20 May The Educational Leader?
The National Quality Framework (NQF) has highlighted the role of the educational leader in the Education and Care service National Law and Regulations relating to the National Quality Standard (NQS). (NQS provides the regulatory framework for most long day care, preschool/ kindergarten, family day care and outside school hours care services, (ACECQA, 2011, p. 7)). Under the Regulations, the Approved (service) Provider is required to appoint an educational leader.
The educational leader in children’s education and care services has an influential role in inspiring, motivating, affirming and also challenging or extending the practice and pedagogy of educators. The role is a collaborative endeavour involving inquiry and reflection, which can significantly impact on the important work educators do with children and families (ACECQA).
Responsibilities of the Educational Leader
The role of the educational leader is primarily to:
- Collaborate with educators and provide curriculum direction and guidance.
- Support educators to effectively implement the cycle of planning to enhance programs and practices.
- Lead the development and implementation of an effective educational program in the service.
- Insure children’s learning and development are guided by the learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework and/or the Framework for School Age Care or other approved learning frameworks.
The educational leader also has a significant role in:
- Guiding and developing educators and families’ understandings about play and leisure-based learning, and the significance of the early years in the education continuum for children.
- Building the knowledge, skills and professionalism of educators.
- Building a culture of professional inquiry with educators, coordinators and staff members to develop professional knowledge, reflect on practice and generate new ideas.
- Using team meetings to reflect on current practices.
Neither the National Quality Standard nor the legislative requirements are prescriptive about the qualifications, experience or required skills for the person chosen to be the educational leader. The flexibility of these provisions allows approved providers to choose the person best suited to take on this role. However, when selecting an educational leader, the following skills, knowledge and attributes might be considered:
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Comprehensive knowledge of theory relating to childhood education and care (for example, child development, attachment, learning), professional standards and approved learning frameworks, and contemporary understanding of evidence-based best practice approaches to teaching and learning
- Knowledge of leadership theory and the use of a range of leadership styles
- Critical thinking skills, including the ability to analyse and challenge conventional practice and ideas
- A sense of purpose and direction, and the ability to influence
- A willingness to mentor and support educators from diverse backgrounds and with varying levels of knowledge and experience
- A commitment to learning and participating in professional learning opportunities.
So, it is not just the qualification. It can be your passion that may lead you to leadership role. However, qualification to gain the deeper knowledge of industry is always a bonus. It will enhance your confidence and your ability to make informed decisions. Thus, if you hold the CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, consider studying CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care. If you hold the CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care consider studying Bachelor in Early Childhood.
Did you know – if you hold the CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care you may get some credit points towards studying Bachelor in Early childhood Education.