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Yarm Gwanga Student, Academics, Visitors and Volunteers Guideline

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) Yarm Gwanga encourages and supports the appropriate opportunities for learning, research, participation and observation by students and academic staff of the University of New England and other tertiary institutions, both nationally and internationally. Yarm Gwanga also supports the learning opportunities for work experience and TVET students at local high schools TAFE placements through Certificate III and Diploma studies in Early Childhood.

(2) For the purposes of clause 168 (2)(i)(iii) of the Education and Care Services National Regulations, this Guideline is considered to be the policy and procedure.

(3) These Guidelines satisfy the following National Quality Standards:

  1. Quality Area 4 - Staffing arrangements:
    1. 4.2 Educators, coordinators and staff members are respectful and ethical.
    2. 4.2.1 Professional standards guide practice, interactions and relationships.
  2. Quality Area 5 - Relationships with children
    1. 5.1.1 Interactions with each child are warm, responsive and build trusting relationships.
    2. 5.2.3 The dignity and rights of every child are maintained at all times.
  3. Quality Area 7 - Leadership and service management
    1. 7.3.5 Service practices are based on effectively documented policies and procedures that are available at the service and reviewed regularly.
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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Guideline applies to all UNE Representatives, children and families, and all visitors to the Yarm Gwanga services.

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Section 3 - Guideline

(5) These Guidelines supplement the University's rules, policies, procedures and guidelines regarding Staff Code of Conduct, Protection and Students and Volunteers.

(6) Yarm Gwanga is committed to supporting connections with UNE and other educational institutions to provide opportunities for teaching, research and practicums to take place at the service.

(7) Students, volunteers and visitors are not to be included in the staff/child ratios at any time and at no time is a student, volunteer or visitor to be left alone or in charge of a child/ren. All students, academic staff, volunteers and visitors will always be supervised by a suitably qualified and experienced educator. In regard to excursions, students and volunteers are above regulation ratio requirement to provide additional support to reduce risk and are to be in sight at all times of a Yarm Gwanga Educator whilst with the children.

(8) All students, academic staff, volunteers and visitors will always must comply with Yarm Gwanga policies, guidelines and practices and are aware of the importance of acknowledgement and respect of the rights of parents/guardians and children using the service.

(9) Acceptance of student, academic staff, volunteers and visitors will be at the discretion of the nominated supervisor.

Students

(10) Strategy for students on practicum placements. Yarm Gwanga is committed to the training needs of students and the need to impart knowledge and experience from Educators. Professional development is an important aspect of Early Childhood training. It is acknowledged hosting a student is also a great opportunity for Educators to remain abreast of current Early Childhood practice. Yarm Gwanga will ensure:

  1. All students attend the service before they commence their placement. During this visit students will receive a student handbook, confidentiality agreement, a personal information form and an orientation form.
  2. Students will be informed (where possible prior to the commencement of their placement) of the service expectations about their placement arrangements and explanations about the operations, philosophy, pedagogy, policies and procedures of the service.
  3. A record for each day on which a volunteer participates at the service will be kept through the completion of the Visitors Register.
  4. All students receive an orientation to the service that will provide them with introductions to educators and staff.
  5. Key Health and Safety features such as evacuation plans and meeting points, fire exits, first aid kit locations are available and clearly marked. Students have clear instructions about where they can store personal items, and the location of staff room, kitchen, parking etc.
  6. Educators and staff are aware of the protocols and requirements supplied by the University, TAFE or RTO in relation to the participating student.
  7. Educators are welcoming, encouraging and supportive of all students that attend the service. Educators will introduce students to children, families and fellow educators and provide students with the leadership, advice and knowledge to enable them to meet the requirements of their placements.
  8. Students will be informed of any child suffering from anaphylaxis or other medical conditions, and the importance of confidentiality within that context will be stressed.
  9. The following principles of the Early Childhood Association Code of Ethics will be followed by all educators during times of student placements.
    1. 'In relation to the profession I will:
      1. base my work on research, theories, content knowledge, practice evidence and my understanding of the children and families with whom I work;
      2. take responsibility for articulating my professional values, knowledge and practice and the positive contribution our profession makes to society;
      3. engage in critical reflection, ongoing professional learning and support research that builds my knowledge and that of the profession;
      4. work within the scope of my professional role and avoid misrepresentation of my professional competence and qualifications;
      5. encourage qualities and practices of ethical leadership within the profession;
      6. model quality practice and provide constructive feedback and assessment for students as aspiring professionals;
      7. mentor new graduates by supporting their induction into the profession; and
      8. advocate for my profession and the provision of quality education and care.'

