Bermagui Preschool achieves Excellence
Date Awarded: 16 July 2018
Valid until: 15 July 2021
Bermagui Preschool 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.
From 1 February 2018, services in all states and territories (except Western Australia) must be rated Exceeding National Quality Standard in all seven quality areas to be eligible to apply for the Excellent rating. The Excellent rating is awarded for three years. After this time, services have the option to re-apply.
The Bermagui-based service was recognised for its collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations; its commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin; and its practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth.
Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:
- The service has developed a long-standing relationship with the Four Winds musical organisation over the past 21 years. Four Winds provides early childhood focused musical training to service educators and facilitates visits to the Four Winds site for performances, festivals and music education. The partnership enables the service to provide feedback on early childhood music education content and take part in the National Music Teacher Mentoring Program. Children experience musical teaching and performances from world renowned musicians both within the service and the Four Winds site, building on capacity, enjoyment and access to high-quality musical experiences.
- Enhancing children’s learning, respect for and connection to Country by exploring local environments through the Nature School Program. Each Nature School Program session begins with an Acknowledgement of Country and includes exploration of national parks, headlands and beaches. Children spend time within places of cultural significance to the local Yuin people and learn traditional stories, language and how seasonal records were created to document local food sources.
- Commitment to supporting children and families to access healthy and natural foods through initiatives such as OzHarvest food drop-offs. The donated food is used for the service’s Breakfast Club, Afterschool Program, cooking experiences and for families to take home, reducing local food waste and fresh food expenses.
- The service connects with the local community through participating in events, and engaging with local businesses, places and people. Children march beside families and educators at the annual Bermagui Seaside Fair, and have displayed their ‘Coral Reef’ sculpture to families and community members at the Sculpture Bermagui Festival. The children’s design ideas have also been presented to local Council and they have been included within social planning processes such as the Bermagui Skate Park.
- Families are supported to access and engage with the service through the offering of subsidised fees, a bus service to assist attendance, and governance and financial management training to support family and community involvement on the service’s Board of Directors.
As a leader in the sector, Bermagui Preschool leads and inspires by being an active member of its local regional preschool network through supporting resource sharing, offering face to face and online mentoring to isolated services, and negotiating a collective pay agreement to develop pay parity for early childhood teachers. Bermagui Preschool is also a member of the Bermagui Community Forum, and works in partnership with its local Council, Clean Energy for Eternity Forum and Local Aboriginal Land Council to improve available services and environments to meet the needs of the local community.
About the Excellent rating
From 1 February 2018, services in all states and territories (except for Western Australia) must be rated Exceeding National Quality Standard in all seven quality areas to be eligible to 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.