Milford Lodge Child Care Centre has been re-awarded the Excellent rating
Rating re-awarded: 31/05/2019
Rating Valid until: 30/05/2022
Milford Lodge Child Care Centre has been re-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 Sunshine Coast based service was recognised for its collaborative partnerships with professional, community and research organisations, inclusive partnerships with children and families, practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth; and positive workplace culture and organisational values, sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators.
Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:
- Outings into the local Buderim community are conducted two to three times a day. This includes visits to the Sunshine Coast Mobile Library, Buderim Mountain State School Library and nature reserve, Buderim Post Office, the local op shop, plant nursery, Japanese restaurant and swimming lessons at SwimFit Buderim. During outings, children actively investigate local areas and are supported to extend their learning through people. For example, children met with local council workers at its forest dwellers program location to plant native shrubs and learn about trimming branches for safety. The service acknowledges the outings in facilitating interactions where children are viewed as capable, competent and contributing community members.
- Modifying the staff appraisals process to support its team to focus on, ‘what’s strong, not wrong’. This includes extended discussions on supporting educators to include their strengths within daily practices. In response, an educator with a degree in speech pathology was supported to share her specialised knowledge through a weekly program called ‘Speech Sprouts’. The educator has ownership of the planning, documentation and communication of this program.
- Milford Lodge Child Care Centre has sourced and worked with a local Registered Training Organisation (RTO) by inviting the head trainer to its in service training and through influencing training adjustments to further support school based trainees. Since 2017, the service has offered five full time positions to its school based trainees.
- The service continues and has extended its partnership with Art Nuvo, a fine art gallery in Buderim. This includes the gallery hosting an ‘Artist of the month’, where children’s artwork is framed and displayed along with their profile picture and a brief bio. To support the program, the service repurposed an ‘Art Shed’, to provide children with a dedicated space to explore their creativity. The partnership has supported children to see their artwork on display with their peers and family members in addition to observing the artwork of local artists and children’s illustrators.
- The service uses a key educator approach, with children often selecting a key person to be their main source of security for numerous years. For example, a child now in the kindergarten room, continues to start each day and share meals with the key educator they formed a close attachment with when in the baby’s room. Children with siblings also have the opportunity to start and end their day in the same homeroom as well as play together and share meals.
As a leader in the sector, Milford Lodge Child Care Centre hosts its annual Village Ways conference, offers professional development tours and organises international and local early childhood speakers and consultants to present within its local community. By sharing its practice and learnings with other education and care services, local primary and high school teachers, and local families and community members, the service is helping to ensure their positive impact reaches beyond 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.