Clarendon Children's Centre Co-op has been awarded the Excellent rating

Date Awarded: 4 July 2018
Valid until: 3 July 2021

Clarendon Children's Centre Co-op 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 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. 

The Melbourne-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; inclusive partnerships with children and families; practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth and positive workplace culture and organisational values; and its sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • The service introduced an ‘Auslan Bi-lingual Program’ specifically to support the inclusion of children with hearing disabilities and/or spoken language delay. Educators consistently and intentionally use Auslan during play, routines and transitions. Initial basic ‘Bilingual Auslan’ training is offered and undertaken by all educators and interested families. Six educators have completed ‘level one’ and ‘level two’ Auslan training. In addition, all staff and leadership meetings include time for practising signs and time for leaders to reflect on how they are intentionally including and encouraging the use of Auslan within the educational program.
  • A ‘Community Meals Program’ has been established to support its vulnerable families by offering subsidised, nutritionally balanced meals prepared by the service.  
  • Working with children and families through action-based research projects to inform change and improve outcomes for children and families. For example, an educator developed an action research project focused on using narrative or ‘storytelling’, written by educators and families to expand two-way communication that offers both educators and families insight and better understanding of children’s learning and behaviour.   
  • The service has appointed a ‘Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Leader’ to support educators with information, resources and suggestions to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is effectively embedded within the service curriculum.
  • Educators are encouraged to take on leadership roles which may include: a ‘OH&S Representative’, ‘Sustainability Leader’, ‘RAP Leader’ and ‘Quality Improvement Plan Leader’. These leadership positions are supported and recognised by the provision of rostered non-contact time, specialised professional development opportunities, paid time to attend meetings outside the service and increased pay rates.

As a leader in the sector, Clarendon Children's Centre Co-op encourages all of its employees, including those who do not perform in an educator role, to actively participate and commit to leading the wider education and care sector. By contributing to national conferences, peak body training packages and education and care publications, the service guides, influences and inspires other education and care services to improve the quality of education and care for all children, helping to ensure its positive impact reaches beyond the children and families who access the service.

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