Given that an educator has only 4 hours per week to work on improving their service, it’s essential to prioritize tasks and spread them out over the month to make the most of the available time. Here’s an example monthly schedule based on the practical steps provided:

Week 1: Focus on Theme 1 – Embedded in service operations

Total Time: 4 hours

  1. Consistent Supervision (1 hour):
    • Review current supervision practices.
    • Identify areas of inconsistency or gaps.
  2. Ongoing Training (1 hour):
    • Research available training resources or courses on effective supervision.
    • Plan a short training session for the team.
  3. Clear Protocols (1 hour):
    • Review existing supervision protocols.
    • Begin drafting improvements or updates.
  4. Feedback Mechanism (1 hour):
    • Design a simple feedback form or system for educators to provide input on supervision practices.

Week 2: Focus on Theme 2 – Informed by critical reflection

Total Time: 4 hours

  1. Regular Reflection Sessions (1 hour):
    • Organize a team meeting focused on reflecting on supervisory practices.
  2. Document Reflections (1 hour):
    • Set up a digital platform or journal for educators to record their reflections.
  3. Challenge Assumptions (1 hour):
    • Individually reflect on personal beliefs about supervision.
    • Document areas for improvement or change.
  4. Use Incidents as Learning Opportunities (1 hour):
    • Review any recent supervision-related incidents.
    • Document lessons learned and potential preventive measures.

Week 3: Focus on Theme 3 – Shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community

Total Time: 4 hours

  1. Regular Communication (1 hour):
    • Draft a newsletter or communication to families about current supervision practices.
  2. Seek Feedback (1 hour):
    • Design a feedback form for families regarding their perceptions of supervision.
  3. Community Engagement (1 hour):
    • Research local community events or workshops related to child safety.
    • Plan attendance or participation.
  4. Inclusive Practices (1 hour):
    • Review current practices to ensure they cater to all children’s diverse needs.
    • Identify areas for improvement.

Week 4: Implementation and Review

Total Time: 4 hours

  1. Implement Changes (2 hours):
    • Begin implementing changes or improvements identified in the previous weeks.
  2. Review and Reflect (1 hour):
    • Reflect on the changes made and their impact on supervision practices.
  3. Plan for Next Month (1 hour):
    • Based on reflections and feedback, plan the focus areas for the next month.

This schedule provides a structured approach for the educator to work on improving their service in a limited timeframe. Adjustments can be made based on specific needs and priorities.

Reflective Questions

Reflective questions are essential for deepening understanding and improving practices. For Element 2.2.1, which focuses on supervision, here’s an exhaustive list of reflective questions to guide reflection:

Understanding and Awareness:

  1. What do I understand by effective supervision in the context of my service?
  2. How do I perceive my role and responsibilities in ensuring effective supervision?
  3. How does my understanding of supervision align with the National Quality Standard?

Current Practices:

  1. How do I currently supervise children during different activities?
  2. Are there times or situations where I feel supervision is more challenging? Why?
  3. How do I ensure that all children, including those with additional needs, are effectively supervised?
  4. What strategies do I use to maintain focus and avoid distractions while supervising?

Collaboration and Teamwork:

  1. How do I collaborate with other educators to ensure continuous supervision?
  2. Are there communication strategies in place among the team to support effective supervision?
  3. How do we handle transitions or shifts to ensure children are always supervised?

Training and Development:

  1. What training have I received related to supervision, and how has it influenced my practices?
  2. Are there areas in supervision where I feel I need further training or support?

Feedback and Improvement:

  1. How do I seek feedback on my supervisory practices from colleagues, families, and children?
  2. Are there recent incidents or near-misses that highlighted areas of improvement in supervision?
  3. How have I acted upon feedback or incidents to improve my supervision practices?

Engagement with Families and Community:

  1. How do I communicate the importance of effective supervision to families?
  2. Are there community resources or experts I can engage with to enhance my understanding and practices related to supervision?

Personal Reflection:

  1. Are there personal biases or beliefs that influence my supervisory practices?
  2. How do I handle situations when I feel overwhelmed or distracted while supervising?
  3. How do I ensure I remain vigilant and proactive in my supervisory role?

Future Planning:

  1. What goals have I set for myself to improve my supervisory practices in the coming months?
  2. Are there tools, resources, or strategies I plan to explore to enhance supervision?
  3. How do I plan to stay updated with best practices and guidelines related to supervision?

