Exceeding National Quality Standard themes and Be You

Be You can support early learning services to reflect and demonstrate the three National Quality Standard (NQS) Exceeding themes

May 12, 2020

Be You can support early learning services to reflect and demonstrate the three National Quality Standard (NQS) Exceeding themes.

A rating of Exceeding NQS means that a service is performing above and beyond the requirements of the NQS.  

The three Exceeding NQS themes are used to determine if approved services exceed each of the fifteen NQS quality standards. Services must demonstrate these themes in practice for a standard to be rated as Exceeding NQS. 

The themes are:

  1. Practice is embedded in service operations
  2. Practice is informed by critical reflection
  3. Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community.

This determination occurs during the assessment and rating process undertaken by state and territory regulatory authorities. Authorised officers use ‘observe’, ‘discuss’ and ‘sight’ techniques to gather evidence that is used to assess if the Exceeding NQS themes are evident in practice. All three themes must be demonstrated for a standard to be rated Exceeding NQS.

How can Be You support services to demonstrate the Exceeding NQS themes?

Participation in Be You involves positive Professional Learning actions to support the mental health and wellbeing of children (NQS Standard 2.1) and staff (NQS Standards 4.1 and 4.2).

Participation in Be You also involves embedding these actions within service policies, procedures and practices. Through Be You, high quality practices can be established, sustained and consistently implemented. This can support the demonstration of Exceeding NQS Theme 1 – Practice is embedded in service operations.

Critical reflection is a very important part of the Be You implementation process

Be You has a variety of implementation tools which serve as triggers for, and ways of documenting, critical reflection.

For example, when promoting children’s mental health and wellbeing, the Implementation and Reflection Toolkit, Action Plan or Always Be You Learning Map could provide supporting evidence to demonstrate Exceeding Theme 2 – Practice is informed by critical reflection for Standard 2.1.

These tools will also support educators and teams in their ongoing reflective practice for all standards.  Critical reflection is also central to Standard 1.3 and a key pedagogical principle of the approved learning frameworks.

Family Partnerships is one of the five domains of the Be You Framework.

The three professional learning modules within the Family Partnerships domain can help services identify meaningful ways to engage with families.

Be You surveys can also assist in canvassing families’ voices as to how well the service supports them to feel welcome and have a sense of belonging and connection. Reflection on the modules and survey results can be used together to identify areas for growth in communication and relationships with families.

This could then be used to demonstrate Exceeding Theme 3 – Practice which is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community for particular standards.

These are just some of the ways Be You can support services with the Exceeding NQS themes.