Killara Kids prioritises community engagement and continuous improvement to deliver a quality service for children and their families
Located on Dharug land, Killara Kids is an OHSC service whose management works with families and the wider community to strive for the service’s continual growth and improvement.
26 August 2022
Taylor Estwick is the Business Director at Killara Kids, which delivers an out of school hours and vacation care programs on the grounds of Killara Public School.
Their service prioritises continuous improvement through collaboration with the local community to enhance their practices and staff development, in line with Element 7.2.1.
“At Killara Kids, we place a high emphasis on our collaboration with Killara Public School, as well as our broadened involvement with key community stakeholders such as Charity Groups, Handprints Child Care Centre and local Emergency Services group,” Taylor says.
“Our service believes children develop a strong sense of identity and belonging through having ties to our local community, including their school and OSHC service.
Killara Kids is a Parent Management Committee centre, which encompasses parents who are both from the school P&C and parents of children who attend Killara Kids, holding regular meetings with Killara Public School’s leadership and the P&C.
“We are informed by recommendations from the school community in relation to operations at Killara Kids, as well as other matters such as behaviour management, supervision, child safety and sharing of risk assessments,” Taylor said.
As well as community engagement, the management team at Killara Kids also invests heavily in their educators’ professional development, with the leadership team committed to the process of continuous improvement – something they seek to embed right across their centre.
“We really strive to create a culture of professional inquiry in which our educators are encouraged to engage in robust discussion and challenge themselves and others,” she said.
“This is formally implemented in our mentor groups where each educator is assigned a mentor from Management who they work alongside to set and achieve goals.
“This relationship fosters supportive learning within the centre, and models constructive and healthy relationships for the children.”
Self-reflection and quality improvement occur every day, as educators are encouraged to have regular formal and informal discussions to reflect on their own practices and suggestions from families to improve service provisions.
“We strive to make quality improvement a team effort and hold Quality Improvement Focus group meetings which allow for critical reflection and a team approach to service development,” Taylor shared.
“From these meetings our Quality Improvement Plan document is updated to ensure we are motivated and striving for continuous improvement in our practice, policies and procedures.
“This is an effective evaluation and self-review process enabling us to continuously improve together with engagement from all stakeholders, including families, creating a culture of continuous improvement within the service.
“By working together, we create a positive and welcoming organisational culture that delivers a quality service to children and their families.”