How learning tags help you to meet (and exceed) compliance requirements and legislation

Trying to meet compliance requirements and legislation can be challenging!  But it can be much easier with the help of learning tags. Meeting the National Quality Standards does not need to be incredibly stressful, or time-consuming. In fact, collecting the evidence that you have met the standards when assessment comes around, can be as easy as a few clicks on your computer. Let’s take a look at a handy Storypark tool that can help you to meet some of the compliance requirements.

When used correctly, learning tags are so incredibly valuable. Learning tags are like labels or keywords. Learning tags can be linked to both individual and group learning stories. These magical little things can relate to the NQS framework, outcomes, goals, learning dispositions, schema, values, culture, philosophies, interests or learning areas. In fact, they are so open-ended and customisable that you can create tags for almost any purpose at all! 

Adding a description to each learning tag is recommended. This way, it is simple to describe exactly how each learning tag relates to your documentation of children’s learning.  These descriptions support educators to gain quick access to curriculum resources so writing learning stories with strong links between learning and the curriculum, will take less time. Also for educators who are less experienced, the descriptions can guide their documentation, and help them to make those important links. Families are also able to develop a great understanding of the learning outcomes children are reaching whilst engaged in a range of experiences and activities. 

Once you are in the habit of using learning tags, you can filter through all stories in your learning service, which enables you to gain a deeper understanding of the learning “themes” that are occurring for all children. This can be done for individual children or groups of children. They truly are such a fantastic tool!

So which compliance requirements and legislation can learning tags help you to meet?

NQS 1.1.1 states “Curriculum decision making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners effectiveness as communicators.” Educators need to link their practice to the framework and ensure that they have a holistic view of the child, covering all of the outcomes.

With learning tags being completely customisable to meet the needs of your curriculum and your unique way of working, it is super easy for educators to make links between children’s learning experiences, the quality standards and learning outcomes. This means the standards are not just stuck in a document, to be used every now and then. They become an integral part of an educators day to day practice and with time and use, really extend educators knowledge and understanding. No more searching through children’s profile books for evidence, or digging deep into folders on your computer. With the correct use and a few clicks on your keyboard, all links to the framework are at your fingertips.

Supporting self-regulation in children. Regulation 155 Interactions with children. Regulation 156 Relationships in groups. QA 5.2.2 Self Regulation: Each child is supported to regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflict. 

Having continuity and a shared understanding of children’s developing self-regulation skills is vital if we are to effectively support children in this area of learning. Continuity between educators, and also with family is the best way for children to have these skills fostered. Using consistent strategies for supporting children, is an effective way to foster their self-regulation. Sharing learning stories about self-regulation, and how this can look in different contexts is an important thing to consider in our documentation. This can be achieved through the use of learning tags. Using tags in this way can also make it easier to see a child’s progression in developing this important skill that will benefit them in many areas.

All practices that occur, relate to the philosophy. 7.1.1 Service philosophy and purpose. A statement of philosophy guides all aspects of the services operations. 

A centre philosophy is not just a beautifully typed out bunch of words, displayed in your foyer. It should be seen in everything you do, in your actions, your words, your practice and your environment. With the use of learning sets, you can easily highlight and celebrate what your philosophy looks like in action and the way it is used by everyone in your learning community. Using learning sets, you are able to demonstrate the link between philosophy and practice. You can show what it looks like for children, and share how it underpins the values and beliefs that frame your programme. By filtering the philosophy statements via learning tags, you will be able to see areas of your philosophy that you may need to focus on more as well. 

7.2.1 Continuous improvement: There is an effective self-assessment and quality improvement process in place. 

Self-assessment and quality improvement go hand in hand with early childhood education. There are always areas to reflect on and improve. Often, a lot of this self-assessment happens without collecting evidence. Think of those snatched conversations you have with other educators, and brief discussions in the staff room or during meetings. The small changes you make to your learning programme or practice can easily be forgotten about when it comes time for assessment and rating! 

The thing is, these assessments and improvements do happen, but are often not recorded in-depth. This can make things tricky when it comes to collecting the evidence.

But did you know that you can use learning tags to highlight improvements you have made in a learning area, to your practice or with the strategies you are using for individual children? This is such a simple way to capture your evidence and can highlight what your reflection and improvement process looks like in practice. Because as we know, discussing and recording an area of improvement is only half of the equation. Putting it into practice is an important part of the process! Another thing to consider is the importance of linking the practice to both the framework and your philosophy. 

So, it is easy to see that learning sets can be the hero of the day when it comes to meeting compliance requirements. Once you have set up the correct learning tags, it is just a matter of your teaching team being reminded to use them in their documentation (could you add a post-it note to the wall beside your computers?) We recommend using the tags thoughtfully and with purpose. Identify the main learning you have observed and use 2-3 tags. With learning tags, less is definitely more! Find out more about creating and using learning tags here

Find out how our Daily Routines feature can also help you meet and exceed compliance requirements and legislation here.

Posted by Sonya McIntyre

Sonya was born in Lower Hutt and went to Rata Street Kindergarten and Petone Kindergarten. A qualified ECE, she studied at Victoria University in Wellington and has worked with home-based educators, in community-based childcare and in kindergarten. With childhood memories of reading books and writing stories, combined with her passion for all things social media, Sonya segued into her role with us at Storypark as social media manager.

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