About the Ready Services Audit Tool
The Ready Services Audit Tool has been developed as part of the Greater Shepparton Enhanced Best Start Project 2011-2014.
The Audit Tool aims to support local early years services such as Maternal and Child Health and kindergarten to improve the key attributes which make early childhood services child and family friendly. Research shows that vulnerable families in particular are more likely to engage with services which are welcoming, inclusive, non-judgemental and culturally sensitive. Such ‘ready services’ promote self reflection for practitioners in regard to the strategies and practices which sustain inclusion and accessibility.
Six key areas are considered as part of the tool:
- Physical Environment
- Relationships with Families
- Reflective Practice
Who should use the Ready Services Audit Tool?
The tool has been used by Maternal and Child Health nurses and kindergarten educators in the City of Greater Shepparton but has valid application in all early childhood education and care services.
What are the benefits of the Tool?
The tool can be used by staff and management to consider how 'family friendly and ready' their service is, and to reflect on and promote best practice. It is also an excellent communication tool for management and staff to discuss where the service is doing well and which areas need improved focus. The Audit Tool provides a process for monitoring service quality and ongoing service improvement and is closely aligned with the National Quality Standard and Quality Improvement Plan process for all early years education and care services. An appendix is included which demonstrates these links.
How long does it take to complete the Ready Services Audit Tool?
The tool could be completed as a whole activity in approximately 2 - 3 hours but it is recommended that teams undertake the tool in regular team meetings with one key area designated (approx. 20 -30 minutes) per meeting. A final overview session could be used to develop the summary and action plan.
How often should the Ready Services Audit tool be used?
The tool is intended to be used annually. In Greater Shepparton the audit is completed by services on an annual basis and a ‘Ready Services Audit Summary and Action Plan’ developed to address identified areas for improvement and to enhance current practice/strategies over the coming year.
Best Start Co-ordinator
Greater Shepparton City Council
Ph: 03 5832 9790
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