Broader Perspective:

  1. How does effective supervision contribute to the overall well-being and safety of children in our service?
  2. How does our service’s philosophy and values align with our supervisory practices?

Using these reflective questions, educators can critically analyze their supervisory practices, identify areas of strength and improvement, and plan for continuous professional development.

Learning from ACEQA case studies

Based on these case studies, here are the 5 most important practical steps that services have taken to achieve Exceeding NQS standards in Element 2.2.1:

Case Study 1: Preschool/Kindergarten Service in a Remote Location

This preschool / kindergarten service catering for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, is situated in a school setting in a remote location several hours drive from the nearest city. The service is surrounded on three sides by bushland, which poses increased risks during the bushfire season. Additionally, many family members volunteer as firefighters at this time.

  1. Developing Detailed Emergency Procedures:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: The service collaborated with various stakeholders to create comprehensive emergency procedures tailored to their unique challenges.
    • Tips for Implementation: Engage with local experts, families, and community members to understand the specific risks of your location and develop procedures accordingly.
    • Estimated Time: 2-4 weeks for initial development, with regular reviews.
  2. Regular and Specific Training for Staff:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: All staff receive induction training specific to child safety and emergency management, ensuring clarity in roles and responsibilities.
    • Tips for Implementation: Organize regular training sessions and Q&A discussions to reinforce knowledge and address any uncertainties.
    • Estimated Time: 1 week for initial training, with annual refreshers.
  3. Regular Emergency Drills and Reflection:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: Drills are conducted regularly, with critical reflections to identify areas of improvement.
    • Tips for Implementation: Schedule drills at consistent intervals and facilitate post-drill discussions to gather feedback and insights.
    • Estimated Time: 1-2 hours per drill, with additional time for reflection.
  4. Engaging Families in Emergency Procedures:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: Families are informed and consulted about emergency procedures, ensuring a collaborative approach to safety.
    • Tips for Implementation: Use multiple communication channels to keep families updated and seek their input on procedures.
    • Estimated Time: 1 week for initial communication, with regular updates.
  5. Transport Safety Procedures:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: The service has specific procedures for transporting children safely during emergencies.
    • Tips for Implementation: Develop clear protocols for checking attendance, supervising children during transport, and ensuring all children are safely accounted for.
    • Estimated Time: 1 week for development and training.

Case Study 2: OSHC Service Championing Children’s Rights

This outside school hours care (OSHC) service is situated on the grounds of the local school in a small regional town. Both the service and the school are well known within the community for championing children’s rights. Upholding children’s rights is a critical consideration in the service’s philosophy, which recognises and celebrates children’s competence and capabilities, and welcomes and respects their ideas and opinions.

  1. Involving Children in Risk-Benefit Assessments:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: Children actively participate in planning and evaluating emergency procedures, recognizing their competence.
    • Tips for Implementation: Engage children in discussions about risks and benefits, and incorporate their feedback into safety procedures.
    • Estimated Time: 1-2 weeks for initial discussions and assessments.
  2. First Aid Training for Children:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: The service organized first aid training for children, empowering them with essential safety skills.
    • Tips for Implementation: Collaborate with local health professionals or organizations to provide age-appropriate first aid training.
    • Estimated Time: 1 week for organization and execution.
  3. Engaging Families in Risk-Benefit Discussions:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: The service actively sought feedback from families on risk-benefit analyses, promoting a shared understanding of safety.
    • Tips for Implementation: Create interactive displays or feedback mechanisms to gather family insights on risk and play.
    • Estimated Time: 1-2 weeks for setup and feedback collection.
  4. Collaborative Projects with the Community:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: The service collaborated with local organizations, like the men’s shed, for community projects promoting safety.
    • Tips for Implementation: Identify local organizations or groups that can offer expertise or collaboration opportunities related to child safety.
    • Estimated Time: 2-4 weeks for project planning and execution.
  5. Revisiting Key Policies with Staff:
    • Reason for Exceeding NQS: The service ensured all educators were clear on key policies related to child safety and participation.
    • Tips for Implementation: Organize regular team meetings to review and discuss key policies, ensuring a shared understanding.
    • Estimated Time: 1 week for review and discussion sessions.

These steps, derived from the case studies, offer practical insights into achieving Exceeding NQS standards in Element 2.2.1. The estimated times are approximations and may vary based on the specific context and resources of each service.



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