Goodstart Early Learning Tuggerah has been awarded the Excellent rating

Date Awarded: 13 January 2021

Valid until: 12 January 2024

Goodstart Early Learning Tuggerah 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 NSW Central Coast based service was recognised for its  

  • collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations
  • 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
  • commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • Establishing an educational partnership with Grace Springs Farm (GSF) to support local community engagement, children’s interests in animal care and understandings of where food comes from. The partnership has led to: 
    • farm visits where children learn to interact safely, hygienically and respectfully with animals
    • introduction of a chicken coop, worm farm and vegetable gardens at the service, with GSF and service families providing ongoing care, maintenance and safety advice
    • children overcoming their fear of interacting with animals and communicating with GSF representatives through letter writing and video calls to learn about the birth of new animals
    • GSF acting on service guidance including introducing smaller groups sizes for farm visits to enhance children’s quality interactions, which has supported increased revenue for GSF through visits from playgroups and other early childhood services. 
  • Working closely with the family of a child, local support services, the local community, service children and families and a local school to assist the child experiencing sensitive medical needs. This includes: 
    • organising community walks and children’s participation in a specialised playgroup to raise awareness and support of the child’s complex needs, including recording key songs on specialised equipment and children’s expressions in sign language within morning and afternoon routines 
    • organising a trivia night in response to a family’s van breaking down, with $5000 raised through family and community support to help the family buy a new van to continue attending specialist appointments and the service
    • supporting an effective school transition through advising on the layout and adaption of the classroom environment, placement of specialised equipment, working alongside teachers and support workers to model key strategies for promoting co-learning and success and involvement in the employment of key support workers for the child
    • supporting service children and families to maintain relationships with the child during hospital stays, through video calls and hospital visits.
  • Partnering with its families to provide various support for male family members and children and families who do not have consistent access to a positive male role model, by:
    • introducing a father’s group which meets fortnightly, and once a month socially, to provide a dedicated space and supports to fathers and to support children from separated families to access a positive male role model
    • supporting a previous family member to establish ‘Bulletproof Dad’, an online health and wellbeing initiative for local fathers 
    • use of a ‘Big Brother’ program to provide targeted supports to children experiencing challenging behaviours, including one on one community-based outings to model road safety, social expectations and open communication 
    • forming a community sport’s team led by the leader of their Big Brother program to support children’s interest in football and maintain connections and relationships between children who had transitioned to school and those still at the service. 
  • Acknowledging the following supports as commitment to its staff and a positive workplace culture: 
    • use of a buddy system to align educators with a mentor that compliments their unique learning style and aspirations, room placement and providing tailored guidance over numerous years
    • leadership roles as an extension of the buddy system, acknowledgement and investment in educator talents and strengths across all service aspects and in providing families and educators with one point of contact who has the skills and knowledge to provide guidance in a specific area 
    • introducing a Community of Practice to support the 34% of staff who are engaged in further studies. The service values that staff also hold qualifications and experience in law, accounting, tourism, workplace training, sports coaching, Auslan Sign Language, and children’s book writing which further supports diverse knowledge sharing and practices across the service.
  • Community involvement and advocacy including: 
    • children being supported to explore fundraising options after expressing concern and interest in supporting animals injured through the 2020 bushfires, including cooking and organising cupcake sales in their local business park to donate money towards the rehabilitation of koalas, raising $270 to sponsor two koalas
    • service educators, children and families collecting 65 boxes of nappies and 150 boxes of wipes to provide support to NSW South Coast services and a school impacted by the 2020 bushfires
    • providing over 100 cooked meals, access to a service food pantry, clean water and service washing machine to provide essential supports to its families affected by severe flooding in February 2020. 

As a leader in the sector, Goodstart Early Learning Tuggerah shares, inspires and provides targeted guidance to local TAFE NSW teachers and early childhood students, local services, regional managers from external organisations and various educators, committee members and advocacy groups through: 

  • advising Ourimbah TAFE Early Childhood Faculty on content and delivery for their Health and Safety Unit, taking part in interview panels for prospective TAFE teachers, providing male educator mentors for male TAFE early childhood students and presenting to NSW TAFE teachers during professional planning days
  • supporting a local service to conduct offsite risk assessments and identify places and opportunities for increased community engagement, including the introduction of a 
  • bush and beach kindergarten program
  • contributing to organisational goals and improvements through guiding the introduction of specialised safety roles and resources which has led to a decrease in outdoor incidents and injury across NSW/ACT services.

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.