Volunteers

(11) The role that volunteers play in children's services varies and can include working with groups of children, preparing materials or food or assisting with administrative tasks. The service is responsible for ensuring that volunteers are suitable to work with children, and that children's health, safety and wellbeing is protected at all times. Yarm Gwanga will ensure:

  1. All volunteers attend the service before they commence their placement.
  2. Prior to participation at the service, a volunteer (aged 18 years or over) must be in possession of a Working with Children (WWC) Check.
  3. Volunteers should only be engaged to complement, not replace, the work of paid staff. Prior to commencing work at the service, all volunteers will be interviewed to ascertain their suitability for, and interest in, the tasks they will be undertaking, and to assess whether the volunteer's goals can be achieved.
  4. A record for each day on which a volunteer participates at the service will be kept through the completion of the Visitors Register.
  5. All students receive an orientation to the service that will provide them with introductions to educators and staff.
  6. Key Health and Safety features such as evacuation plans and meeting points, fire exits, first aid kit locations are available and clearly marked. Students have clear instructions about where they can store personal items, and the location of staff room, kitchen, parking etc.
  7. Volunteers will be informed of any child suffering from anaphylaxis or other medical conditions, and the importance of confidentiality within that context will be stressed.

Academic Staff and Early Childhood Professionals

(12) Yarm Gwanga will ensure:

  1. A record of academic staff members and Early Childhood Professionals visiting Yarm Gwanga for teaching or research purposes, is maintained on a daily basis, via the Visitors Register.
  2. Families are made aware during enrolment, that their children may be involved in University-approved research projects from time to time. Families will be given specific permission forms for any research or observations that involve individual children, and families are given the opportunity to grant or decline permission for their child to be involved in the project.
  3. Families will be made aware during enrolment, that academic staff and Early Childhood Professionals will visit the service for research, theory, content knowledge, practice evidence and general observations of the services' pedagogy, policies and practices.

Visitors

(13) A record of each visitor to the service, including the purpose and times of their visit, will be maintained on a daily basis via the completion of the Visitors Register.

Authority and Compliance

(14) The Guideline Administrator makes these Guidelines.

(15) University Representatives must observe these Guidelines in relation to University matters.

(16) These Guidelines operate as and from the Effective Date.

(17) Previous Policies/Procedures/Guidelines relating to students, academics volunteers and visitors to Yarm Gwanga; are replaced and have no further operation.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(18) A Code of Ethics defines the core aspirational values of the profession and provides guidance for professional decision making especially when there are conflicting obligations or responsibilities.

(19) Duty of care: A common law concept that refers to the responsibilities of organisations to provide people with an adequate level of protection against harm and all reasonable foreseeable risk of injury.

(20) Effective Date means takes effect on the day on which it is published or on such later day as may be specified in the Guideline.

(21) Guideline Administrator is the Director of UNE Life.

(22) Student: A person undertaking study at a secondary or tertiary institution. A student within the context of these Guidelines, may be a student of an educational institution, undertaking a practicum placement as part of their study towards completion of a recognised early childhood qualification.

(23) University Representative means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent) contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.

(24) Visitor includes, but is not limited to, students on practical placements, volunteers, community members and persons conducting inspections/audits.

(25) Yarm Gwanga: This refers to both the Yarm Gwanga Preschool and Early Education centre, as well as Yarm Gwanga Vacation Care.

(26) Volunteer: A person who willingly undertakes defined activities to support the education and care programs at a children's service in an unpaid or honorary capacity. These activities may include direct contact with children, administrative tasks, or preparing materials or food.

(27) Working with Children (WWC) Check: The check is a legal requirement for those undertaking paid or voluntary child-related work and is a measure to help protect children from harm arising as a result of physical or sexual abuse.