The National Quality Framework (NQF) provides a national approach to regulation, assessment and quality improvement for early childhood education and care services across Australia. The NQF provides National Quality Standards (NQS) against which all services are assessed.
The Quality Areas are:
1. Education program and practice
2. Children’s health and safety
3. Physical environment
4. Staffing arrangements
5. Relationships with children
6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
7. Governance and leadership
All Early Childhood Education and Care Services are required to have policies, procedures and related documents under Regulation 168 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations. These support the Quality Areas.
Information regarding key guidance across each Quality Area is included below. Please let us know if you would like to review any policies as they are available at our centre. You can also view EACH policies and statements here which apply at EACH Child. We welcome your feedback any time, and if you require any informetion, please contact us.
Child Safe Commitment
EACH has a commitment to creating a child safe culture and maintaining a child safe and child friendly environment. The following statement acknowledges EACH’s commitment to child safety:
All children who come to EACH have a right to feel and be safe. EACH is committed to the safety and well-being of all children whether they are direct service recipients or indirectly linked to our services such as children of customers. The welfare of children and young people is our first priority. We create a child safe and child friendly environment where all children are valued and heard, are safe and protected.
NQS1 - Educational program and practice
Our educators are responsive and provide a supportive and inclusive environment that enables each child to fully participate in their education and care at the Service. Educators are encouraging and supportive, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to actively participate and to grow and develop.
Our educators, in collaboration with our Educational Leader, design and implement engaging programs that support children’s participation and interests. Educators provide a program responsive to children’s interests and developmental learning needs. We offer high quality experiences which build on a child’s strengths and are mindful of the child's development, family and cultural context.
NQS2 - Children’s Health and Safety
Acceptance and Refusal Authorisation
Under the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations, early childhood services are required to obtain written authorisation from parents/guardians for some circumstances, to ensure that the health, safety, wellbeing, and best interests of the child are met and upheld. An authorisation is given where a person who has legal responsibility for a child gives permission to another person to do something or to make a decision on that person’s behalf. Authorisations are usually authenticated by a signature- either in written form or as an electronic signature. All authorisation and refusals are to be kept in the child’s enrolment record.
We aim to ensure that all educators, staff and volunteers are consistent in how authorisations are managed and understand what does or does not constitute a correct authorisation, which consequently may lead to a refusal. Decisions around refusing an authorisation will be made on a case by case basis by the service in discussion with the Nominated Supervisor, Police or other authorities.
Administration of First Aid Policy
First aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries or illnesses from becoming major. The ability to provide prompt basic first aid is particularly important in the contact of an early childhood service where Educators have a duty of care and obligation to assist children who are injured, become ill or require support with administration of medication.
Our Service has a duty of care to provide and protect the health and safety of children, families, educators and visitors of EACH Child. This policy aims to support educators to:
- Preserve life
- Ensure that ill or injured persons are stabilised and comforted until medical assistance intervenes
- Monitor ill or injured persons in the recovery stage
- Apply additional first aid tactics if the condition does not improve
- Ensure the environment is safe and other people are not in danger of becoming ill or injured.
Administration of Medication Policy
In supporting the health and wellbeing of children, the use of medications may be required for children at EACH Child. Any medication must be administered as prescribed by medical practitioners and first aid guidelines to ensure the continuing health, safety and wellbeing for the child.
Arrival and Departure Policy
Arrival and departure times are planned to promote a smooth transition between home and EACH Child. The opportunity to build secure and respectful relationships between children and families is promoted during arrival and departure times where educators have the opportunity to engage in conversations with families and support each child’s well-being.
To ensure the health and safety children at our Service our Arrival and Departure procedure is strictly adhered to, allowing only nominated authorised persons to collect children at any time throughout the day. The daily sign in and out register is not only a legally required document to record children’s attendance but is also used as a record of the children on the premises should an emergency evacuation be called
Bottle Safety Preparation
To ensure EACH Child maintains a safe and hygienic environment for all infants and toddlers requiring feeding from a bottle, educators sterilise, store and prepare bottles safely and hygienically in accordance with recognised guidelines and best practice. All educators preparing and/or handling bottles have undergone training in safe food handling.
EACH Child recognises the importance of breast milk for the developing infant and acknowledges optimal infant and young child feeding practices as recommended by the World Health Organisation. EACH Child ensures that all families are aware of our commitment to supporting mothers to continue to provide their child with breast milk whilst at the service.
EACH Child has a duty of care to maintain the safety and wellbeing of each child, educator, and all using or visiting the Service during an emergency or evacuation situation. Regularly practicing the drills for emergency situations ensures that educators and children know what to do in an emergency situation and also provides an opportunity to help support and build on children’s resilience.
