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Australian Childcare Alliance
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Between May and July 2017 the Department of Education and Training South East Region conducted monitoring visits to 438 services in relation to Quality Improvement Planning (QIP). See some of the trends associated with their findings:

Things services were doing well:

  • Making QIP an interactive process for obtaining quick and meaningful feedback from families. For example: posing yes/no questions with counters for responses in jars or shadow boxes, setting up consultation stations.
  • Being open to feedback as a catalyst for improvement.
  • Keeping the QIP alive by having it as a standard meeting agenda item.
  • Newly appointed Nominated Supervisors using the QIP as a starting point to get to know the service.
  • Using QIP notes from previous Assessment and Rating reports.
  • Including all Educators in the review of the QIP.
  • Visual displays for families to highlights sections of the QIP and National Quality Standards that they were actively working on.
  • Regularly updating the QIP.

Things services were challenged by:

  • Using informal feedback from stakeholders to inform improvement. For example, using grievances as an opportunity for reflective practice.
  • Working with all stakeholders to inform the QIP, specifically families and children.
  • QIP becoming very long documents and feeling that all areas of improvement must be maintained as evidence rather than shifting this once complete or adding it to their strengths.
  • Identifying areas as strengths but were also identified as areas for improvement.
  • Quality Area 1 specifically programming and critical reflection.
  • Support from Approved Providers in relation to training and development of the QIP process.
  • Many services were unsure ‘if they were doing it right’.
  • Maintaining active progress notes (services were observed using ‘ongoing’ consistently as timeframes).
  • Prioritising their goals and breaking these down into smaller achievable goals in order to reach their desired outcome.
  • That it being one person’s responsibility to keep the QIP alive.

Department of Education and Training South East Region explained that the QIP is designed to be dynamic and should encompass a collaborative approach, involving children, families, educators, staff members, management and other interested parties, such as representatives of a community agency. They are urging services to:

  • ensure that there is a consistent process for reflection and evaluation to support your service to gain an informed picture of current practice and the quality of education and care experiences
  • be open and honest
  • question how and why certain practices occur (it is the most effective way to begin critically examining service practice).

Resources to support Quality Improvement Planning: