All posts by @nurturing

12Jun/15

Notice of Constitution Review and Special General Meeting 19th June 2015

FDCAQ Legal Entity and Contitution Review

Dear Members
Please watch the recording below from, President Bev Keleher inviting you to participate in the review and speical general meeting in reviewing the legal entitiy and constitution of the Family Day Care Association QLD Inc.

Also below is the notice of the special general meeting, draft copy of the suggested constitution and proxy voting papers.

The special general meeting will be held at the FDCAQ Office at 2 pm on Friday the 19th June.

Please do not hesitate in contacting me for any further information or providing written feedback by the 18th of June.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Peta McNellie

26May/15

Our first members blog

Dear Members

Welcome to our first ‘members blog’ we hope that this is going to be a dynamic and timely opportunity to communicate the activities of FDCAQ and events influencing our sector.

It is developed to be a two way communication, so we will be excited to see your comments and feedback as well.

Consistently we have continued to improve on communication with our members, the ‘members blog’, updated website and our operating membership portal will provide an active platform for us to be more effective than ever before.

However the richness of this format will only be strengthened by your participation. So please do not be shy, worry about writing a big story; a few comments, photos etc… will help to continue to bring our members together and ensure that as a state, FDC is strong, professional, leading edge and fun.

We will continue to invite members to be a guest blogger to share your unique points of view.

If you already subscribe to an RSS feed please include our ‘members blog’  RSS The Peak RSS Feed, so you never miss any information.

Talk soon.

The team from FDCAQ

26May/15

Membership Renewal Letter

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Dear Member,

Family Day Care Association of Queensland is the very active peak body for FDC in Queensland representing your service to Government and other organisations within the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) community and supporting staff and educators through our resource and advisory service. Membership payments for the 2014-2015 year are now due.
Peak bodies such as ours that are membership based are respected by Government because of the number of individual services and view-points they represent and the quality of that representation. Your continued membership allows FDCAQ to continue to undertake this role. The management committee and staff of the FDCAQ Office believe that FDCAQ supports your work in many ways.
Primarily, our role in advocacy is crucial to the ongoing conversations with legislators within government and the community to maintain the integrity of FDC and to safe guard that decisions are in the best interests of children and the FDC service.
FDCAQ has an ongoing commitment to ensuring that we continue to meet the expectations of our membership. It is a dedicated team based in our Murarrie office and our volunteer Management Committee that continues to support our ability to achieve the success in our service delivery and would not be successful without their commitment to our shared values and common purpose of outcomes for children. This past year has seen FDCAQ stepping out with a strong and informed voice in representing the QLD FDC sector.
However without our membership, our role of Peak body becomes silent. I would like to acknowledge the ongoing support we receive from our membership in continuing to respond to feedback requests, pay membership, participate in our events and guide and support the work of FDCAQ.
Our role in leadership of the FDC community has been evident in the following ways in the past 12 months:
Representation of members on following groups:

