Quality practice in tune with young voices


Responding to children’s ideas, views, interests and needs is important for program decision making in all early childhood settings.

Giving children a voice promotes self-esteem and a sense of belonging.

Feeling safe and happy gives children the confidence to experiment, explore and try out new ideas.

Educational leader Amanda Lowe said children were central to programming and practice at Macgregor Outside School Hours Care (MOSHC).

‘The children have a lot of autonomy and the whole way we approach our program or our activities, it’s coming from a child, it’s not coming from an adult,’ Amanda said.

‘We follow their lead. I think there’s magic in that for the children.’

Georgia Campbell, an educator at Macgregor OSHC, said the team focuses on making sure children have autonomy over what they want to do.

‘If we see a child engaged in an activity and that's not necessarily programmed, we’re not thinking, “Oh, this is a programmed activity. They need to focus on this,”' Georgia said.

‘Instead of just because it’s programmed, this has to run, it’s like, no, if the child's interested in this activity, we are going to run with it and we are going to help support them engage in whatever they want to do.’

The strength of the National Quality Framework is that it is not prescriptive about how things should be done because each service is unique.

Amanda said the My Time, Our Place Learning Framework underpins everything the Macgregor OSHC team does.

‘We ask our educators to document a learning story each week,’ she said.

‘We utilise those learning stories as well as the child feedback and observations we’ve done of the children and parent suggestions, and information from the school and the community, and we put that all into a program.’

Georgia said there are no fixed rules about what educators have to document to support program delivery and children’s learning outcomes.

‘So everything comes through really authentically, and I think that comes across as well in the documentation. It’s not forced.’

Amanda said critical reflection is multifaceted at Macgregor OSHC.

‘Robust conversations around practice, policy and program are an integral part of what we do here.’

Georgia said the team critically reflects in team debriefs, individually and as groups.

‘And I think we have a really nice balance o​​f that as well. It’s not all just, “Oh, we didn’t do this. Well, we should have done this.” It’s, “Let’s highlight our strengths, but let’s also think about how we can do better as well.”’

Watch how the team at Macgregor Outside School Hours Care ensures their programming and practice is responsive to each child’s needs​ (transcript).

More information​

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Last updated 15 February 2023