Mount Gambier Children's Centre for Early Childhood Development and Parenting earns Excellent rating

Date awarded: 22/12/2017
Valid until: 21/12/2020

Mount Gambier Children's Centre for Early Childhood Development and Parenting 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.

Services that receive an overall rating of ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ can apply for the Excellent rating. The Excellent rating is awarded for up to three years. After this time services have the option to re-apply. 

The Mount Gambier-based service was recognised for its collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations, practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth, and sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • A strong collaborative partnership with the Department for Child Protection (DCP), to provide parenting programs that target the specific needs of DCP clients. Entitled ‘Patchwork’, the program was developed by the service’s Family Services Co-ordinator and Community Development Co-ordinator, and addresses issues such as grief and loss, reflection about the participant’s own childhood and the parenting they received, keeping their children safe, lifestyle choices and the impact of these on their children, how the removal of children from their care has impacted their child’s life, and managing their emotions and dreams for the future. An example of a positive outcome of this program is that some parents who participated have been reunited with their children.
  • A strong commitment to supporting children with additional needs through the implementation of an ‘Allied Health Program’ which supports early intervention of children from birth to 3 years. Through the program, families can access support services such as speech pathologists and occupational therapists.
  • Taking into account the unique circumstances of the families and supporting them in their role by providing  a variety of  targeted playgroups, such as ‘Young Parents Playgroup’ which provides support to young parents and their children, as well as offering a ‘PlayConnect Playgroup’ which is for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

As a leader in the sector, the service reflected on the Australian Early Development Index and implemented programs and services within the local community to make them more accessible to children and families. In addition, the service created a ‘Hub and Spoke’ model with a variety of support services, such as parenting programs, a women’s wellbeing group, counselling and social work.

More information on the Excellent rating is available on the ACECQA website