  • FDC Representative on the State Government Education Ministerial Council
    • Sector Development Working Party (OECEC)
    • Queensland Children Services Alliance
    • Professional Support Coordinator Alliance- FDC Reference Group.
    • Metro ECEC Reference Committee
  • Partnership with Division of ECEC in relation to communication strategies with FDC.
  • Exploration of online opportunities for communication and training.
  • Publishing of the 2014 & 2015 FDC Educators Diary
  • Invited to be on the panel for DSS Community Forum
  • Continuous dialogue with DSS Compliance team on what to consider from a FDC perspective.
  • DETE FUNDING $535,000.00: Education Program and Practice Project:
    • development of EYLF FDC Practice Guide and Coordinator Implementation Handbook
    • Coordinator Capability Fram,ework
    • Induction Package (200 free places)
    • CALD Project – practice based website for new Educators and Families to FDC.
  • DOE PROJECT: Round one – Eligibility for CSP & Second Round: Business Models and one on one mentoring support to 8 QLD services.
  • PSCQ Finding – Support Resource and Advisory Phone Services, attendance Regionals (Brisbane, South West Darling Downs, Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay, Cairns, Rockhampton, Logan Regional, Ipswich and Springfield Lakes and Maximising.
  • Forum 18th & 19th Feb: Sustainability in uncertain times
  • Submission to Regulatory Impact Statement
  • Attendance at Sydney Productive Commission Hearing
  • National Quality Framework RIS Forum for Peaks
  • Represented FDCAQ at FDCA Symposium – Adelaide
  • Represented FDCAQ at ECA – Conference Melbourne
  • Collaboration on LEAPS training package
  • Quarterly Educational Leadership meetings
  • New Coordinator Training
  • Attendance at Beaucare FDC Board Meeting
  • Supported Interagency Meetings – FDCAQ, DETE and DOE
  • Hosted CALD working party – Quarterly meetings interagency (ATO, DOE, DETE, PSCQ, FDCAQ)
  • Supported CALD FDC services – Information sessions
  • Attendance at Workforce Action Plan Meeting
  • Develop media strategy for FDC Qld services and FDCAQ
  • Meeting with Stakeholders Re. ECEC skill sets and VET Investment Plan

FDCAQ through its training organisation Family Day Care Training Australia (FDCTA) provides the family day care community with accredited and non-accredited training by early childhood professionals who have worked in FDC and therefore understand its complexities and uniqueness. FDCTA has delivered accredited training across Australia and has been a representative on various industry reference group with respect to the Children Services Training Package
Recent years have seen the greatest change of policy direction ever delivered by government. The budget announcements in 2014 has seen a dramatic increase in the advocacy work FDCAQ is involved in, including supporting the DSS FDC Education and Support Project form the QLD perspective and the representation at various forums on the legislative instrument changes.
FDCAQ was successful in receiving funding from Professional Support Coordinator of Queensland (PSCQ) to continue to deliver resource, support and professional learning to the sector in relation to the emerging issues we are all facing, including ongoing engagement of the National Quality Framework. FDCAQ management committee and staff are committed to work to provide leadership and facilitate conversations to support the FDC sector in Queensland.
Your membership ensures you receive FDC sector specific training and attendance at professional development at a discounted rate. FDCAQ continues to provide a phone and email advisory service that gives members access to skilled professionals to work through issues, problem solve, receive current information and feel supported.
FDCAQ provides an educator and family referral service to member services only. It continues to be identified that these services are valued highly by our membership.
Your invitation to renew your FDCAQ membership for 2014-2015 is driven by the strong belief that Family Day Care as a whole stands stronger as a united voice than as a collection of individual voices. The Membership year is from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. FDCAQ invites you to continue membership and participate fully in our united future.
Next week our finance team will send you an invoice based on your EFT provided to us last year. If this information is not correct, please do not hesitate in contacting them at finance@fdcqld.org or ring Mira on 3399 3737.
Finally we are very excited to have our new website up including our membership portal. This afternoon you will receive an email from WordPress with a username and password for you to register you details and access the membership portal.
It has been an honour to serve you as our members this year and we all look forward to another busy and thriving year.

Yours faithfully
Peta McNellie
Executive Manager

22May/15

Setting the foundation for quality practice in family day care

Loop Magazine Article –  Autum 2015 – Cathy Cahill

It all starts with an effective Educator Recruitment and Induction process

Over the last year the Family Day care industry have experienced a great deal of uncertainty and change. This has lead us to challenge our old thinking around what a coordination unit should look like. We have found there to be a strong correlation and connection between Family Day Care Educators being highly skilled and having constant and effective support from their coordination unit. This support can be in many forms but it has to start with a comprehensive Educator Recruitment and Induction Process. Thus giving Educators the best possible foundations which leads to the best outcomes for children.

