Lobethal Community Kindergarten has been awarded an Excellent Rating

Date awarded: 11 December 2018
Valid until: 11 December 2021

Lobethal Community Kindergarten 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 Adelaide Hills based service was recognised for its collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations; inclusive partnerships with children and families; and positive workplace culture and organisational values and sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • The service organised a Key Word Sign workshop for educators, family and community members to support communication with non-verbal children and culturally and linguistically diverse families. It also created take home packs with resources for reading stories in key word sign, and updated all its learning journals with key word sign text.
  • A Nature Connect Bush Kindy program gives children regular access to Bushland Park, in addition to sessions held at the service. The program supports children and educators to engage with Bushland Park stakeholders such as botanists, a cartographer and a Peramangk historian. Children also interact with fungi experts through the Natural Resource Management (NRM) mushroom project. It also developed a ‘Nature Nurturers’ working group, comprising service families, local primary school teachers and Bushland Park stakeholders, who meet once a month.
  • The service works in partnership with the Department for Education’s Learning and Improvement Division (LID). This includes Department for Education and LID representatives attending the service’s Nature Connect Busk Kindy sessions, and LID sharing the service’s literacy, numeracy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) resources and practices during expo’s and leadership days. The service also had a Nature Connect Bush Kindy session filmed by a LID drone pilot and produced the video resource, ‘The wildest kindy.’
  • Team building sessions which included a staff Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) weekend away and a team trip to New Zealand for the Reggio Emilia Nature Play Conference.
  • An educator from the service hosts an on-site Kindy Crafter group once a month, providing current and former families, and interested community members, the opportunity to connect in a supportive and social environment. The group focusses on craft and positive parenting support.

As a leader in the sector, Lobethal Community Kindergarten shares its practice and learnings with other education and care services through presenting at local and nationwide conferences, as a Department for Education STEM Leading Learning site and undertaking road trips to visit and mentor rural services within South Australia. The service’s mentoring of Lobethal, Lenswood and Woodside Primary Schools, in relation to loose parts and nature play, ensures a positive impact and reach beyond the children and families who access it.

About the Excellent rating

Services that receive ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ in all seven Quality Areas can apply for the Excellent rating. The Excellent rating is awarded for three years. After this time services have the option to re-apply.

More information is available on the ACECQA website