Exceeding guidance for Standard 6.1: Supportive relationships with families


The following guidance is questions for services to ask of their own practice to consider whether their service Exceeds the NQS in Standard 6.1.

Authorised officers determine the rating of each Standard by considering each theme in relation to each Standard descriptor.
For further information on the three Exceeding themes, including what authorised officers consider when reviewing whether evidence demonstrates a theme, see Exceeding NQS theme guidance.
You can find case studies describing examples of practice for this Standard at https://www.acecqa.gov.au/assessment/exceeding-themes

Questions to guide reflection on practice for Standard 6.1

Exceeding theme 1: Practice is embedded in service operations

  • How do educators, the educational leader, and the co-ordinator demonstrate a deep understanding of the requirements of the Standard, concepts and the component elements, and a commitment to high quality practice at all times?
  • How are educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader:
    • engaging collaboratively and respectfully with families from enrolment and orientation to learn about their expertise, culture, values and beliefs and priorities for their child’s learning and wellbeing?
    • consistently supporting families to participate in the service, make meaningful contributions to service decisions, and share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing?
    • regularly providing families with comprehensive, current and accessible information about the service, relevant community services, and resourcing to support parenting and family wellbeing?
    • recognising the leading role of families in their children’s wellbeing and development?
  • Across the service, how does the observed and discussed approach to building respectful and supportive relationships with families demonstrate a strong commitment to the principles and practices of the approved learning framework/s, and align with the educational program, the service’s statement of philosophy, and the enrolment and orientation process?

Exceeding theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection

  • How is the service’s approach to supporting relationships with families:

    • reflective of robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and informed by critical reflection and past incidents?
    • informed by current recognised guidance on supporting relationships with families?
  • Are any changes to the service’s approach to supportive relationships with families understood by all and implemented appropriately?
  • How do educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader:
    • intentionally consider alternate ways of engaging with families and supporting their participation at the service, and make changes where opportunities to further enhance children’s and families’ outcomes are identified?
    • explain how ongoing engagement with families influences the design and delivery of the educational program?
    • discuss how the approach to engaging with families and supporting their participation at the service aligns with practice theory, the approved learning framework/s and the service’s philosophy, policies and procedures?
    • indicate awareness of how families’ perceptions of their role influences how they participate in the service?
    • consider and discuss social justice and equity implications of their approach to engaging with and supporting each family’s participation in the service, including self awareness of their own biases and how these may impact on building respectful relationships with families?
  • As a team, how do educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader engage in robust debate and discussion about the service’s approach to engaging with families and supporting their participation at the service? Are personal, professional and organisational values that influence practice identified, discussed and challenged?

Exceeding theme 3: Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community

  • How do relationships with families:

    • reflect the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service?
    • welcome, reflect and draw on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service?
  • How do educators, co-ordinators and the educational leader:
    • actively support families to build relationships with other families and with relevant community services to strengthen child, parenting and family outcomes?
    • consistently tailor their approaches to communicating with and engaging with each family in recognition of individual families’ circumstances and ways of connection, and seek out families’ views on their preferred means of communication and participation from enrolment?
    • draw on their knowledge of each family to provide thoughtful and tailored opportunities for each family to participate in the service , for example building a sense of belonging for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families?
    • explore opportunities to build trust and support families to contribute to the educational program in ways that celebrate and share their strengths, beliefs and culture with children, families and the service team?
    • build and maintain community partnerships that support and promote parenting and family wellbeing and proactively and respectfully engage with families to support their parenting and family wellbeing circumstances and priorities?
See the ACECQA Educational Leader Resource for information for educational leaders.