SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL. Professional Learning Plan PSCA

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1 SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL Professional Learning Plan PSCA

2 CONTENTS Introduction... 3 The Steps to your Professional Learning Plan... 3 Section Service Overview... 4 Section Quality Improvement Plans... 6 Individual Improvement Plans... 6 Service Support Plans... 6 Section 3 - Exploring emerging professional learning needs... 7 Section 4 - The Professional Learning Plan Group and theming Professional Learning Plan Other Key Documents: A. Skills Audit B. Professional Learning Approaches C. The leaders role in professional learning D. Selecting quality provider - key questions to consider when selecting a provider E. Template F. Professional Development Sharing Tool G. Record of Staff Attendance Page 2/23

3 INTRODUCTION With the recent announcement of the Federal Government's Long Day Care Professional Development Programme (LDCPDP) the Professional Support Coordinators Alliance (PSCA) designed a Tool to assist your service to develop a Professional Learning Plan that will meet the needs of your service now and into the future. This Tool builds upon the work and knowledge your service has already undertaken through the Quality Improvement Plan* and other key pieces of work your service has achieved such as Service Support Plans and strategic plans. This Tool will take approximately minutes to pull together, however the final Plan will be richer with some pre work by individual staff members and reflection and conversation with your whole team. Each State and Territory PSC will be available to provide assistance to services to develop their Plan please contact your relevant PSC to determine how to access this support and any cost involved. *Please note: If your service has not yet developed a Quality Improvement Plan you may wish to contact your local PSC to access Intensive Support. The Steps to your Professional Learning Plan This Tool provides a step by step approach to developing your services Professional Learning Plan. Some pre-work provides opportunity for individual staff to take time to reflect upon the skills and knowledge they currently have, and the areas which they seek to improve. The Tool is designed to start building the Plan from the beginning. There are hyperlinks to your Professional Learning Plan throughout the steps of the Tool so that you can begin populating it from the outset. You will also find Other Key Documents at the end of the Tool to assist you throughout the process of developing your Plan. PRE WORK Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 SKILLS AUDIT FOR EACH STAFF MEMBER TO COMPLETE Service overview Using your QIP and the other work you have undertaken to start identifying professional development priorities Exploring emerging professional learning needs Professional Learning Plan Where to next The Professional Learning Plan that is produced from using this Tool will provide detail of the Professional Development needs of your staff, the best learning approach to meet these needs, who the learning will target and the priority. Other details that you might include once this process is complete are the details of the delivery such as the provider, when and where the learning will take place. You may have systems in place that will allow you to drill down to this detail. Alternatively you might look to the template at the end of this Tool. Pre work: The final plan will focus on roles within your service but a key step of this process is for individual staff to complete a skills audit. Page 3/23

4 SECTION 1 Service Overview As you work through this Tool it will be useful to revisit your Philosophy Statement. As your Philosophy Statement articulates the overarching intent of your organisation it will provide a useful context from which to articulate your service learning needs and develop a Plan to meet these needs. Things to consider: How long ago was the philosophy statement reviewed? Is your philosophy relevant to your current practice? Does your current practice reflect the philosophy? How do educators, families and children relate to the philosophy? Current Workforce Do your current permanent staffing levels meet regulatory requirements and the needs of your service including the ratio and qualification requirements? Go to the ACECQA website for more details. Current requirements include: 50% of educators must have or be working towards a Diploma All educators must have or be working towards Certificate III All services required to have an early childhood teacher And other specific State and Territory requirements Current workforce Qualification Current number of educators Does this meet current requirements? Y/N If no, What are the Gaps in qualifications in your service currently? Certificate III Diploma Teaching degree Other staff members, eg administration, cooks Do the above gaps indicate a professional learning need? If so, transfer these to your Professional Learning Plan. Page 4/23

