Service Statement of Philosophy & Guiding Principles
Philosophy of Care
“Professionals who adhere to this Code of Ethics act in the best interests of all children and work collectively to ensure that every child is thriving and learning”. (ECA)
Our Service Philosophy of Care is based on the ‘Early Childhood Code of Ethics’ & NQF Guiding Principles, which reflect the fundamental and prized values of the profession. They act to guide decision making in relation to ethical responsibilities. These core principles require a commitment to respect and maintain the rights and dignity of children, families, colleagues and communities.
In Relation to Code of Ethics Core Principles, the service believes:
• Each child has unique interests and strengths and the capacity to contribute to their communities
• Children are citizens from birth with civil, cultural, linguistic, social and economic rights
• Effective learning and teaching is characterised by professional decisions that draw on specialised knowledge and multiple perspectives
• Partnerships with families and communities to support shared responsibility for children’s learning, development and wellbeing
• Democratic, fair and inclusive practices promote equity and a strong sense of belonging
• Respectful, responsive and reciprocal relationships are central to children’s education and care
• Play and leisure are essential for children’s learning, development and wellbeing
• Research, inquiry and practice-based evidence that informs quality education and care.
In Relation to Children, I will:
• Act in the best interests of all children
• Create and maintain safe, healthy, inclusive environments that support children’s agency and enhance their learning
• Provide a meaningful curriculum to enrich children’s learning, balancing child and educator initiated experiences
• Understand and explain to others how play and leisure enhance children’s learning, development and wellbeing
• Ensure childhood is a time for being in the here and now and not solely about preparation for the future
• Collaborate with children as global citizens in learning about our shared responsibilities to the environment and humanity
• Value the relationship between children and their families and enhance these relationships through my practice
• Ensure that children are not discriminated against based on gender, sexuality, age, ability, economic status, family structure, lifestyle, ethnicity, religion, language, culture, or national origin
• Negotiate children’s participation in research, by considering their safety, privacy, levels of fatigue and interest
• Respect children as capable learners by including their perspectives in teaching, learning and assessment
• Safeguard the security of information and documentation about children, particularly when shared on digital platforms.
In relation to Colleagues, I will:
• Encourage others to adopt and act in accordance with this Code, and act in the presence of unethical behaviours
• Build a spirit of collegiality and professionalism through collaborative relationships based on trust, respect and honesty
• Acknowledge and support the diverse strengths and experiences of colleagues to build shared professional knowledge, understanding and skills
• Use constructive processes to address differences of opinion to negotiate shared perspectives and actions
• Participate in a ‘lively culture of professional inquiry’ to support continuous improvement, implement strategies that support and mentor colleagues to make positive contributions to the profession
• Maintain ethical relationships in my online interactions.
In relation to Families, I will:
• Support families as children’s first and most important teacher and respect their right to make decisions about their children
• Listen to and learn with families and engage in shared decision making, planning and assessment practices in relation to children’s learning, development & wellbeing
• Develop respectful relationships based on open communication with the aim of encouraging families’ engagement and to build a strong sense of belonging
• Learn about, respect and respond to the uniqueness of each family, their circumstances, culture, family structure, customs, language, beliefs and kinship systems
• Respect families’ right to privacy and maintain confidentiality.
In relation to the Profession, I will:
• Base my work on research, theories, content knowledge, practice evidence and my understanding of the children and families with whom I work
• Take responsibility for articulating my professional values, knowledge and practice and the positive contribution our profession makes to society
• Engage in critical reflection, ongoing professional learning and support research that builds my knowledge and that of the profession
• Work within the scope of my professional role and avoid misrepresentation of my professional competence and qualifications
• Encourage qualities and practices of ethical leadership within the profession
• Model quality practice and provide constructive feedback and assessment for students as aspiring professionals
• Mentor new graduates by supporting their induction into the profession
• Advocate for my profession and the provision of quality education and care.
In relation to community and society, I will:
• Learn about local community contexts and aspirations and create responsive programs to enhance children’s learning, development and wellbeing
• Collaborate with people, services and agencies to develop shared understandings and actions that support children and families
• Use research and practice-based evidence to advocate for a society where all children have access to quality education and care
• Promote the value of children’s contribution as citizens to the development of strong communities
• Work to promote increased appreciation of the importance of childhood including how children learn and develop, to inform programs and systems of assessment that benefit children
• Advocate for the development and implementation of laws and policies that promote the rights and best interests of children and families.
NQF Guiding Principles assist in making decisions about operating education and care services, and working to achieve the National Quality Standard and improve quality at each service:
In relation to the NQF Guiding Principles, the service will ensure:
• Rights and best interests of the child are paramount
• Children are successful, competent and capable learners
• Principles of equity, inclusion and diversity underpin the National Law
• Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are valued
• Role of parents and families is respected and supported
• Best practice is expected in the provision of education and care services.
