Leylands Learning Centre thrives during COVID-19 with support from the QSP
Leylands Learning Centre, located in the Sydney suburb of Belmore, has been receiving support from the NSW Department of Education via its Quality Support Program (QSP).
The QSP is an initiative of and funded by the NSW Department of Education Early Childhood Education Quality Assurance and Regulatory Services Directorate (NSW DoE), involving the delivery by ACECQA of free tailored professional development and support to approved providers and service leaders of eligible services across NSW.
To be eligible for the program services had to have been providing long day care or family day care at the time of their assessment and rating, been rated as working toward the National Quality Standard (NQS) at the time of the assessment, and not meeting six or more elements of the NQS.
In Stage One of the funding, it was also a requirement that services had last been rated between June 2015 and the end of December 2017.
Leylands Learning Centre participated in the QSP in 2020, and focused on Quality Areas 1, 3 and 7. When the service was assessed in May last year Centre Director and Educational Leader Christine Al-Otaibi said participation in the program allowed their educators to build their reflection skills to deliver improvements and achieve their Meeting the NQS rating.
“Using ongoing critical reflection was the biggest lesson for us from the program, as it encouraged our educators to really become involved in the process,” Ms Al-Otaibi said.
“We wanted to inspire our educators to actively talk and think about what quality improvement would look like at our centre.”
Prior to participating in QSP, she continued, the service wasn’t engaged in ongoing critical reflection, however with the additional support of the program reflective practices are now embedded, and a key focus in the routine.
“Within our staff meetings we now regularly use critical reflection as a tool to discuss improving our policies and procedures, using the information and resources gained during QSP,” she explained.
“We reflected on our current practices, analysed ACECQA’s advice and looked at best practice examples from other services, and we were able to decide the initial steps that were achievable for our service,” Ms Al-Otaibi added.
During the COVID-19 lockdown period, she was able to lead the team using virtual meetings with the program facilitators to explore various aspects of practice, which provided valuable information and resources to share.
Through participating in the program the team has received positive feedback from families and an increase in enrolments.
“We have begun the process of viewing all feedback and complaints from families as a means of support for continuous improvement,” Ms Al-Otaibi explained.
“Our team now highly values parental involvement in our service, openly welcoming families into the Leylands family as partners in the education and care journey – we’re constantly seeking ways that we can improve our service for families.”
The QSP will be running a free roadshow session on 16 May, from 10am – 11am (AEST), to support services to learn more about the program.
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