Excellent rating awarded to Awabakal Preschool Wickham

Date awarded: 26/10/2017
Valid Until: 25/10/2020

Awabakal Preschool – Wickham 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.

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

The Newcastle based service was recognised for its commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin, its inclusive partnerships with children and families and its practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • With nearly a full Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce, traditional culture is embraced and embedded within the service and creates an environment where the children, families and the approved provider can respectfully refer to all educators as ‘Aunty’.
  • Working with children and families to promote children’s visibility and voice within the community, and advocate for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The service, approved provider, families and community members supported children’s request to walk in Newcastle’s ‘Day of Action’.
  • A targeted inclusion program that saw the employment of a family health worker, occupational therapist, speech therapist and the development of collaborative partnerships with community services and allied health professionals.  
  • An environmental and cultural leader whose role is to ensure all practices, programs, environments, provocations, interactions and documentation demonstrates cultural competency. The environmental and cultural leader uses the knowledge and resources of families to establish and enrich programs where culture is at the forefront.
  • A transition to school program that involves screeners from speech and occupational therapists. Each child is provided with a letter to their school to introduce the child. Families are given a copy of the transition to school package. Educators meet with the teachers of the school and invite teachers to visit the child in the education and care environment.
     

As a leader in the sector, Awabakal Preschool – Wickham administrates and operates an online early childhood network forum, conducts ‘sticky beak tours’, participates in radio interviews and contributes content to professional and community publications. In addition, the service has contributed to the development of the local community through its annual involvement in NAIDOC week and its facilitation of a mums and bubs group to ensure its positive impact reaches beyond the children and families who access the service.

About the Excellent rating

Services that receive an overall rating of ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ 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.