Lobethal Community Kindergarten (LCK) has been re-awarded the Excellent rating

Date first awarded: 11 December 2018
Date re-awarded: 8 December 2021

Valid until: 11 December 2023

Lobethal Community Kindergarten (LCK) has been re-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. This is the second time LCK has been awarded the Excellent rating.

The Adelaide Hills 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.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • In response to the Cudlee Creek bushfire, LCK led the establishment of an emergency community creche by negotiating and sourcing the space, resources and local children education and care services staff to operate the creche during the Christmas school holidays. The creche provided nurturing and homely care experiences through high-quality interactions and a restful physical environment. This ensured that children and families were able to access vital services and respite to support the children’s social and emotional needs during an immensely traumatic period of time. The creche allowed families to deal with the immediate grief of loss, embark on clean-up efforts, lodge insurance claims, locate accommodation and engage in counselling and support services at the local recovery centre. After the initial emergency response was complete, LCK advocated for the creche to continue as a funded playgroup because its community were still in need of ongoing respite and support. The service continues to maintain the bushfire recovery playgroup as a way for its community to continue their individual healing processes.
  • After LCK’s Nature Connect Bush Kindy Program environment was devastated during the Cudlee Creek bushfire, the educators, families and children critically reflected upon its original aims of the in-nature program to decide if the program should cease. After assessing new risks identified after the bushfires through various risk benefit assessments, LCK decided that the program benefits, learning opportunities and the connections the children would make within the regenerating park outweighed any perceived risks. LCK notes that the initial visits to the site proved to be quite confronting for staff and children. Through intentional teaching, it soon became a safe and familiar place that provided stability and hope for staff, children and families. The original aims of the program morphed into the in-nature program, becoming a platform for the whole LCK community to process grief, trauma and despair as a result of what they had witnessed during the bushfires.

As a leader in the sector, LCK demonstrates its commitment to leading its community and the wider children’s education and care sector while contributing to improved practices of educators, high quality programs and resources beyond its own service.

  • LCK received feedback advising that it and another education and care service were considered as leaders of STEM education by local children’s education and care services and primary schools. LCK collaborated with staff from the other service to co-construct and present a conference, roadshow, and a masterclass. This was designed to provide engaging learning opportunities to all children’s education and care professionals. Participants were inspired and challenged by a range of presentations, key notes and breakout sessions from international experts, STEM project lead learning sites and educators from both services. Each service leader and educator worked to their own strengths taking on responsibility for various parts of the planning, presenting and running of the conference, roadshow and masterclasses.

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.

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