Xplor Education, Australia’s leading early learning software solution, has released a guide to support early childcare centres as they work towards increasing their ratings in Quality Area 2 (QA2) of the National Quality Standard (NQS). The guide, which is free to download, is part of a series of guides produced by Xplor to share best practices with services and help them achieve a competitive advantage in their area.
Xplor, which serves 10,500+ childcare services across Australia and New Zealand through Office, Playground, Space and Home, is committed to helping ensure children in early childcare receive top-notch care and facilitate parents in staying in touch with their children’s learning and development. Quality Area 2 covers health and safety, which contribute to children’s “ability to concentrate, cooperate and learn”, as stated by ACECQA. This guide talks about how early care and learning providers can keep children healthy and safe and ensure they are prepared to achieve high-quality ratings.
The first standard of QA2 involves ensuring that health and physical activity for each child is supported and encouraged. Centres are tasked with supporting each child’s wellbeing and comfort, guaranteeing healthy practices and procedures while promoting a healthy lifestyle. The second standard of QA2 focuses on safety and ensuring each child is protected. This includes adequate supervision, effective plans for incidents and emergencies and awareness of abuse or neglect signs.
The guide reminds centre owners and educators that documentation is essential to increasing their NQS ratings and how a good Programming and Planning (P&P) tool can make this easier. It includes detailed documentation tips for each element of Quality Area 2, such as how using a picture of a child playing outside could be offered as evidence for:
- Element 2.2—Safety (child playing in a safe outdoor environment)
- Element 3.1—Design (outdoor equipment is appropriately challenging for children in care)
- Element 4.1—Staff (enough staff members to adequately supervise children)
- Element 5.1—Relationships between educators & children (staff & children interact positively)
To learn more about how you can promote children’s health and safety, download our detailed guide.
The CEO of Education at Xplor, Matt Varley, discussed how all early childhood services should focus on children’s health and safety in their care, especially as many states have had to deal with lockdowns and parents worry about hygiene conditions at care.
“Keeping children healthy and safe is the basic requirement of childcare services. Taking that responsibility to heart and following NQS guidelines is a win-win situation,” said Matt. “The children have a safe environment to develop in, and centres see good ratings for Quality Area 2.”
“But if centres want to see better NQS ratings, they need documentation. Xplor’s platform facilitates that documentation so that centres will have the evidence to show assessors. We know centres are working hard to keep children in their care safe, and we want to help them prove that on their next assessment.”