The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education

Full & Part-time Day Care

Standard 11: Professional practice

Practising in a professional manner requires that individuals have skills, knowledge, values and attitudes appropriate to their role and responsibility within the setting. In addition, it requires regular reflection upon practice and engagement in supported, ongoing professional development.

Component 11.1 | Component 11.2 | Component 11.3 | Component 11.4 | Component 11.5

Component 11.1 - All adults working within the setting can provide evidence that they have achieved levels of skills and knowledge appropriate to their role and responsibilities.

Signposts for Reflection


What levels of qualifications have been attained by adults working in the setting?

Think about (e.g.)

  • National Framework for Qualifications level indicators
  • Professional qualification requirements


Can adults working directly with children in the setting demonstrate that they have skills and knowledge in core areas appropriate to their role and responsibilities?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Special Needs


Are those in managerial roles qualified to at least Bachelor degree level or equivalent?


Are adults working in autonomous or supervisory positions qualified to at least Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) Level 6 or equivalent?


Are all adults included for the purposes of calculating ratios of adults to children in the setting qualified to FETAC Level 5 or equivalent?


Are all other adults who are unqualified, or in the process of acquiring training and qualifications, treated as supernumerary in the setting?


Are adults working in support positions appropriately qualified?


What evidence can adults provide to demonstrate the levels of skills and knowledge they have achieved?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Formal learning (e.g., qualifications, certified learning, etc.)
  • Informal learning (e.g., portfolios of learning, experience, etc.)

Component 11.2 - All adults subscribe to a set of core principles, which inform all aspects of their practice in early childhood care and education settings.

Signposts for Reflection


What are the key principles which guide and determine practice in your setting?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Philosophy statement
  • Professional code of ethics
  • Voluntary code of practice
  • National principles/standards
  • National practice organisations' guidelines
  • International guidelines
  • National legislation and regulations See 15.1


What processes demonstrate how your principles/vision statement influences practice in your setting?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Team processes See 10.4
  • Parental involvement processes See 3.2
  • Consultation processes See 4.1
  • Observation based practice See 7.6
  • Curriculum/programme
  • Research processes (e.g., library, internet, etc.)

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Component 11.3 - The setting supports and promotes regular opportunity for practitioners to reflect upon and review their practice and contribute positively to the development of quality practice in the setting.

See 8.1

Signposts for Reflection


What processes are in place to allow practitioners time to reflect on their own practice, in order to identify areas where obtaining additional knowledge or changing approaches is necessary?


How often is time scheduled in your setting for group reflection and discussion about practice?


How are practitioners encouraged to share their experience and ideas regarding practice in the setting? See 16.1

Component 11.4 - Adults within the setting are encouraged and appropriately resourced to engage in a wide variety of regular and ongoing professional development.

Signposts for Reflection


In what type of professional development activity do adults working in the setting participate?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Conferences
  • Workshops
  • Cluster groups
  • College level courses and seminars
  • Online courses and Internet resources
  • In-service, summer courses
  • Compiling or consulting a resource library
  • Staff exchanges
  • Observation of other practitioners/settings
  • Mentoring and coaching


How are practitioners encouraged to engage in professional development?

Think about (e.g.)

  • An achievable, realistic, professional development plan
  • Developing, implementing and reviewing this plan
  • Levels of in-service training sessions available
  • Sessions specific to early childhood or applying the principles of adult learning
  • Opportunity and structures to facilitate mentoring for practitioners
  • Incentives to encourage practitioners to engage in professional development
  • Allocating resources (time, funding, materials) to professional development
  • Support staff (e.g., cook, bus driver, secretary, etc.) and volunteers are provided with appropriate induction and supervision which builds positively on their existing levels of expertise


To what degree are practitioners regularly observed in the setting and provided with feedback by someone familiar with the curriculum's/programme's goals, objectives and methods of working with children?


How are cooperative working relationships with other community services used to support professional development of practitioners? See 16.1 / 16.3

Component 11.5 - Adults demonstrate sensitivity, warmth and positive regard for children and their families.

See 5.3 See 9.6

Signposts for Reflection


How are individual children's efforts and ideas acknowledged and encouraged? See 5.3 / 5.4


How do you communicate this information to parents and families? See 3.1


How do adults encourage children to interact with, and turn to, one another for assistance throughout the day? See 5.1 / 5.2


How do adults respond sensitively to parents' need for information and reassurance on the well-being of their child? See 3.3 See 12.2

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