As an organization FDCAQ has recently researched and created a recruitment and induction process to assist Coordination Units in the process of acquiring and maintaining high quality educators. We feel by highlighting the contemporary approach of focusing on the importance of the Recruitment and Induction Process to attract high quality educators opposed to the redundant thinking based on arbitrary Educator numbers is the correct thinking of establishing the future of Family Day care as a force in the Education and Care sector.

Coordination Units need to start to focus on understanding adult learning principles in their role of ensuring quality outcomes to children in an educator’s home environment.  By using these principles each Coordination Unit will gain a deeper understanding of best practice to help develop mentoring and support processes which enables the learner to develop dispositions for learning. These dispositions for learning are developed when coordinators work with an educator as equal partners and each party recognizes the skills, attributes and competencies they bring to any learning experience.

Knowles work on ‘Andragogy’ highlights 5 key learning principles for consideration when working with adult learners.

  1. Self-concept: As a person matures their self-concept moves from one of being a dependent personality toward one of being a self-directed human being
  2. Experience: As a person matures they accumulates a growing reservoir of experience that becomes an increasing resource for learning.
  3. Readiness to learn. As a person matures their readiness to learn becomes oriented increasingly to the developmental tasks of their social roles with families, children and coordinators
  4. Orientation to learning. As a person matures their time perspective changes from one of postponed application of knowledge to immediacy of application, and accordingly their orientation toward learning shifts from one of subject-centeredness to one of problem centeredness – hence the precedency toward the on the job learning.
  5. Motivation to learn: As a person matures their motivation to learn increases to an internal process – driven by own motivation to learn. (Knowles 1984: 12 in Smith, M 2002)

These principles align well with that of the more well-known theory of pedagogy applied to child learning principles. The role of the coordinator, once a person is deemed appropriate for the role of the educator is not a ‘teaching role’ but rather a mentoring and support role. Walking alongside the educators, supporting their capacity to build competency through professional development planning, resourcing and engaging in problem solving processes. This happens through a range of strategies, while face to face home visits are a key component of building an understanding of the educator’s practices this cannot be seen as the only or ‘best’ way to undertake this mentoring and support role.

So, what are some of the ways services actually ensure they can and do support educators?

Using an in-depth Recruitment and Induction Process ensures the coordination unit are selecting educators that support the ethos and philosophy of the service, have the suitable attributes, skills and qualifications. This process builds an Educator profile which contains knowledge about the educator, her/his family, the education and care environment and the arras Educators may need further Professional Development.

The development of a Professional Improvement Plan – this requires a collaborative process where both the educator and coordinator identify the current strengths and areas of support needed.

Family Day Care Educators are responsible for the all the day to day management of their home based service, this includes making decisions about the learning environment provided, managing the wellbeing and safety, implementing service policy and procedures, enrolment of families in the educator’s environment and although only required to hold or be studying towards a Certificate III qualification.

The above attributes are what each Educator needs to have to coordinate the day to day operations of their FDC business demonstrates that through the focus on quality recruitment and induction processes to attract applicants with the best skills and attributes. Also they need to be supported in a system with coordinators who are skilled and qualified in andragogy. Every Educator will play a significant role in the lives of the children’s in their care, this is why we need to get it right from the start.

FDC provides an environment for skilful, self-managed adults to demonstrate quality outcomes for children. This alone demonstrates the impact of a strong intentional recruitment and andragogy approach by coordination unit staff in supporting and recruiting educators.

Reference

Smith, M. K. (2002) ‘Malcolm Knowles, informal adult education, self-direction and anadragogy’.

13May/15

Looking through the lens of change

Loop Magazine Article – Summer 2015 – Cathy Cahill

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Even though many Family Day Care services are facing the dilemma of funding cuts and with this needing to move to new ways of operating to meet the requirement of the National Quality Framework. Services continue to focus on the quality provision of education and care. The transition and transformation to the National Quality Framework has for many coordinators presented an opportunity to demonstrate their skilfulness in supporting educators in their provision of quality education and care. The below story reflects one Educational Leaders’ reflection on working with her coordination unit team to move thinking about supporting educators and to assist and challenge them to adapt to the new expectations.

