Date awarded: 30/9/2020
Valid until: 29/9/2023
Singleton Heights Pre School has been awarded the Excellent rating by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), the highest rating a service can achieve under the National Quality Framework.
The Upper Hunter Valley based service was recognised for its:
- collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations,
- commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin,
- practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth,
and the additional theme of:
- positive workplace culture and organisational values, sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators.
Examples of some of the exceptional practice at the service include:
- The service introduced an Aboriginal Program Co-ordinator role to ensure delivery of a program that was authentic and respectful to the local Waranuah Nation. This includes meaningful consultation with the local Aboriginal Land Council, Elders and artists, along with the local Aboriginal Education Collaborative Group (AECG) and other Aboriginal education organisations. In response, the service has been granted permission to use local language and artworks within the service and accompany a local Aboriginal Elder to a local sacred creation site.
- A rehabilitation partnership with a local mining company focuses on promoting sustainable practices within the community. The service has been provided a greenhouse and receives planting materials annually. Children care for seedlings which are then sold back to the company for regeneration planting, with profits from the sale of the seedlings going to the service. Children have also assisted the company to plant the trees they initially grew and children are provided regular updates about the rehabilitation program.
- The service has a strong commitment to health and wellbeing training in response to a community member who lost a child to youth suicide, and service families who regularly work interstate or move in and out of the area for contracted work. For the past five years, staff members have accessed and renewed Mental First Aid Training in addition to attending accidental counsellor training, trauma training, and promoting educator wellbeing. The service acknowledges the various training has assisted staff to implement targeted child protection strategies, respond to families in a supportive and sensitive manner and to support the health and wellbeing of all team members.
- The service actively seeks out funding partnerships to continuously improve service access, environments, amenities and resources that improve outcomes for children. In response to having a wait list of 118 children the service successfully gained capital works funding that, in September 2019, resulted in the construction of an additional room at the service. The service has also successfully received various community support funding to upgrade soft fall, provide additional shade covering, complete flooring and fencing projects, introduce a physical Acknowledgement of Country display and construct a woodwork shed.
As a leader in the sector, Singleton Heights Pre School shares its learnings and develops and inspires the practices of community members, university students, local education and care services and schools and educational representatives through:
- Attending local primary school classes and network groups to demonstrate targeted guidance, strategies and resources to support continuity of practices with transition to school processes and documents.
- Hosting in-service observation sessions for local kindergarten teachers. This includes observing educator’s targeted use of strategies and resources and engaging in discussions about children’s developmental knowledge across the four to six year old age range.
- Being recognised for its commitment to sustainable practices through receiving various NSW Tidy Town community and environmental achievement awards over the past three years.
About the Excellent rating
Services that receive ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ in all seven quality areas can apply to ACECQA for the Excellent rating. The Excellent rating is awarded for three years. After this time services have the option to re-apply.
This article was first published on the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website.