Excellent rating awarded to Uniting Preschool Grafton

Date Awarded: 27 March 2018
Valid until: 26 March 2021

Uniting Preschool Grafton 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 Grafton-based service was recognised for its: collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations; commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin; practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth; and its inclusive partnerships with children and families.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • The service has a strong professional relationship with Gummyaney Aboriginal Preschool and joined them for celebrations and sharing of resources. As part of these ‘Cultural Exchange’ excursions, children from Uniting Preschool Grafton went to Gummyaney Aboriginal Preschool by bus to spend time playing, sharing and celebrating with songs, games and stories.
  • The service accesses 'CRANES Community Support Programs' and 'Kids STEPS Therapy Centre' for support when needed. The service uses these external agencies to:
    • support families who prefer support to occur at the service, in a known environment
    • provide on-site support and training, such as signing, visuals, Proloquo2Go app and EI air-drop signing songs
    • EI Transition to School Program, incorporating Emotional Regulation based on the Zones of Regulation.
  • The service conducts Children’s Policy Meetings which are used to address issues as they arise. Children take notes and are supported to identify solutions and actions. The service notes that children often initiate these meetings.
  • The service has a ‘Feedback tree’ which provides an opportunity for children to record their thoughts and ideas on environments, activities and experiences at the service. This involves discussions with educators and families who have recorded the child’s perspective. Children are encouraged to use drawing to illustrate and communicate their recommendations which are used to inform curriculum decision making. 
  • The service engages in a number of local community events and festivals to provide children with the opportunity to have a presence and voice in their local community. Families are also an integral part in these events and active agents in supporting children to have a presence and voice in the community.

As a leader in the sector, the service promoted the local Bundjalung culture through the “Our Country- On Country” 2017 Reconciliation project reported in 2017 and posted on the website for the local media organisation, “The Daily Examiner”. The article was titled, “Kids learn about their Indigenous birthplace”. The service also plays an educational leadership role in the Grafton community by upholding a commitment to children’s rights and culture.

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.