Looking through the lens of change

My journey began when I took on the role as Educational Leader in a Family Day Care service. With the impending Ratings and Assessments process looming over our service the Coordination team decided to undertake a process to identify and determine, to what extent each educator was meeting the National Quality Standards. This included considering the capacity and skills of each educator within our service and the planning required by the team to support and scaffold their skills development.

The Coordination team worked together to identify the Educators needing additional support to enable them to move from working toward to meeting the National Quality Framework.

Part of our process was recognising that this ‘change’ is transformational, it would not be easy but with a commitment to outcomes for children the Coordination team felt they were up for the task. Assisting educators to explore and embrace new ways of thinking and working with families and children require the team to:

  • Understand that individual educators will respond differently to when faced with new ways of thinking
  • Respond sensitively to individual reactions, and understanding this may bring with it varied reactions, emotions and impacts which require supportive strategies.
  • Use effective communication, employ a range of processes to communicate ‘Why’ the NQS enhance their work.
  • Recognise working collaboratively with all stakeholders is a critical factor in assisting others through the initial and ongoing stages.
  • Consider educator’s past personal experiences in relation to working with coordination team members

With all these aspects in the forefront of our thinking the Coordination team considered, what was already known about each educator with regards to how they were meeting each of the 7 Quality areas of the National Quality Standard.  We used the ‘Attitude Bell Curve’ as a guide to assist our team to collectively benchmark where we believed each educator was at in their journey towards meeting the NQS.

During these initial discussions we identified whist most educators were embracing the National Quality Standards (NSQ) some of our longer term and newer educators had not yet committed too or where struggling to engage with the NSQ.

Our process involved developing an educator improvement plan around the type, and the amount of individual support they needed to assist their developing understanding of the NQS.

The process included assigning a skilful coordinator to work with the educator for an agreed timeframe, focusing on one specified quality area until the educator felt confident and competent. This involved a weekly professional development visits where the Coordinators would, not only support educators in practice but help build awareness, a deeper knowledge base and new skills. They also challenged each educator’s perception of the NQS as the process for benchmarking and showcased the educator’s professional practice for themselves.

Coordinators found that some educators were challenged by this targeted process, but within a short period of time, relished receiving this additional mentoring which cultivated confidence and their capacity to meet and even exceed the NQS.

While, other educators demonstrated high resistance to the whole idea of embracing these quality standards and were reluctant to engage in the process or resisted making the changes required. As a result of this outcome a new strategy was employed; it was decided that further conversations around expectations were required with these educators. This included a frank but necessary conversation about whether, the educator had the attitude and commitment to continue to offer quality education and care with our service. The coordination team reiterated their committed to supporting these educators. They discussed their willingness to assist educators to embrace the new standards of practice. However, our team collectively were firm in conveying a clear and consistent message that this process would not be at the expense of quality outcomes for children and this change in attitude was required by the individual educators. Were there losses, you bet there were, but we now have a cohort of educators in our team committed to their professional practice and who have a strong awareness of how this influence outcomes for children.

Our learnings: 

Change is not managed but lead, transformational change required the coordination team to stay strong, have a clear and concise message, to be prepared to challenge, support and seek commitment from themselves and our team of educators. We recognised educators had to make a choices about their future, come on the journey with the service and we will support you, or if this is not possible, we are committed to assisting the educator to self-select out of this career option.

“Change is an inevitable and necessary part of working in early childhood education and care. Educators will be well equipped to survive change by understanding the process of change, being prepared for change and implementing change in a positive and professional manner.”  Professional Support Coordinator TAS, 2010

References:

Change Management, 2010 (Gowrie) Professional Support Coordinator TAS

www.gowrie-adelaide.com.au/…/Professional%20Learning%20in%20Act.

Cole,B. & Seaman.R, The Attitude Bell Curve And Mental Toughness As Business Tools, 2005. http://www.mentalgamecoach.