One of the most rewarding parts of my role as education specialist at EarlyWorks, is hearing the unique stories from the EarlyWorks community of services. Every service has its own set of challenges, and often, what makes a service really stand out, is the way those challenges have been courageously and sensitively addressed. It might be the challenge of providing continuity of staff in a remote location, or the challenge of developing collaborative partnerships when children’s attendance is irregular or achieving community engagement in a very large service. Sometimes we get so tied up in our efforts to address these challenges, we forget to document the amazing work we are doing, or even notice the difference we are making to the lives of the children and families in our service.
As ACECQA point out, the place to tell your unique story, and share the creative ways you are addressing your challenges, is in your service’s QIP. And, EarlyWorks makes it very easy for every educator and administrator to continually add to the QIP evidence list, with the click of a button. And, every educator and administrator can also add their ideas to the QIP strengths and improvements. So rather than the QIP being the sole responsibility of a select few, it becomes a living document that includes the voices of all stakeholders: educators, administrators, families and most importantly, children.
If, for example, an educator plans an experience that builds on a child’s current knowledge or interests, this experience can be added to the QIP evidence list as evidence for QA1.1.2 ‘Each child’s current knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests are the foundation of the program’. The good news is, this can be done literally with the click of one button. Reflections of pedagogy, observations, planned experiences, and journals can all be added to the QIP evidence list in the same way. So, when families’ and children’s voices and documented in observations or reflections of pedagogy, they can be easily added to the service’s QIP on and ongoing basis.
ACECQA also recommends that services share the responsibility of implementing improvement plans and reviewing quality areas. Using EarlyWorks, all educators have access to the Strengths and Improvements, so implementing improvement plans is something all educators can be doing with the support of EarlyWorks.