The Q Mark for Crèches
The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems within Crèches, Early Childhood Care and Children’s residential centres is a business excellence standard that allows each centre to review 100% of their processes and procedures, compliance requirements and all other operating aspects of a Childcare Centre’s Quality Management System (QMS) on an annual basis.
There are many considerations for Children’s Centres owners and managers to deal with on a daily basis ranging from the rights of the Child, Parents and Families, Interactions, Play, Health and Welfare, Environment to Legislation and Regulation including HIQA inspections. The Q Mark for Quality Managements Systems is a flexible framework that will capture ALL of these requirements whilst retaining the welfare of the child at the very heart of the audit.
The Q Mark for Children’s Centres creates a best practice framework within which the centre can clearly identify, monitor and measure what is and isn’t working for them. Crèches, Early Childhood Care and Children’s residential centres that achieve The Q Mark are clearly demonstrating to ALL stakeholders that they are operating to the highest standard.
The Q Mark for Children’s Centres – The Only 100% Continuous Improvement Programme!
The Q Mark for Children’s Centres is a continuous improvement programme. This means that 100% of the centre’s processes, procedures and resources are assessed on an annual basis in compliance with the Q Mark for Quality Management Systems framework criteria.
At the end of each annual audit, each centre is given an extensive business report. This will identify current best practices as well as suggested areas for improvement and will provide the owner or manager with the basis of a strategic plan for the year ahead.
During subsequent audits, all recommendations from previous reports will be assessed to ensure that every participating Children’s Centres continues to improve their standard of operation year on year.
Using The Q Mark framework ensures that the centre has accountability in every part of their service, and whilst enhancing consumer and stakeholder confidence, it allows for easy preparation for any regulatory authority audit. e.g. HIQA, Revenue, Health & Safety, NERA, etc.
Benefits of Holding The Q Mark for Children’s Centres Certification
- The Q Mark for Children’s Centres gives the centre third party certification from the National Quality Organisation (EIQA – The Guardians of The Q Mark) which enhances the service users’ confidence in all aspects of the centres’ processes, procedures and quality of care. (Current consumer recognition of The Q Mark stands at 87% – September 2012, Ireland)
- The Q Mark ensures that you are fully conversant and compliant with all relevant legislative and regulatory controls, and gives your team a framework which encourages them to operate to the highest operational standard.
- The Q Mark identifies what elements of your current operation are working or are not working at ALL levels within your centre.
- The Q Mark allows you to gain positive public consumer awareness and visibly demonstrates your centre’s commitment to the highest standard of quality and excellence through the use of distinctive certification and marketing material based on the most widely used framework in Ireland.
- The Q Mark enhances your opportunity at tender because you can demonstrate that your quality management system operates to the highest level.
What The Q Mark can do for Your Business
- Increase revenue
- Increase turnover
- Increase service users’ satisfaction
- Improve operating margins
- Increase staff output rates
- Decrease staff absenteeism
- Improve the centre’s processes and procedures
- Improve the centre’s business efficiency
Who Should Apply for The Q Mark for Children’s Centres?
The Q Mark for Children’s Centres is for everyone involved in the care and welfare of children in Ireland. (Single or Multi-site)
The Q Mark for Children’s Centres Framework Explained:
The Q Mark framework for Children’s Centres is based on five principal elements, all of which are underpinned by continuous improvement.
Continuous improvement simply means that there is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes.
The five principal elements of The Q Mark for Children’s Centres Framework are:
- Leadership and Commitment
Note* The term ‘leadership’ is used to describe everyone involved in running the centre. Organisations will have different ways of describing leaders as senior managers, management etc.The commitment of all leaders within the centre to fully implement, learn from and continuously improve on the Quality Management System.
- Employee Engagement
The involvement of every member of the centre in the Quality Management System and the implementation of any feedback which may be considered positive or which may improve on current practice.
- Excellent Business Systems and Processes
A review of how the key processes of the centre are devised, reviewed and improved upon. Excellent Business Systems and Processes also examines the supporting processes of the centre to ascertain if further improvements to process’ and procedures can be obtained.
- Customer Experience
A review of how the service users of the centre are listened to and how this feedback is acted upon.
A review of how the centre collates, reports, reviews and improves its results on an annual basis.
Achieving The Q Mark for Children’s Centre’s Certification
On initial audit, the centre needs to score at least 30% in each of the five principal elements and an overall minimum score of 55% to achieve The Q Mark for Children’s Centres – Level 1.
There are three levels that can be achieved in The Q Mark Quality Management System called: The Q Mark for Children’s Centre’s, with scoring outcomes as follows:
- 55% Level 1
- 70% Level 2
- 85% Level 3
How to Apply for The Q Mark for Children’s Centres
- Complete the on-line registration form Here
- On receipt of your application and fee payment, you will receive your registration certificate from Excellence Ireland Quality Association (EIQA – The Guardians of The Q Mark) along with your copy of the Certification framework for: The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems – Children’s Centres.
- Using The Q Mark for Children’s Centres Certification Framework, create a checklist of areas in your business that do, and do not comply with the requirements.
- When you are ready for your audit contact a member of The Q Mark team to confirm a date to complete your audit.
The Q Mark team will be happy to support your preparation for your audit and will answer any queries that you may have about the requirements of the framework.
If you would like to compare your current operating standards to The Q Mark for Children’s Centres Certification framework, you can apply for a mock-audit.
Note** A mock-audit is a full audit by an experienced auditor who will guide you through the process at a time and date that suits your schedule.