I don't think programming, planning and documenting should be easy. I don't think it should be impossible either. I think it should be the right amount of challenge and reward. I think it should fit within the paid scope of your employment (i.e. you do your written work AT work), and I think that it should improve you as a professional and I think it should serve a purpose for the children and their families.
In my role as an over-arching educational leader/mentor I work with programming and planning all day long. It sloshes around in my brain at the best of times. Sometimes it feels like its oozing out my ears. It's what I do. It's my main focus. I work with multiple different styles of programs and plans and not just one. I am essentially a critical friend who provides guidance and feedback for a number of services. Adult learning results from sustained shared conversations. I can't emphasize this enough.
If you don't understand Quality Area 1, don't beat yourself up. Its twisty and convoluted and I don't particularly like it. In fact the whole NQS is so interwoven it is impossible to unravel. Even for me. ANYONE promising you that they have unraveled it is full of the proverbial because it is an impossibility.
I'm looking online today at stuff. And all I can find is crap. Crap that dumbfounds me and makes me want to cry in frustration. I just don't get it. It's wrong. So WRONG.
Crap that is for wrong and for sale. Crap that is for free. Crap that is about boosting an ego. Crap.
Crap that has pretty colours, or visual themes, or circles instead of squares because squares are boxes and boxes are bad. Or trees. What the hell is it with trees? Who started this tree thing? What does a tree have to do with anything other than being a visual metaphor for something or other?
If someone tells you there is no wrong way to do the NQS or the EYLF I think they're wrong. If there was no wrong way, then centres wouldn't be getting "Significant Improvement Required" or "Working Towards."
I think that there are many more right ways than wrong ways, but there is clearly a wrong.
Please. Please. PLEASE think about what you buy. Just because its pretty doesn't mean its good. Just because its expensive and promises the world, doesn't mean it delivers.
If you get exceeding at your service it is because YOU did the work and YOU earned it. No one else. Not even me :)
I think I need to write something and self-publish it. It won't be free - but it will be backed up with evidence and it will be reasonable. And its probably going to take me forever to put it together ... But I just can't sit here and look at crap and not throw my hat into the ring.