The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education

Sessional Services

Standard 4. Consultation

Ensuring inclusive decision-making requires consultation that promotes participation and seeks out, listens to and acts upon the views and opinions of children, parents and staff, and other stakeholders, as appropriate.

Component 4.1 | Component 4.2

Component 4.1 - The setting actively invites contributions to decision-making processes and strategies for the development and delivery of the service from a wide range of interested stakeholders.

Signposts for Reflection


How do you encourage consultation with staff, parents, children and other appropriate stakeholders?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Regular staff meetings are held as a means for staff to identify their needs
  • Adults are facilitated to share opinions through an appropriate forum (e.g., regular group meetings, suggestion boxes, input into purchasing decisions, etc.)
  • Open, solution-driven discussions take place on a regular basis within the setting
  • Parents are given an opportunity to have input regarding the policies and procedures of your service
  • Parents are given opportunities to have meetings with staff to discuss their child's development, accomplishments and/or needs/difficulties See 3.1
  • All staff participate in annual appraisal of the setting
  • All staff are provided with the opportunity to evaluate their own performance
  • Annual meetings are held, during which all stakeholders are invited to share their views
  • Parents have full representation on advisory, management and policy-making committees See 3.2
  • Staff seek input from parents about the curriculum/programme and its relationship to children's development
  • Interactions with a broad range of stakeholders (e.g., families, colleagues, assistants, other community services, regulatory or other statutory officials, etc.) are facilitated in an efficient and effective manner
  • Adults actively create opportunities to involve children in age-appropriate decision-making with regard to the development of the setting See 1.1


What plan has been developed to ensure that the sharing of views and opinions is actively encouraged and appropriately recorded? See 10.2

Think about (e.g.)

  • Supporting adults working in the setting to engage with each other and as a team
  • Promoting discussion amongst relevant stakeholders on issues related to the promotion of the health and wellbeing of children


What strategies do adults employ to encourage and develop children's capacity to contribute their views and opinions on issues relating to their daily experiences? See 5.4

Think about (e.g.)

  • Open-ended questions
  • Giving children time to think and reply
  • Encouraging children to name and share feelings and emotions
  • Sharing control of conversations with the child
  • Involving children in finding/choosing a solution to a problem


What opportunities are available to children to make plans and indicate these plans to you? See 7.3


How do you show respect for parents' goals and preferences for their child? See 3.3


How is the input of children, parents, families and other relevant stakeholders recorded so as to inform decision-making processes?


How do you give feedback to the participants that are consulted?

Component 4.2 - The setting acts upon contributions to decisionmaking processes and strategies for the development and delivery of the service from a wide range of interested stakeholders, as appropriate.

Signposts for Reflection


How are the views and opinions gathered through consultation with stakeholders used to regularly review and revise all aspects of your practice?


How are staff encouraged to take responsibility for the implementation of agreed actions? See 10.5


Do you have a policies and procedures handbook devised in consultation with parents, staff, management, and, where appropriate, the children in the setting?


How do you ensure that your policies and procedures are working documents and are revised and updated on a regular basis? See 8.1


How does consultation influence the design and development of the curriculum/programme of activities within the setting?

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