“The Code of Ethics is informed by the principles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1991) and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007). The Code of Ethics is an aspirational framework for reflection about the ethical responsibilities of childhood professionals who work with, or on behalf, of children and their families. In the Code of Ethics, the protection and wellbeing of children is paramount and therefore speaking out or taking action in the presence of unethical practice is an essential professional responsibility”. (ECA - The Early Childhood Code of Ethics).
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child articulates the rights of all children and provides a set of guiding principles that shape the way we view children. ‘Best interests of the child’ is one of these guiding principles and sets out that when adults make decisions, they should consider how these decisions will affect children” (Guide to National Law & National Regulations. Page 10)
Philosophy Of Care - Guiding Principles
Guiding principles that apply to the quality areas: -
The following six principles apply across all seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard. These principles inform the delivery of quality Early Childhood Education and Care and school age care. Services should consider these principles when working to achieve the National Quality Standard and improve quality at the service:
The rights of the child are paramount
Each child has the right to be an active member of the community in which they live; to have their individual and cultural identity recognised and respected; to express their opinions and have their views considered in any decisions that may affect them.
The National Quality Standard reflects Australia’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the obligation of all those who work with Children to protect Children from harm, respect their dignity and privacy and safeguard and promote every Child’s wellbeing.
Children are successful, competent and capable learners
Children are active learners from birth, constructing their knowledge, meanings and understanding through their interactions, relationships and experiences.
They are able to form opinions, express their ideas, collaborate with others, plan and persist in learning.
The starting point for all learning is what Children already know. Rich, engaging environments and meaningful interactions, where Children’s voices are listened to and acted upon, build on this foundation for successful life-long learning.
Equity, inclusion and diversity
In a fair and just society the intrinsic worth of all Children and their Families, their strengths and their right to equitable access and participation in the community is clearly visible in all aspects of service delivery.
Programs for the care, education and recreation of Children have a unique opportunity to include Children from all Family circumstances, cultural backgrounds and levels of ability.
In particular, a commitment to the full participation of Children with additional needs and their Families involves enabling their initial access as well as supporting their day to day participation in the program.
It requires capturing and maximising resources to support each Child’s participation in and engagement with the program.
By providing nurturing environments and supportive relationships they ensure that each child is valued for who they are and has opportunities to reach their full potential. One of Australia’s greatest strengths lies in its unique history and diverse heritage.
The many different cultures, contexts and values of Families and communities contribute to the richness of contemporary Australian society and inform plans for meaningful learning experiences for Children.
Valuing Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
An approach that recognises and respects the strengths and contribution each individual and group makes and challenges bias, builds positive relationships and responds sensitively to the particular needs of each child and their Family. Such an approach values Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures as a core part of the nation’s history, present and future.
This is relevant for all services, not only services with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Children and Families enrolled in the service.
The role of Parents and Families is respected and supported
Parents and Families are recognised as the Child’s primary nurturers and teachers. They have both a right and a responsibility to be involved in decision making affecting their child.
Respectful, collaborative relationships strengthen the capacity and efforts of Parents and Families and of Early Childhood Education and Care and school age care services to support their Children and promote each Child’s learning and wellbeing.
High expectations for Children, Educators and service providers
The best interests of Children and their right to learn and develop in a safe and nurturing environment is the primary consideration in all decision making at the service and is visible in the actions, interactions and daily work with Children.
Programs that reflect best practice in the care, education and recreation of Children set high standards and expectations for all those responsible for the delivery of the service. They have an open and accountable organisational culture that is flexible and responsive to the local community.
They continually reflect on their practice to find ways to improve outcomes for Children in their service.
How our philosophy guides pedagogy and teaching decisions:
• We acknowledge the uniqueness of each child by observing children’s individual needs, interests and abilities.
• We believe play is a major factor in children’s development and we plan for each child’s play and learning through real life experiences.
• We ensure that each learning opportunity is equitable and values each child’s contribution to the program through suggestions, participation and advice.
• We promote a sense of belonging by providing opportunities for all children and families to share their culture.
• We encourage open and honest communication between families and the service.
• We believe in working in partnership with families to meet the individual needs of each child.
• We recognises that it does take a village to raise a child and are committed to building connections between the service and the local community.
• We believe in early intervention and refer families to appropriate agencies and services.
• We believe in working in partnership with families to enhance their knowledge of our services program through methods such as face to face contact, phone calls, emails, parent communication notes, HubWorks, survey monkeys, Facebook and newsletters.
• We believe in providing a happy and healthy environment by being sensitive and responsive to the needs of children and families.
• We provide effective supervision and a safe environment by implementing regulatory requirements and annual safety checks.
• We support and encourage staff to extend their knowledge, be pro-active in professional networks and recognise the importance of working as a cohesive team.
• To meet statutory requirements, the service develops and reviews, policies, practices, and procedures as required meeting the changing needs of the service.
Choices Family Day Care
Queensland State Winner Family Day Care Australia
Service Of The Year 2015