Clarendon Children’s Centre Co-op has been re-awarded the Excellent rating

Date first awarded: 25 July 2015
Date re-awarded for the second time: 4 July 2018 
Date re-awarded for third time: 24 August 2021
Valid until: 23 August 2024

Clarendon Children’s Centre Co-op  (CCC) has been re-awarded the Excellent rating for the third time by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), the highest rating a service can achieve under the National Quality Framework.

The South Melbourne 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
  • inclusive partnerships with children and families
  • positive workplace culture and organisational values, sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators
  • practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • The service offers specialist staff positions to all staff, including: Indigenous perspectives leader, Wellbeing, Inclusion and Diversity leader, Healthy Eating leader and Outdoor Learning leader. These specialised positions are supported by providing rostered non-contact time, specific training, paid time to attend forums and increased pay rates. The educators who hold these leadership roles are also able to initiate innovative practices and programs, and projects relative to their focus area. Position descriptions have been developed for each leadership role to provide transparency and focus to the role. 
  • The service has committed to only purchasing ethically sourced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources such as books, puzzles, artworks and activities from publications, authors, and illustrators. The service completed an audit of its library and withdrew unethically sourced books, for example, First Nations authors or illustrators who had not been compensated for their work.
  • The service has collaborated with Star Health, an allied health provider, to embed the Being Equal program. This initiative uses a whole service approach to create learning environments where everyone is valued and respected with equal opportunities. Through professional learning and development opportunities provided by Star Health, educators and families engaged in body positivity and masculinity sessions. Additionally, the service has supported its families to comprehend why rigid stereotyping and having strict gender roles may be harmful to children. The educators and families are now equipped with resources, ideas, and information on how to support children’s social and emotional development. The service has noticed an increase in the children’s ability to problem solve, self-regulate, and communicate their needs. The educators have also reported having greater confidence to implement a consistent and researched informed program that positively impacts children, families and staff. 
  • The service collaborated with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation to pilot and launch the Early Years Kitchen Garden Program. With the involvement and guidance of the service’s educators, this collaboration culminated in the official launch of the national program at the service. As a result, the children attending the service have developed healthy relationships with food, greater respect for grown produce and nature, and a deeper understanding of where food comes from. The service notes that children who were once cautious eaters have now become curious eaters.
  • After a spontaneous child-led discussion questioning why the Aboriginal flag was not permanently displayed inside Canberra’s Parliament House, the children were supported to write a letter to the Prime Minister. Over several days, the preschool children worked collaboratively to compose a letter as a way for them to use their voices to advocate for fairness and equity on a national scale. The children encouraged their families to also sign their letter before posting it. 

As a leader in the sector, CCC demonstrates its commitment to leading the wider children’s education and care sector and contributing to improved practices of educators, high quality programs and resources beyond its own service. 

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.