5 Future Workforce When developing a Professional Development Learning Plan it is important to not only think about current staff and needs but to look to the future to foresee future needs and how the Plan might address the issues that will emerge. Consider not only future changes to enrolment numbers but any other features of your community for example refugees, low SES, changes in enrolments in any particular age groups, enrolment trends over time. Are your enrolments growing, declining or stable? Availability of different types of staff into the future Do you anticipate upcoming retirements, downsizing, succession planning, increase in family leave; increase in need to supervise student teachers or other things that will impact on how much work your educators and other staff can do? Does your service have a succession plan or do you need to consider putting one in place. Do you envisage that you will have the staffing levels required to meet the needs of your service including the ratio and qualification requirements in 3 5 years time? Certificate III Future workforce requirements Qualification Current demand Future demand Gaps Diploma Teaching Degree Other staff members, eg administration, cooks Do the above gaps indicate professional learning needs? If so transfer these to your Professional Learning Plan. Page 5/23

6 SECTION 2 Quality Improvement Plans Review your Quality Improvement Plan. Based on the improvements and goals identified, what are the professional learning needs for your service to meet these outcomes? Plot these onto your Professional Learning Plan Individual Learning Plans Does your service undertake staff appraisals? Are there themes that emerge from these staff appraisals? Do they match with the needs in the QIP if not include these in your Professional Learning Plan. In reviewing the individual learning plans of all staff are their consistent learning needs identified? If these have not yet been captured from the QIP plot these into your Professional Learning Plan. Service Support Plans If your service has a Service Support Plan for access to Bicultural Support Program, Specialist Equipment, Inclusion Support Services, etc., are there any emerging needs that are not already captured in your Professional Learning Plan? Service Support Plans are often developed in consultation with Inclusion Support Facilitators. Page 6/23

7 SECTION 3 EXPLORING EMERGING PROFESSIONAL LEARNING NEEDS The following reflective statements are designed to assist your service to further explore key areas/ issues. We recommend that this section be undertaken with the staff as a whole. The statements are adapted from the Guide to the National Quality Standards on the ACECQA website. For each statement consider at which level you would place your organisation. In working through these statements it is likely that some Potential Learning Needs will be identified, so record them in the table below. LEVEL 1 Aspiring: We want to be able to do this in the future. LEVEL 2 Evolving: We have some capability but need more. LEVEL 3 Capable: We have confidently been doing this. LEVEL 4 Confident: We do this consistently to best practice. Note: Skills audit completed by individual staff may be used to assist the conversation in this section. QA1. Educational Program and Practice Level Potential Learning Need We build our knowledge and understanding of the Learning Framework that we use in our service to ensure enhanced learning outcomes for all children We ensure enhanced learning outcomes are a priority for all age groups We get to know about each child and their culture, strengths, abilities and interests We make decisions about children s daily experiences and routines and who is involved in making these decisions We make sure that experiences and routines are child-focused rather than adult-focussed We support every child s participation in the program We demonstrate in the program that we value children s ideas, thinking and interests We improve the ways in which we engage children in making decisions about their own learning We document and plan for children s learning We provide quality information to families about their children s learning, development and participation in the program Educators demonstrate intention in their teaching practice and this reflects on outcomes for children Page 7/23

8 We critically reflect on and evaluate the program, which is documented, and our evaluations are used to make informed curriculum decisions to improve outcomes for children QA2. Children s Health & Safety Level Potential Learning Need We find out about individual children s health requirements and routines and ensure that staff members who need to be aware are informed about these and know how to manage children s specific health requirements We keep up to date with current, authoritative information about the management of specific health needs and anaphylaxis The service adopts best practice in relation to the administration of medication for children We keep informed about current food safety and hygiene practices We keep up to date with current information about child and adult immunisation We ensure that families are informed about and follow the service s policy and guidelines for the exclusion of ill children We communicate with families if there is an outbreak of an infectious illness What arrangements are in place to regularly review and update our child health related policies and procedures We ensure food and drink is nutritious and appropriate to each child Children are encouraged to make healthy food and beverage choices We plan to meet the individual food and nutrition requirements of children We incorporate discussions and activities about healthy eating and caring for their bodies into children s everyday experiences We ensure staff members are familiar with current guidelines about healthy eating and physical activity We plan the program to ensure that there is a balance between planned and spontaneous active play as well as a balance between passive and active experiences We set up the environment and resources to encourage and support children to engage in movement and physical play We encourage child-initiated or child-directed play and recreational experiences Page 8/23

