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Policies & procedures

National Quality Framework

The National Quality Framework (NQF) has been designed to encourage continuous improvement of education and care services across Australia. One of its important features is that it sets out a series of National Quality Standards (NQS) against which all early childhood education and care services will be assessed and given a rating.

The seven quality areas are:

1. Educational program and practice.
2. Children’s health and safety.
3. The physical environment.
4. Staffing arrangements.
5. Relationships with children.
6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities.
7. Leadership and service management.

Goodstart’s policies and procedures are built on these key seven areas. You can find more information about the NQF and NQS at http://acecqa.gov.au.

All Early Childhood Education and Care Services are required to have policies and related documents in relation to certain matters under Regulation 168 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations.

If you would like a copy of any regulation 168 document that supports these as listed below, please speak with your Centre Director or contact our Family Support Team on 1800 222 543.

VIEW NQS1 - Educational Program and Practice
VIEW NQS3 - Physical Environment
VIEW NQS4 - Staffing Arrangements
VIEW NQS5 - Relationships with Children

Children are central to everything we do. The relationships our educators develop with children are critical in helping children feel valued, competent, capable, safe and secure. Goodstart educators sensitively engage and guide children’s interactions with others, as they explore their own identity and develop more complex social skills and relationships. Our educators also positively guide and support children to develop skills in regulating their own behaviour. To view our NQS5 - Relationships with Children Policy  click here.

Key Goodstart policies in this area include the following topic:

Behaviour Guidance

At Goodstart, children are provided with support, guidance and opportunities to regulate their own behaviour. Where challenging behaviours exist or develop, we promote proactive partnerships with families to positively support children’s behaviour. Behaviour guidance strategies will not under any circumstances involve the use of any physical punishment, isolation, humiliation, intimidation or negative labelling by Goodstart staff.

VIEW NQS6 - Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities

Every child belongs within their family, their cultural group, neighbourhood and wider community. In the work we undertake, families are our primary partners and Goodstart is committed to genuine collaborative relationships between families and early childhood professionals; relationships where we can value each other’s knowledge of our children, communicate respectfully and freely with each other, share insights and engage in shared decision-making. We encourage families to be involved in the centre, to provide input into learning programs, to spend time with our educators and to contribute their skills and resources to the centre to enhance children’s wellbeing, learning and development. To view our NQS6 - Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities Policy click here.

Key Goodstart policies in this area cover the following topics:

Family Rights and Responsibilities

Goodstart educators ensure practices in the centre respect families’ rights and responsibilities. Equally, at Goodstart centres our families have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a lawful, safe and responsible manner, respect the rights of others, and use appropriate language. Poor behaviour towards any other person is unacceptable, including: all forms of bullying, harassment, abuse, discrimination, actions that put another person at risk of harm, or threats of any kind. Upon enrolling, families agree to the Goodstart Family Rights and Responsibilities policy detailed on our website (and available in hard copy on request). Should families fail to comply with these responsibilities Goodstart may exclude them from the Centre, although their children may not be excluded.

Collection of Children

Only parents/guardians and authorised nominees are permitted to collect your child from our early learning program, and we encourage all families to ensure these contact details and arrangements are kept up-to-date. So we can ensure the safety of your child at all times, photo identification will be requested from any authorised nominee who is unknown to our early learning staff. If your child has not been collected from the centre by closing time and we are unable to contact you, we will contact the authorised nominees listed on your child’s enrolment form. In extreme circumstances where we are unable to contact one of your authorised nominees by closing time, we will contact the necessary authorities for the safe collection of your child. This is why it is important that your contact details and those of your authorised nominees are kept up-to-date at all times.

Enrolment and Orientation

We aim to establish mutually respectful and supportive relationships with families throughout the enrolment and orientation process to promote positive outcomes for your child, and to ensure legislative requirements are met. Throughout the process, families are invited to take a tour of the centre and are encouraged to raise any concerns or questions about the operations of the centre. You may with to complete the relevant documents below to assist you and the Centre Director with your enrolment:

Priority of access

The Australian Government’s Priority of Access Guidelines sets out three levels of priority, which we must follow when filling vacant places when the demand for childcare exceeds supply:

  • Priority one - a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect.
  • Priority two - a child of a single parent who satisfies, or of parents who both satisfy, the work/training/study test under section 14 of the New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999.
  • Priority three - any other child.

Within these main categories, priority should also be given to the following children:

  • Children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
  • Children from families that include a disabled person.
  • Children from families that include an individual whose adjusted taxable income does not exceed the lower income threshold or whose partner is on income support.
  • Children from families with a non–English–speaking background.
  • Children from socially isolated families
  • Children of single parents.

Under the Priority of Access Guidelines, if there are no vacant places and we are providing care for a child who is a priority 3, the service may require that child to vacate the place in order to provide a place for a child in priority one or two.

Family Feedback

We actively encourage families to provide feedback about their experiences with the centre at any time. It is our policy that any problem, issues or disputes are managed fairly and promptly, and are resolved as close as possible to the source of the problem. Families can raise concerns with one of a number of contacts, including Goodstart’s Family Support Team, and someone will be assigned to be responsible for dealing with the issue. Families can also be assured that all Goodstart staff respect the privacy of the family when addressing any concern or grievance.

VIEW NQS7 - Leadership, Service Management and Effective Administration

Business Management Policies and Procedures

Business Management Policies and Procedures

In addition to our centre-facing policies, Goodstart’s policy library covers seven critical business- management related areas that outline guidelines, procedures and requirements for the management of support services, including: