Belrose Community & Children's Centre has been awarded the Excellent rating
Date awarded: 12 November 2020
Valid until: 11 November 2023
Belrose Community & Children’s Centre 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 Northern Beaches, Sydney based service was recognised for its:
- collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations
- practices and environments that promote inclusive partnerships and enhance children’s learning and growth
- positive workplace culture and organisational values, sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators.
Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:
- Following feedback from families the service embedded a STEM based curriculum and approach into the service, including:
- Supporting children in their transition to school by using the 2015 National STEM School Education Strategy and National Innovation and Science Agenda to build the interest, capacity and capability of children to engage with STEM based learning within the school curriculum.
- Joining the Early Learning Science Australia (ELSA) pilot program. This included collaborating with researchers, the approved provider, and members of the pilot program to develop and review policies and procedures that reflect STEM concepts and practices.
- Building the confidence, knowledge and skills of staff in delivering a STEM based program.
- The educational leader designing and delivering a professional development session (The STEM Concept Night) for local family day care educators, focusing on STEM learning opportunities within family day care.
- Establishing ongoing learning partnerships with local primary and high schools, meeting regularly for workshops with a focus on learning about new STEM concepts and resources.
- A whole of service strategy approach was used in the review and update of the service philosophy, with an emphasis on perspectives for inclusion:
- Children were seen as crucial to the review and update of the service philosophy and were engaged at the beginning of the process to be active participants, including deciding how they would engage and have their voices heard in the review. Through various forums and methods, children offered their vision and direction for the service including through the use of creative arts and visual vlogs.
- Prior to seeking the involvement of families in the review of the philosophy, they were given the opportunity to influence how their feedback, thoughts and ideas would be best captured and considered to help shape the process of review along with their input into the review. Families wanted to be able to contribute in ways that were relevant to them and did so in a variety of ways including written submissions, poems and verbal feedback. The service also engaged families in more formal opportunities to provide feedback through a philosophy review survey and workshop.
- Educators and the management team participated in a workshop to consider how the philosophy needed to represent their whole of service approach and capture the contributions of children and families.
Alongside the updated final philosophy displayed at the service is a collection of the contributions made by children and families to the review process and updated philosophy. This is display to capture the journey of the service philosophy as well as reinforce the value and importance of the voices of children and families in the service.
- Active advocacy for and participation in a local social inclusion initiative:
- Collaborating with a service family on the Play for All – Swing initiative. A social inclusion initiative in their local government area which involved advocating, and getting approval for, all park swings in the local area to be replaced with high backed swings to cater for each child’s capabilities including those who have low muscle tone and need supporting features to be able to use a swing.
- Providing professional expertise in child development, and leading the initial trial phase of the project. Establishing the partnership between the service, the project and the local Council Parks and Assets team to propose changes to swings being installed.
As a leader in the sector, Belrose Community & Children’s Centre participates in different initiatives that develop and inspires the practices of community members, local children’s education and care services, local schools and state and national representatives through:
- Taking on a leadership role within their provider’s governance structure and actively contributing to the development of the Children’s Services Business Plan.
- Building community awareness of the Play for All – Swing initiative and the benefits for all children. To ensure that the initiative is not just a localised project, the service will turn their attention to influencing changes at a state and national level.
- The establishment a STEM partnership with a number of local schools.
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.