9 We encourage children to solve problems in relation to physical challenges in the environment We identify potential supervision risks in the service We plan to ensure that all areas used by children are effectively supervised, including when children are participating in high-risk activities We plan to manage supervision of small groups of children who may need to be in a different space from the main group We identify, assess and manage hazards and potential risks for children, such as potentially dangerous products, plants, objects and animals at the service, and how often do we do this. We ensure children are alerted to safety issues and supported to develop the skills to assess and minimise risks to their own safety We identify which emergency procedures and specific action plans are required for our service and how often to practise these We maintain an awareness of the people who have contact with children at the service and/or who collect children from the service We keep up to date with current legislation in our state or territory in relation to child protection QA3. Physical Environment Level Potential Learning Need Our physical environment contributes positively to children s learning and provides opportunities for sustained shared thinking and collaborative learning Our physical environment contribute positively to children s developing autonomy and independence We use the physical environment to support the creation of a welcoming environment where all children and families are respected and actively encouraged to collaborate with educators about curriculum decisions We ensure that there is interaction between the indoor and outdoor environments and that the design and organisation of these areas accommodates a variety of uses We ensure that children are safe entering and leaving the service We provide for children to be involved in planning and setting up the environment We foster children s capacity to understand and respect the natural environment and the interdependence between people, plants, animals and the land Page 9/23

10 The environment is equipped and organised to cater for all levels of capabilities We organise our physical environment to encourage children to explore, solve problems, create, construct and develop environmental awareness We organise environments and spaces in ways that allow children opportunities to play on their own as well as promote small and large group interactions and meaningful play and leisure We provide spaces that promote safe exploration, learning through play and interaction with the environment for babies and toddlers We provide opportunities for older children to safely undertake more complex physical activities, particularly in the outdoor environment The elements and features in the physical environment invite openended interactions, spontaneity, risk taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature, and where additional resources can be introduced to provoke interest and more complex and increasingly abstract thinking We balance the need for order and the organised chaos that happens when children play and explore The backgrounds and cultures of families and the wider community are reflected in the environment, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. We regularly evaluate the effectiveness of learning environments and draw links to the intended learning outcomes Our policies and practices promote children s understanding about their responsibility to care for the environment (day to day and for long-term sustainability) and promote the development of life skills, such as growing and preparing food, waste reduction and recycling We implement strategies to ensure educators foster children s capacity to: value and respect the broader environment and be worldwise? understand and appreciate the natural environment and the interdependence between people, plants, animals and the land Educators model environmentally friendly and sustainable practices We highlight our responsibilities for a sustainable future and promote children s understanding about their responsibility to care for the environment Clear messages are given to children about what is valued at the service through the environment, materials and resources and how they are maintained QA4. Staff Arrangements Level Potential Learning Need Page 10/23

11 Our staffing arrangements enable all children to feel that they belong in ways that support their being and becoming Our staffing arrangements and communication between nominated supervisors, educators, staff members, families and children support consistent practice, including staff members and children s transitions We ensure that the service s statement of philosophy reflects our different views, beliefs and values Our practice reflect the beliefs outlined in our statement of philosophy We acknowledge the personal strengths, professional experiences and diversity that colleagues bring to their work We promote professionalism, confidentiality and ethical conduct We have strategies developed to ensure information is shared between management, educators, co-ordinators and staff members We have opportunities to provide for educators, co-ordinators and staff members to have conversations and discussions to further develop their skills, or to improve practice and relationships. We ensure that everyone s voice is heard and considered Our service is a good place to work We have effective processes to resolve any ethical issues that may arise We have a workforce plan in place that supports the development of our workforce now and into the future QA 5. Relationships with Children Level Potential Learning Need We build close, secure relationships with children of all ages, abilities, genders and backgrounds We help children to feel that they belong in the service We learn about individual children s non-verbal cues and communication strategies, and the specific communication requirements of children who have additional needs We engage in children s play We interact with children to engage them in learning We have strategies and techniques to extend and build on children s comments and conversations We use conversations and interactions with children to make Page 11/23

