ACECQA Newsletter Issue 11 2018

Two small children and a male educator playing with wooden cars and track

Articulating practice – bigger than the sum of the words

Speaking with confidence and knowledge about your service is a responsibility of all educators. It informs and reassures families, and explains your service and its quality to the NQF regulatory authority. Articulating professional values, knowledge and practice is also an ethical responsibility and an important component of the communication that exists within services. It also has the potential to raise awareness of the importance of quality programs for children in the early years. But what is meant by the term ‘articulating practice’ and how does it contribute to the promotion of quality education and care?

‘Articulation’ is generally taken to mean the act of expressing something in a coherent, understood way. Articulation of quality professional practice, however, encompasses much more than that, and extends far beyond wordage. It involves reflection and deep-seated awareness of how professional knowledge and skills, values systems and beliefs (and their theoretical perspectives), personal styles, and past experiences and understanding of children, families and communities weave together to underpin both the intention and enactment of professional decision making and practice.

Reflecting on the intent and purpose behind your practice can help you develop a sense of confidence to communicate about programs and practice to your education and care community (children, families, colleagues, local community members) as well as other stakeholders such as assessors.  This can support conversations about ‘why’ and ‘how’ professional judgements are made and how they contribute to quality outcomes for children and families.

Articulating practice can assist in building a vision for children’s learning that is shared within your education and care community and improve awareness about the contribution of high quality education and care to positive outcomes for children. It can promote increased appreciation of the importance of childhood and education and care on the education continuum, while adding voice to the professionalism of the sector and the influential work of educational leaders, educators and staff.

Articulating practice is far greater than the sum of its words. As education and care professionals, it is worth considering how your articulation of practice communicates a professional valuing and advocacy of quality education and care, while contributing to raising the profile of the sector. The Guide to the National Quality Framework can assist in identifying key issues to discuss – or articulate – to demonstrate how the standards are being met.

Reflective questions

  • How do I prepare for discussing our programs, practices and policies with families, other educators and an authorised officer? 
  • What is the intent behind my practice and how does it contribute to quality outcomes for children? 
  • Can I confidently explain the ‘why’ and what process or information has shaped this decision?
  • How can Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics support me as I discuss my professional practice?
  • Who will I approach within my service to help guide the development of my articulation skills?
  • How can I encourage others to develop their own skills in articulating their practice?

Further reading and resources

ACECQA – Guide to the National Quality Framework

Early Childhood Australia – Code of Ethics

We Hear You – Exceeding the National Quality standard and articulating professional practice

Meet the ACECQA team – Qualifications Assessment

ACECQA Qualifications Assessment team member assessing qualifications

Under the National Law, ACECQA is responsible for determining the qualifications required for educators and early childhood teachers in National Quality Framework approved education and care services, including the assessment of equivalent qualifications.

This month, We Hear You speaks with our Qualifications Assessment team about their frontline work assessing education and care qualifications from around the globe.  

Update to the Guide to the National Quality Framework

Cover of the updated Guide to the National Quality Framework

The Guide to the National Quality Framework has been updated and is now available on the ACECQA website.

Minor updates reflect changes to the National Law and Regulations in Western Australia from 1 October and clarify some other guidance.

The ‘Changes to the Guide’ table on the ACECQA website lists these minor updates in a print-friendly PDF. If you’re using a hard copy of the Guide, you may wish to place this within the inside cover for easy reference.

The Guide is designed as an online PDF document. Along with ensuring that you will always be referring to the latest version of the Guide, another benefit of using the online PDF is quickly and easily searching for content by keyword(s).

Enhancements to the national registers and Starting Blocks

Three school age girls sitting on yellow stools and painting a large mural

The national registers contain information about approved education and care services and providers. These registers are updated daily from data held in the National Quality Agenda IT System

This month, we made improvements to the information we publish on the national registers and Starting Blocks. These registers now outline the nature of the education and care provided by centre-based services under category sub-types, including long day care, preschool/kindergarten (part of a school, standalone) and outside school hours care (before school, after school, vacation care). Additionally, the national registers have been improved to include the previous quality rating of a service alongside its current rating.

These enhancements allow families and others with an interest in a service to determine the specific nature of the education and care and any approved changes to sub-types. Parents and carers may also find this information useful when selecting an education and care service for their child.

ACECQA is continually looking at other ways to publish more information in line with the requirements and objectives of the National Law, as well as the reporting capability of our IT systems.

If you have any ideas about information we could publish, please contact [email protected].

AITSL national review of teacher registration report  

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) logo

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) recently released the report on its national review of teacher registration – One Teaching Profession: Teacher Registration in Australia. The review, which was commissioned by all of Australia’s Education Ministers, considered a number of aspects including improving teacher registration arrangements in Australia, early childhood teacher registration and VET teacher registration.

The report sets out 17 recommendations that provide practical strategies for supporting and strengthening teacher quality, the safety of children, the professional growth and recognition of teachers, and streamlining teacher registration nationally.

The two recommendations specific to the early childhood education and care sector are:

  • the registration of all early childhood teachers (regardless of their employment setting) by teacher regulatory authorities under a consistent national approach
  • the amendment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers to ensure their relevance and applicability to early childhood teachers and their practice and employment settings.

Review panel member and ACECQA CEO, Gabrielle Sinclair, said making teacher registration universal for all early childhood teachers is a critical step towards the recognition of the importance of early childhood development and education in Australia.

“We know that well qualified and experienced early childhood teachers make a critical contribution to the quality of children’s early development and preparation for lifelong learning,” Ms Sinclair said. “Recognising all early childhood teachers as part of the profession through registration is an important step in acknowledging their status in the education sector.”

More information and the full report are available on the AITSL website.

Latest ACECQA Enquiries customer survey   

Two young girls inspecting objects with magnifying glasses

ACECQA runs a regular enquiries survey to track the experience of those seeking assistance and information. This feedback helps us assess our performance and identify any areas to improve for the sector, families and stakeholders.

In the most recent survey, we received positive feedback about staff knowledge and friendliness. The ACECQA Enquiries team answers questions about the National Law and Regulations, including questions on qualifications and ratio requirements, and directs service staff and providers to useful resources. Each state and territory regulatory authority is responsible for answering enquiries about provider and service approvals, assessment and rating visits, and compliance issues.

You can contact the ACECQA Enquiries Team on 1300 422 327 or email [email protected].

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