Learning Link's Pre-School has been awarded an Excellent Rating

Date awarded: 14 August 2019

Valid until: 13 August 2022

Learning Link's Pre-School 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.

The Peakhurst NSW based service was recognised for its collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations, inclusive partnerships with children and families and practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • Learning Link’s Pre-School is an active participant in the St George Preschool Director’s Network. The service takes a lead role in promoting and coordinating capacity building of inclusive teaching practices for the services who are members of the network. Learning Link’s Pre-School identified the opportunity to provide mentoring and support to local services to build their inclusion readiness capacity and navigate the National Disability Inclusion Scheme (NDIS). This has led to these services increasing knowledge and confidence in providing education and care for children with diverse needs. As a result of the mentoring, local services have increased their capacity to provide education and care to children with diverse needs as well as increased access to more education and care places in the local area for children with diverse needs.
  • The service was successful in a funding grant through the Start Strong Pathways initiative and developed the Prep 4 Preschool (P4P) program. The P4P program is a free playgroup that was developed following feedback from families experiencing difficulties in transitioning their child with a disability or disadvantage into a children’s education and care service. The P4P program operates as a soft entry into education and care and is facilitated by the service early childhood teacher and speech pathologist. The P4P program assists children to communicate, move and access play based learning as well as providing opportunities for referral pathways. The service states that the playgroup format provides play based learning activities that are tailored to enhance the development of children, as well as provide opportunities to support families in the education and care of children with diverse needs. The program also supports links to other local education and care services.
  • The service team includes early childhood teachers, educators, occupational therapists and a speech pathologist who all work together within a trans-disciplinary model to support meaningful inclusion. All enrolled children and families have access to allied health professionals.
  • Worked in partnership with Playgroup NSW to provide information stalls at a number of events across the local area to promote the benefits of quality early childhood education and care as well as providing information and advice on referral processes for children with diverse needs.
  • Inclusive programs are embedded in the service, including:
    • The Total Communication Approach, used to support children’s expressive and receptive communication skills, including the use of key word signing to increase comprehension and enhance communication for all.
    • The Playing to Socialise program, designed to support children in their development of social behaviours to interact successfully with their peers. The Play to Socialise program uses stories, role plays, games, songs and activities to support developing social skills.
    • The Gym Group Fundamental Movement Skills program which was designed, implemented and facilitated by the occupational therapist in collaboration with service educators. All children at the service participate in the program which provides activities to develop and improve fundamental movement skills.
    • Learning Without Tears, a multisensory and developmental approach to support children’s fine motor skills and knowledge to promote future learning. The pre-literacy program started following feedback from families concerned about fine motor skills development to support the transition to school.

As a leader in the sector, Learning Link’s Pre-School, provides exceptional inclusive teaching practices, programs and assessments that demonstrate best practice in inclusive children’s education and care. Learning Link’s Pre-School shares its practice and learnings with the sector, ensuring their positive impact reaches beyond just the children and families who access their service.

About the Excellent rating

Services that receive ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ in all seven quality areas 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