Does your team look a bit like this? Is everyone working independently and going in different directions and you don’t know how to get them back together? Sometimes it can seem like it is impossible, and we are fighting an uphill battle because we have so much to do, and so little time. Not only are we busy, but the educators are also busy so how to we find time to sit and connect with them and ensure everyone is on the same page when they are all working on their daily tasks too?

Obviously every team is different and there is not going to be one magical solution (sorry!) but there are some simple steps that can be taken, and some quick and easy procedures that can be implemented to help get your team on the same path and looking a bit more like this…


Explaining why: Often if people know why they have to do things a certain way, or change their practices, or collaborate with others it becomes easier to process and accept. Sometimes the reason why is “because it is a requirement” but this should not be the only reason. Does it benefit the children? The service? The community? The educators? Reflect best current practice? Allow for consistency? and so forth.

Having clear policies and procedures: Making sure everyone is aware of the requirements and has documented evidence to refer back too. It is important to make sure the policies are up to date, so they match required procedures, and also that new policies are created to fill gaps if a situation arises.

Communicating service goals: By utilising the QIP to explain what goals the service is currently working towards and even how educators can help with these, can support the service to be working towards common goals. This also allows educators to feel a part of the process and connected with their service. You could use something like this…


Reflective practice: By encouraging educators to question the norm, be creative, collaborate together and ask “why?” or “why not?” it supports educators to connect more with the service. Sometimes the reason educators don’t appear part of the team is because they don’t feel part of the team. This leads to them showing up, doing their job, and going home. But if everyone is communicating and asking questions and trying new things and there is a safe and secure culture to do this in, then this can help engagement.

Establishing educator goals: Each educator should be working on a goal at all times, this keeps them engaged, focused and supported. Goals can be anything from working on arriving at the service on time for shifts, to investigating transition activities to help support the flow of the routine, to establishing a connection with the local school and working out a roster of excursions. For more information click here

Role modelling: Often it is hard to be an off the floor director/nominated supervisor/manager and have so many jobs to do that getting into the rooms can be difficult. Depending on what is happening in your service, try and take some time to be in the rooms and role model appropriate skills. Whether it be setting up inviting spaces, being creative with use of resources, following the children’s lead, following procedures, or even just reflective practices, if you lead by example, instead of giving directions, sometimes this can help educators see what the expectations are.

Having a code of conduct: The regulations require services to have a code of conduct, and many use the ECA code of ethics for this. A code of conduct states what one party is required to do/how they will behave, and then what the other party will do in return. This can often be useful for specific situations like a staff meeting, but it can also work to unite a team. It states what educators will bring to the table, and in return what management will provide. Everyone collaborates on the document, so it reflects everyone’s voice, and then sign it to agree to the code. It is a handy document to refer back to if educators are not pulling their weight, or if there is a question as to why some members of the team get more benefits than others.



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Surviving the heat

If you are in a part of the country that has experienced the exceptionally hot weather this summer here are some tips to support children during the hot weather…

  • Make sure you follow sun smart policies. Wear appropriate hats, clothing and sunscreen, and avoid going outside in the hottest part of the day, and monitor the UV levels.  
  • Monitor the temperature of floors and equipment. Even though the weather might cool down metal, rubber and plastic items can hold their heat for extended periods. If things are still too hot to touch manage this my avoiding areas, wearing shoes and so forth.
  • Minimise running around for the children. Children often don’t notice the heat but they can make themselves ill  with heatstroke and dehydration from running around in the heat. You can do this by providing lots of quiet and inviting areas including table activities, mat activities and so forth. 
  • Utilise water and ice. Water can be used in many different ways from water troughs to painting with water, watering gardens, washing toys, sprinklers and so forth. Ice makes a great addition to cool children down but also introduce science with melting, floating, etc.  Paints can be frozen to add an additional creative method to paint. Toys can  also be frozen into ice so children can work on freeing them. There’s some suggestions I’ve saved to my pinterest board if you would like to check it out 
  • If staying inside support physical activity. Ensure there are still physical opportunities, whether it be dancing, games or bringing in some safe outdoor resources. Setting up a tunnel, ball pit, low obstacle course etc can all help children develop gross motor skills while inside. 
  • Encourage lots of fluids. Ensure children drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. You can also have some healthy frozen treats like frozen fruit (watermelon works great), home made ice blocks with fruit infused into water or very diluted juice.  

Hopefully everyone finds ways to stay safe and cool. If you have any great tips for staying cool in child care please comment below. 
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