An Encouragement for Critical Reflection on Documenting.

By Narelle Nettlebeck.

I have been reflecting a lot lately on DOCUMENTATION in our Education and Care Services.

I really love documenting but I understand that many educators don’t and feel overwhelmed and/or consumed by the amount of documentation that is expected.

If you have that drowning feeling, do you know what is ACTUALLY expected? I am guessing that your service is asking for more than what is expected in regards to the Regulations and Standards. Check out Regulations 73-76 as well as Quality Area 1, specifically Element 1.3.1.

I also feel that services do WAY too much for families. Did you know that daily journals, portfolio entries and Facebook updates are not requirements? Think about how much time Educators spend on this type of documentation each day.

I hear you, families are essential to our services, but I believe we have it wrong in terms of what we feel ‘collaborating’ with families really is. Is informing the family of what their child has done throughout the day truly collaborating with them?

The expectations placed on Educators tends to take time away from the children. When do you fit all this documentation into an already busy day? How much can you realistically achieve in your 2 hours of non-contact time each week?

How often are you buried in the i-pad or work phone documenting learning, taking photos or adding information about nappy changes and sleeping? How does this practice impact supervision? How does this practice impact your interactions and development of relationships with children?

What would happen if we spent less time documenting, less time doing more than we need to and spent this time interacting and playing WITH the children? What would happen if we changed the way we documented so we weren’t drowning? How would this change morale? Stress levels?

Can I challenge you to use this article as a starting point for critical reflection?

If you would like some more guidance in this area, or some specific ideas to change your current practices, please feel free to give me a call or flick me an email 😊