12 routine times enjoyable and meaningful learning opportunities We enable children to form and maintain positive relationships with others A culture of respect, equity and fairness is encouraged in the service and clearly communicated to educators, children and families The program and routines are arranged to ensure adequate time for children to engage in projects and play experiences of their own choosing, with a variety of peers and adults We model positive, respectful relationships with others to children We ensure that the physical environment, program and routines are conducive to the development and maintenance of children s interpersonal relationships We promote a sense of community within the service We ensure that our policies on interactions with children reflects current information about child development and best practice in guiding young children s behaviour Children have opportunities to make decisions about rules, expectations and outcomes in relation to their own and other s behaviour We manage situations where we experience challenges in relation to guiding the behaviour of a child or group of children QA6. Collaborative Partnership with Families & Communities Level Potential Learning Need We reflect on our families, and our thinking is broad and reflects the diversity of children at the service We help all families to feel comfortable and welcome at the service We facilitate communication with families who have specific or diverse communication needs We find out if our communication strategies are reaching all families We have strategies in place for information sharing between families, educators and co-ordinators, during orientation, settling in and on an ongoing basis We listen to families and include their perspectives in the educational program Families have an active role in the service We encourage families to contribute to service activities and to their child s experiences in ways that are meaningful for them Page 12/23

13 We share decision making with our families We learn about children s families and those who are important in their lives The information that families provide to the service contribute to decision making We find out about the community resources that are relevant to our service and to the children in the service and their families We support families to access community resources We are considered when families make requests or express concerns. The nominated supervisor, educators and co-ordinators share information with each other to encourage continuity of care Communication is managed with other educators and with families when there are shift changes, when positions are shared or when different educators care for a child throughout the day Our educators and co-ordinators share information with other services to support each child s learning and development We support each child s transition from and to other education and care environments We support each child s transition to formal schooling We work with schools and other community organisations to meet the needs of children and their families We access support when we are working with children who have additional needs We know what is happening in our local community that is relevant to our work with children and families QA 7. Leadership & Service Management Level Potential Learning Need Leadership in our service contributes to the development of a positive organisational culture? We develop the skills and capacity of team members in a way that leads to improved shared leadership We create opportunities for professional conversations We share the collective knowledge of the team We know about the rate of and reasons for turnover of educators, co-ordinators and staff members at this service Page 13/23

14 We structure our staffing arrangements to improve continuity for children Our statement of philosophy reflects a commitment to continuous improvement We address complaints We undertake evaluation with parents and children Our performance management processes support continuous improvement Our management of confidential information meets requirements We have processes in place that support succession planning Transfer the professional learning needs that have been highlighted during the above process and move the relevant needs to your Professional Learning Plan Page 14/23

15 SECTION 4 THE PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PLAN GROUP AND THEMING This is an opportunity to review the Professional Development Needs identified in your Professional Learning Plan. It may be that through the process so far needs have been identified more than once or that some needs naturally cluster together. Similarly some needs listed may no longer be relevant as addressing one need may cover multiple identified needs. Take the time now to group or cluster the Professional Development Needs and streamline or cull any needs that will be addressed elsewhere. Page 15/23

16 PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PLAN Professional Development Need Professional Learning Approaches required to meet the need * Look at outputs from outcomes framework Who will the PD target? Priority Low/ Medium/High Professional development sessions; Whole team Accredited training and qualifications; Specific rooms Professional readings; Specific roles elearning and online learning modules; Team meeting packages; Customised sessions for whole staff teams; educational leader, educators, director, whole team, etc Professional conversations and networking; Mentoring and coaching; Peer observation; Practitioner inquiry and action research Service visits. Once this is completed you may wish to use Template E to capture further planning, or you may have systems currently in place that you can use. Page 16/23

17 OTHER KEY DOCUMENTS Skills Audit Staff Member: Year: 1. Educational program and practice Area Current Strengths and Skills Areas I want to develop further 2. Children s health and safety 3. Physical environment 4. Staffing arrangements 5. Relationships with children 6. Collaborative partnership with families and communities 7. Leadership and service management Other: e.g. qualification (upgrade) Page 17/23