We believe excursions/incursions provide the children with the opportunity to expand and enhance their skills and knowledge gaining insight into their local community. EACH Child ensures that all excursions and incursions undertaken by the Service are planned and conducted in a safe manner, maintaining children’s wellbeing according to National Legislation.
Health and Safety
Our Service is committed to creating and maintaining safe and healthy environment for educators, staff, children, families and visitors. We are committed to best practice and ensuring an environment that promotes and continuously improves heath, safety and wellbeing for all involved.
Incident, Illness, Accident & Trauma
Our Service is committed to reducing illness and the likelihood of accidents through its risk management and effective hygiene practices.
EACH Child efficiently responds to and manages medical conditions at the Service ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children, staff, families and visitors. We ensure risk minimisation plans are in place for anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and other conditions as needed.
Nutritional Food and Safety Policy
EACH Child recognises the importance of healthy eating for the growth, development and wellbeing of young children and is committed to promoting and supporting healthy food and drink choices for children in our care. We provide a positive eating environment that reflects dietary requirements, cultural and family values, and promotes lifelong learning for children. EACH Child is also committed to ensuring consistently high standards of food preparation and food storage are adhered to.
Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases
EACH Child minimises children’s exposure to infectious diseases by adhering to all recommended guidelines from relevant government authorities regarding the prevention of infectious diseases, promoting practices that reduce the transmission of infection, ensuring the exclusion of sick children and educators, supporting child immunisation, and implementing effective hygiene practices.
Our Service provides up-to-date information and advice to parents, families and educators sourced from the Australian Government Department of Health, Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and state Ministry of Health about infectious diseases as required. Recommendations from the Health Department are strictly adhered to at all times.
Sleeping and Rest Requirements
All children have individual sleep and rest requirements. Educators meet these needs by providing a comfortable, relaxing and safe space to enable children to rest, and as guided by evidence. Our environments are arranged to include a dedicated rest area for the babies. Individual mattresses and bedding are provided for children requiring a sleep or rest during their day. The environment is well supervised ensuring all children feel safe.
EACH Child aims to protect all children and educators from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. All children and educators use a combination of sun protection measures whenever UV-Index Levels reach 3 and above from mid-August to the end of April in line with Cancer Council Guidelines.
EACH Child ensures the safety and supervision of children in and around water. This includes water play, excursions near water, hot water, drinking water and hygiene practices with water in the Service environment.
NQS3 - Physical Environment
We believe in educating children about being environmentally responsible which is promoted and supported through daily practices, resources and interactions. Sustainable practice is encouraged within the Service and community, assisting children and families to become advocates for a sustainable future.
NQS4 - Staffing Arrangements
EACH Child is committed to meeting our duty of care obligations under the National Law & Regulations to ensure a Responsible Person is physically on the premises at all times children are being educated and cared for. The details of the current Responsible Person are clearly visible to families and visitors at the entrance.
We ensure children’s health, safety, and wellbeing is protected at all times through providing appropriate and effective supervision according to the Education and Care Services National Regulations and best practice. EACH Child ensures educators and Nominated Supervisors have the qualifications and experience to develop warm, nurturing, and respectful relationships with children.
NQS5 - Relationships with Children
Children have the right to receive positive guidance in a supportive and respectful environment. We create positive relationships with children making them feel safe within our Service. We ensure children are treated with respect, consistency, and equity as they are supported to develop the skills and knowledge required to regulate their behaviour when interacting with peers and adults.
Gender Equity Policy
Children have the right to access and participate in experiences and activities regardless of gender. To ensure that positive attitudes towards gender equity are encouraged and supported within EACH Child and community, children are encouraged to develop a sense of self-worth as they develop respect for each other’s rights and responsibilities.
NQS6 - Collaborative Partnerships
You can also view EACH policies and statements here including Your Rights and Responsibilities and Complaints and Feedback.
EACH Child ensures children and families receive a positive and informative enrolment process that meets their individual needs. We strive to establish respectful and supportive relationships between families and the Service to promote positive outcomes for children and ensure legislative requirements are met.
EACH Child ensures children and families are provided with an orientation procedure that allows the family to transition into the Service positively and well-informed, meeting the children and families’ individual needs. We strive to establish respectful and supportive relationships between families and the Service to promote positive outcomes for children whilst adhering to legislative requirements.
NQS7 - Governance and Leadership
You can also view EACH policies and statements here, including Protecting Your Privacy.
EACH Child values the participation of students, particularly those wanting to develop professional skills and knowledge in their effort to become Early Childhood Professionals. While students are welcome, the children’s care and safety are our priority, including the need for working with children checks.
EACH Child values the contribution and involvement of volunteers, with the work they do supporting our service. While volunteers are welcome, the children’s care and safety are our priority, including the need for working with children checks.