Quality Area 4 Getting you down?
Quality area four (Staffing Arrangements) of the NQF for CCS registered child care centres in Australia is quite often forgotten about within the seven quality areas. Here are four steps to take to give yourself the best chance at that “Exceeding” rating.
1. Is your roster produced at least two weeks in advance?
A lot of centres produce the roster with only one weeks notice so you’re going to want to add another weeks buffer as the scheduler. The governing body in your state representing ACECQA will ask you to “sight documentation” (their fancy synonym for “prove”) showing this.
**Hot tip, “sight documentation” doesn’t actually mean “to pull a piece of paper out of a filing cabinet”. In 2019, you’re going to be marked on sustainability and it’s always best to not use paper. Look into a cloud based software to achieve this for you.**
2. Is your roster accessible to your staff?
If educators have to physically come into the centre and walk into the break room to check the roster, you’re going to be marked down. You’re going to want to be able to message the roster out to staff easily and notify them of any changes ideally to their smartphone.
3. Are parents aware of your staffing arrangements?
This one is a bit ambiguous and it doesn’t mean that you also need to send your roster out to parents, but having a simple indication of who’s rostered on this week/fortnight where parents can see it when they come into the centre to pick up their child is a good start to having this ticked of. We also recommend a photo and name of key staff displayed where parents can see.
4. What steps are you taking to ensure you have the correct number of staff supervising children under your roof but also in individual rooms?
This is the tricky one. Maybe you have a formula in a spreadsheet that calculates ratios for you. Maybe you’re using one of the many cloud based apps that will automate this for you. Either way, relying on a human for this will give your assessor to mark you down. There’s too much human error potential here (the same thing goes for how subsidy used to be calculated but more on that later).
Whether it’s your A and R or a random spot check, these are questions that can (and will) be asked of you. These tips shouldn’t be a once off to prepare for an audit but should become your standard way of operating.
An exceeding rating will help raise occupancy, raise your demand and ultimately allow you to charge a higher daily fee and also ensure that your day runs smoother as everything is documented and tracked. Depending on what your goals are as a centre, a higher NQF rating is a great place to start.