Standard 4.2: Professionalism


Management, educators and staff are collaborative, respectful and ethical.

How Standard 4.2 contributes to quality education and care

Professionalism is demonstrated when management, educators and other staff develop and maintain relationships with each other that are based on the principles of mutual respect, equity and fairness. Team collaboration that is based on understanding the expectations and attitudes of team members, and build on the strength of each other’s knowledge, help nurture constructive professional relationships. These relationships reduce the likelihood of misunderstanding and conflict. For more information see Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics (2016), a resource that guides the behaviour of early childhood professionals.

When adults communicate effectively and respectfully with each other they promote a positive and calm atmosphere at the service, supporting children to feel safe and secure and contributing to the development of positive relationships between children and educators. Unresolved and poorly managed conflict between adults in the service affects morale and impacts on the provision of quality education and care to children.

Services support staff to act cohesively and ethically as a team and provide an environment that is conducive to children’s learning and development. This may be reflected in the service’s statement of philosophy (see Element 7.1.1).

Questions to guide reflection on practice for Standard 4.2 (for all services)

  • How do we ensure that the service’s statement of philosophy reflects the different views, beliefs and values of the team?
  • How do we acknowledge the personal strengths, professional experiences and diversity that our colleagues bring to our work?
  • What beliefs about relationships between management, educators, co-ordinators and other staff are reflected in our statement of philosophy?
  • How do we promote professionalism, confidentiality and ethical conduct?
  • What strategies have we developed to ensure information is appropriately shared between management and service staff?
  • How do we use critical reflection to challenge our beliefs?
  • How do we promote the personal and collective strengths of our team?
  • How do we share the successes of our team with families?
  • What opportunities do we provide for educators, co-ordinators and other staff to have conversations and discussions to further develop their skills, or to improve practice and relationships? How do we ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and considered?
  • What makes our service a positive place to work?
  • What strategies do we use to find out how staff members feel about/within our team?
  • How effective are the processes we have implemented to resolve any ethical issues that may arise?
  • How regularly do we review Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics (2016) and our own service’s code of conduct and service philosophy to ensure that our practices and policies align with current recognised approaches?