Warrawee Care Centre has been awarded the Excellent rating
Date awarded: 7 November 2023
Valid until: 6 November 2028
Warrawee 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 New South Wales Outside School Hours Care service was recognised for its inclusive partnerships with children and families, its positive workplace culture, sustained commitment to professional development and its practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth. Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:
- Establishing a Kids Committee, consisting of proactive year 5 and year 6 students, who actively engage in service decisions and event planning, while developing their leadership skills. They convene weekly meetings, recording discussions and decisions in a Floorbook, demonstrating their commitment to shaping programs and experiences within the school community. Their involvement extends to the interview process of new educators where the children collaborate with educators to hire staff, evaluating candidates based on their interactions with older children during sports sessions. Additionally, the Kids Committee organised a successful "garage sale" to promote recycling and raise funds for koala adoptions. They coordinated the event, from designing posters to handling sales, showcasing their organisational and leadership abilities. The proceeds, totalling over $300, were donated to the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary.
- Modifying its Forest Play Program in recognition of the importance of nature connection post-COVID-19. Mindfulness practices have now been incorporated at the beginning and group reflections at the end of each session. These practices help children ease into a calm state, enabling them to immerse in the natural learning experiences. Additionally, Night Forest Play was also introduced and extended the learning into the evening, incorporating fire experiences and enhancing peer collaboration and curiosity-driven learning.
- Creating a vegetable exposure program by including a simple vegetable plate into the buffet-style afternoon teas. The educators initially trialled the program on themselves, before introducing it to the children. While observing children’s reactions, educators allow them to explore vegetables at their own pace, fostering gradual acceptance. Each afternoon, a specific vegetable is a feature, and educators are encouraged to sit and eat the vegetables with the children. This approach, coupled with fresh dips, based on family feedback, has led to positive responses and the integration of vegetables into the daily routine.
- The service’s leadership and advocacy for Outside School Hours Care at local, state and national levels, including their leadership in play-based outdoor education. The nominated supervisor actively provides leadership and training experiences to external education and care teachers and educators, emphasising the significance of children engaging with nature through nature pedagogy.
As a leader in the sector, Warrawee Care Centre is committed to prioritising its partnership with children and families from the first point of contact and is committed to leading the wider education and care sector in advocating for high-quality OSHC practices and programs.
About the Excellent rating
Services that receive ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ in all seven quality areas can apply to ACECQA for the Excellent rating. From 1 July 2023, the Excellent rating is awarded for five years. After this time services have the option to re-apply.