18 A. PROFESSIONAL LEARNING APPROACHES There are a lot of approaches to professional learning. This section invites you to consider the range of approaches and match these to best meet the needs of your service. Different approaches will meet different needs. The PSCA has investigated a variety of professional learning models which are explored in this publication Child Care Educators: Learning and Growing Through Professional Development (PSCA Online Library). The features of effective professional development as explored by the PSCA include: the extension of the professional development program over a period of time the involvement of staff in assessing their own learning the creation of opportunities for staff to apply new knowledge and skills in their own work settings the creation of opportunities for staff to have a trusted other to discuss developing practice Gaining awareness of our own thinking, actions and influence when we want to enhance the quality of our practice involves participating in professional development activities that: provide opportunities for questioning our own experiences and views (not just simply validating them) provide opportunities for us to think critically about the values and assumptions underlying our practice and consider events and situations from different perspectives provide information and knowledge about alternative practices / perspectives at both theoretical and practical levels engage us in investigating real life examples in our own settings. Models or approaches of Professional Development that support the above include: Learning series Action Learning Action Research Accredited Training and qualifications Service visits and staff exchanges Professional readings elearning and online learning modules Team meeting packages Page 18/23

19 Customised sessions for whole staff teams Professional conversations Mentoring, coaching and consultancy Practitioner inquiry Learning communities and networks Participating in professional development opportunities with other services has great benefit so please consider this in your planning. There will also be times when a centre based response best meets the need. Finally some of the needs identified will be met by information sessions and other one-off activities. B. THE LEADERS ROLE IN PROFESSIONAL LEARNING Please reflect on your centre's philosophy and your vision for quality, and theoretical influences. Is there anything you would like to work on in regard to your framework for practice? How will Professional Development be supported? Page 19/23

20 C. SELECTING QUALITY PROVIDER/S - KEY QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING A PROVIDER Does the provider draw on current research? Does the provider assist participants to critically reflect on practice and build on service's strengths; does it allow you to test strategies? Are there opportunities to learn with others? Do they work collaboratively in partnership with staff, being respectful of the views and advice given by the leaders in our service? Do they offer regular contact & support? Do they make themselves available to discuss any questions or concerns? Will they provide helpful and constructive feedback to both the learners and the leaders in our centre? Will the professional learning be relevant to our workplace and provide staff with opportunities to undertake work based projects as part of learning? Do they allow sufficient time in professional learning to explore individual and service perspectives? Are they able to offer support to learners who may have literacy or numeracy needs and different learning styles? Do they provide professional materials and resources which are sector specific and appropriate? Is their knowledge of the Early Years Learning Framework and NQF current Do their facilitators have appropriate early childhood qualifications and experience or recognised skills relevant to the area being delivered? Do their facilitators get opportunities to develop their own professional skills and knowledge? Are they prepared to negotiate times for our staff to access professional learning in a way which meets the needs of both our staff and our workplace thus minimising disruption to the operation of our service? What feedback have you heard about the quality/outcomes of the provider? Adapted from SA Health and Community Skills Board, 2012 "How to choose the right Registered Training Organisation for your service" Page 20/23

21 D. TEMPLATE Professional Development Need Professional Learning Approaches required to meet the need * Who will the PD target? (e.g. educational leader, educators, director, whole team, etc) Name of Professional Development Provider Date Details Whole team Specific rooms Specific roles Page 21/23

22 E. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SHARING TOOL All staff complete this sharing tool after attending professional development and share with the whole staff team at a staff meeting. Consider how you will share this information with your team information/fact sheet, notes from the session or a short presentation? What questions did you have prior to accessing professional development? What questions do you have now? Identify 2 things that had an impact on you What are 2 changes you would make as a result of this professional development? As a team complete this section at your staff meeting. Consider the following: How will you implement these 2 changes in your service? Do we need to make changes to our QIP? Who will lead these changes? Team evaluation: Page 22/23

23 F. RECORD OF STAFF ATTENDANCE Year: Professional Development Staff member Copy of certificate Y/N Date of completion Cost Link to the QIP or NQS Page 23/23

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