Discovery Early Education and Care Centre has been awarded the Excellent rating
Date first awarded: 11 May 2022
Valid until: 10 May 2025
Discovery Early Education & Care 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 Mid North Coast-based service was recognised for its:
- commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin
- 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 Engine Room. The Engine Room is used to support children to develop regulation strategies and to provide space and resources for children to process different sensory input, to calm their bodies, maintain their attention and to have every opportunity to improve their learning and development outcomes. The Engine Room’s vision is to provide an increasing amount of children with additional needs access to the service in response to the challenges families face in accessing therapists and referral pathways.
- The service employs an occupational therapist once a week to engage children in the Engine Room program and to mentor and act as a role model for educators. The therapist has introduced techniques and strategies to support children to participate in the program and to meet their individual needs through small group experiences.
- Educators observe children as they participate in weekly programs in the Engine Room and record the children’s skills, how they manipulate the equipment and how they prefer to use their bodies while in the room. The educators then analyse the learning and identify links to the National Quality Framework.
- An Intergenerational program. The service and residents of the dementia ward in a local aged care residence participate in a Connecting Generations Program. The program connects preschool age children in regional New South Wales and residents of aged care facilities to learn about safety risk awareness, engage in safe physical activity together, share conversations and build relationships. The program educates and empowers children and residents to keep themselves injury free, develop their social and emotional wellbeing and to share in an array of intergenerational experiences.
- Pedestrian advocacy. While attending a regular walking excursion, the children and educators noticed impatient drivers at a traffic light. This raised concerns for pedestrian safety of children, educators and local community members. Possible solutions were collated from children and educators and provided to the Roads and Maritime Services and Transport for NSW, who committed to actioning the solutions after also meeting with service leaders and the local Council.
- Children delivered pamphlets into letterboxes and created posters that were distributed and displayed in local shop fronts to promote pedestrian and road safety.
- As a result of the children’s advocacy, the traffic light timing was changed to allow its community members including aged residents and families more time to cross the road.
- Traineeships. Each year the service employs an Early Childhood Education and Care Certificate III trainee, who works at the service while also completing their Year 11 studies at a local college. Educators work in partnership with the college teachers to provide targeted and individual support for each trainee through their schooling and extra-curricular commitments.
- When a trainee completes their Certificate III, they are offered the opportunity for ongoing employment at the service. Since they began, the service has supported 22 students to complete their traineeship.
As a leader in the sector, Discovery Early Education & Care Centre promotes the importance of high quality education and care for children by advocating and enacting change that benefits its local community.
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.