Excellent Rating Notification for Adamstown Community Early Learning and Preschool

Date awarded: 24 December 2021

Valid until: 23 December 2024

Adamstown Community Early Learning and Preschool (ACELP) https://adamstownearlylearning.org.au/ 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 Newcastle 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:

  • A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP is regularly reviewed during strategic planning sessions, leadership meetings and educator team meetings to ensure the service continues to be committed to delivering an awareness of the importance of Reconciliation as well as education about local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.
    • The service introduced the role of RAP Champion. The RAP Champion is involved in a Yarning Circle facilitated by KU Inclusion Support to assist in building knowledge to share with the service team to improve practices. The RAP Champion has a strong focus on developing professional goals about educator’s knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and sharing their knowledge with the team to improve practice.
    • ACELP’s Biriban Travelling Eagle Project encourages families to share and engage in conversations about Australia’s First People by providing them with an opportunity to co-research together about the lands on which they may live or visit. This project has helped shape positive and reflective conversations between children, their families and the service about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledges and histories. The project supports First Peoples languages becoming embedded into everyday communication as families and children actively locate and appreciate local language.
  • ACELP educators developed and committed to a set of team values to enhance their self-leadership and motivation as early childhood professionals. The values guide interactions with one another, promoting a positive workplace culture for all employees. The values are encompassed within each performance and development plan and each team member reflects on them regularly, ensuring that they continue to be at the forefront of interactions with one another.
    • Each educator completes a bi-annual personal self-assessments which encompasses the core foundational and contextual principles and practices of ACELP. The nominated supervisor reviews each self-assessment and has one-on-one meetings to develop and discuss SMART goals to address their achievements and challenges. The nominated supervisor engages with the same self-assessment document but has an external reviewer complete their review. 
  • ACELP operates a distributed Pedagogical Leadership Model (PLM). This includes the roles of educational leader, Behaviour and Development Specialist, Workplace Health and Safety Officer and RAP Champion. In collaboration with the PLM and other educators the service has a strong commitment to mentoring new educators and staff. As part of the appraisal process each educator is partnered with another colleague to help guide, support and mentor their practice. Mentors share experience and expertise with the mentee to ensure continuation of this support program. A high standard of practice is encouraged, and the culture of respecting constructive and critical feedback aligns with appraisal targets, ensuring improved outcomes for educators and children.  
  • ACELP participated in a university research connections project. The service took a lead role in the project, leading their own independent research by building a professional partnership with one of the associate professors and co-presenting at numerous national and international conferences and co-authoring numerous blog posts and journal articles. ACELP aligned its research question with its service’s philosophical underpinnings of risk-based learning. Through its research, the service identified specific teaching strategies that promote risky play and increase children's ability to better perceive, assess and manage risky situations. 

    As a leader in the sector, ACELP guides and inspires other services to improve its practices through its active participation in the sector and its strong practice of information sharing. 

    About the Excellent rating
    Services that receive a rating of ‘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.