QA2: Nutritional Compliance

NQS Best Practices: Childcare 2020

The great (and also fun) thing about documenting NQS compliance for childcare is how creative you can be. Thinking outside the box can have great benefits for you and your centre especially during Assessments & Ratings.

“Services that indicated a strong focus on nutrition reported an average of $170k more profit than those that didn’t.”

National survey for The Early Years Insights – Sept 2019

Here are three tips for a creative approach to documenting compliance needed to exceed the NQS for nutrition:

1. Document approved meals

You probably already provide healthy nutritious food and drink options in line with the “healthy eating advisory service” for your kids but how do we track that? What exactly do we document? Consider:

  • Menus and recipes including nutritional breakdown
  • Mealtimes and menu items being consumed
  • Allergies and dietary requirements

2. Take observations of mealtime

This one is interesting. If you’re using an app that allows you to tick off NQS frameworks as a curriculum choice, consider capturing moments of mealtimes. By applying both EYLF (and MTOP if school-aged) as well as the NQS frameworks, you can save yourself a lot of time when it comes to Assessment & Ratings. 

In the above scenario, pretend we’ve taken photos of mealtime and we’re composing an observation. Doing this enables us to talk about and complete outcomes for:

  • Mealtime is healthy (2.1.3)
  • The mealtime environment is inclusive and welcoming to all children (3.2.1)
  • Child-directed learning is being applied during meal times and decisions the children are making influence events and their world (1.2.3)

3. Document, Document, Document

Start creating documentation around meal time with your educators. Documenting provides the groundwork which allows you to be able to start applying your educator’s observations into a range of different learning documents including:

  • Learning never stops (even at mealtime)
  • Nutrition matters to us
  • Only 1 in 16 Australian Children get the recommended serves of vegetables per day and we’re changing that
  • Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriated for each child in our centre

When the documents exist with both formatting and dates, start adding your observations. Ensure they are comprehensive- this will allow you to run a search function when it’s Assessment & Rating time!

Picture this scenario. You’ve documented in your QIP how important nutrition in early education is, how passionate you are about it challenging childhood obesity AND your amazing business practices (actions) that back up your statements. Your assessing officer asks for you to produce proof. You push one button and every document, observation, risk management plan and reflection containing anything to do with your centre nutritional values appears!

Bonus points if all of the above information is instantly shared with parents if they opt-in.

Whilst this may sound like a lot of documentation on paper, an app can automate, digitally store and manage this process for you.

TO LEARN MORE about implementing best practices as well as automating the recording of data needed to give you the best chance of Exceeding QA2, reach out to Xplor.